How One Instagram Post Helped Open Many Eyes to Social Media Reality

Related Article
Homes
5 of the Best Instagram Accounts to Follow for Interior Design Inspiration
Read Article
Carolyn Stritch faceapp
Photo: Courtesy of The Slow Traveler

“I take a selfie: bed hair, no makeup. I tap “Impression” and my face changes quickly and dramatically: fine lines flatten, wrinkles smooth out, blemishes unblemish, dark circles disappear, cheekbones rise, eyes brighten, lips get bigger, nose gets smaller. My face is gone. Staring back at me, wearing my clothes, sitting in my bed, is a stranger. Or, perhaps more accurately: it’s my perfect self. I feel horrified by how much my face changes.”

Instagram scroll after Instagram scroll, we’re faced with flawless images that prompt reactions ranging from cynicism to fascination and even downright envy. It’s no wonder, then, that 32-year-old Carolyn Stritch of @TheSlowTraveler took it upon herself to teach her over 199,000 followers a lesson about the authenticity of social media – or lack thereof.

The UK-based travel blogger and influencer recently “hacked” her own Instagram account as part of a project for her ongoing degree in photography. First, Stritch used FaceApp to morph into her perfect self. Her alter ego (who happened to be ten years younger than she is) then flew from Newcastle Upon Tyne to California for the day and managed to pose all alone in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland – and not one of her followers questioned any of it.

Two manipulated images and carefully captioned posts on Instagram later, the Instagrammer took to her personal blog to reveal the truth about why she had faked both her personal appearance and the trip, urging people to consider the dark side of social media. “For me, Instagram is a positive experience. But I know that’s not the case for a lot of people. Instagram is apparently full of these ‘slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted, and popular’ people – a bit like my perfect self. I wanted my fictional narrative to challenge the way I portray myself online and the effects of this portrayal,” she wrote.

When’s the last time you questioned what you saw online?

Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Click to get the latest news on your device
You can stop notifications at any time.
Unsubscribe from our notifications
Click to unsubscribe from notifications on this device.
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Connect using Facebook Messenger