Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Instagram vs. Real Life

I’m not afraid to admit that I am a sterotypical millenial – I’m obsessed with Instagram. My feed is filled with selfies, brunch and adventures in DC pictures… but what more would you expect?

What people don’t see is the “behind-the-scenes.” A lot of effort goes into getting that perfect Instagram shot. The idea behind most social media platforms is usually to put forward the best version of yourself. You want all those people you went to high school with to see how fun and exciting your life is, right? All my followers really need to see is how on fleek my new shade of lipstick is, or how perfect the foam art on my Tryst latte was. No one needs to see me and my roommate eating Goldfish by the handful and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. No one needs to see me failing to execute a good cat-eye flick 15 times in a row.

Here’s a look at what I Instagram versus what’s really happening – don’t be too alarmed. Besides, I know you’ve all done this at some point or another. Am I right?

1. The Classic Final Exam Studying Shot



On Instagram: You must be thinking, “Wow, that looks so productive and serious; I bet she works really hard. Look at the black and white filter, the index cards, the grande Starbucks.”

In real life: This photo was the product of extreme procrastination. I spent ten minutes on the aesthetics – lining everything up, stacking the index cards, etc. I didn’t end up getting any real studying done until much later.  Go figure.

2. The Perfect Selfie



On Instagram: Wow, look at that lipstick color! I love it, so cool! The soft focus, grainy effect really brings the whole thing home. The hand placement makes you notice my statement necklace, no? 

In real life: “Okay, I have about ten minutes before someone walks in on me taking this selfie. My hair is definitely on the greasy side, ugh, I’m going to have to cut off the top of my head. OMG, my necklace is missing a piece – maybe if I cover it up with my hand no one will see it? Oh no, my eyebrows are a mess, maybe making it grainy will distract. Wait, is that someone at the door?! Oh lord, this is so embarrassing.”

3. The Bougie Brunch Shot



On Instagram: This looks so delicious. I bet people wish they could be at brunch with me right now. Look at that latte art. And the casual dusting of powdered sugar on that pancake with a little dollop of butter on the side. Wait, that hashbrown looks dope. I’m so bougie right now.

In real life: I ATE ALL OF THIS FOOD. ALL OF IT. THERE WAS NOT A SCRAP LEFT. I AM GOING TO HAVE THE WORST FOOD BABY. What possessed me to get a pancake AND a giant omelette? Oh great, now I spilled syrup on myself. I’m so tired. I can’t move. My stomach is exploding. This is not cute.

4. The Casual Scenery Shot aka “Yeah that’s right, I live here, are you jealous?!”



On Instagram: People are probably wondering if I’m in Europe or something. I mean, look at the perfect lighting, the casual cloud cover and the sun hitting the water. I bet everyone wishes they could be in Georgetown on this lovely fall day.

In real life: I had to elbow a child out of the way to get this angle. I also almost fell into the canal. And made my friends late for lunch, because this took 25 tries. (It was worth it.)


Photo Credit: 1, all other photos belong to the author

Similar Reads👯‍♀️