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It’s time to bereal: is instagram becomming casual again?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

Casual posting is a new phenomenon that has become increasingly popular on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, and is a result of one of the biggest social media trends of 2022, authenticity.

Instagram was once populated with artificial, highly planned-out, professional, and perfectly posed photoshoots and posts, but recently we have seen a shift in the app. A popular and growing trend that we have seen is known as photo dumps, where users post collections of casual and laid-back photos that steers away from the old trend of appearing “perfect” on Instagram.

We have especially seen the trend of ‘casual posting’ grow in the new app BeReal, which, unlike Instagram – where you can pick and choose from photos which have been previously taken and/or edited, is designed to have users post an unexpected and unfiltered photo of themselves once a day.

This fad encourages users to post whatever they want to their social media platforms and the “I–do–not–care–about–what–I–post” persona is spreading fast. 

So, why is authenticity on instagram important?

We started seeing a backlash against the unauthenticity of Instagram in 2020 during the pandemic. With everyone stuck at home in quarantine, the appetite for glamourous posting was at an all-time low. According to marketing trend forecasts, the days of perfectly curated content are over.

Lucy Banfield (@lucy.banfield), is a 19-year-old from London, spoke out about casual posting after realizing she was taking social media far too seriously. She stated that casual posting means “you post what feels right for you, what you think represents yourself in the most genuine way,” she says, “I guess you could say my account is documentary in a way, as I almost upload on the go with no pre planning or editing, it’s just all natural.”

Research has found that authenticity is closely connected to mental health. Anything that takes us away from who we truly are has the potential of creating immense stress in our minds when we are denying our true creative expression of our authentic self.

When you make a casual Instagram, you no longer have to play by the social media rules. Regardless of what the content is, you should feel free to post whatever you want, whenever you want.

A study conducted by Nature Communications in 2020 observed self-presentation on social media and compared it to the individual’s self-view. The findings showed that individuals who are more authentic in their self-expression on social media report greater Life Satisfaction. 

So, be true to yourself by posting content that’s honest and thoughtful. It doesn’t have to be perfectly manicured to be shared, but it should reflect you and what you stand for in an authentic and truthful way.

Meredith is a recent college graduate and PR professional who loves writing about all things beauty, lifestyle, health, wellness, and pop-culture. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can catch her going on long walks, playing with her two dachshunds, or catching up on her latest TV obsession, Law and Order.