Eating For The Gram: How Social Media Is Impacting Our Relationship With Food

It’s undeniable that many food-lovers plan their days around their meals. In fact, I’m guilty of always thinking about what my next meal will be.

Moreover, America is well-known for being a melting pot, specifically when it comes to food.

With an overwhelming amount of options of different foods from a wide array of cultures to choose from, people easily can get caught up with their food obsessions.

Nonetheless, with the accessibility of technological devices in American society, social media users can be fixated on capturing daily memories.

Whether it’s a pretty view, a fun moment with friends or an adventure on the beach, social media users are bound to desire posting just about anything they want on Instagram, Snapchat and/or other platforms. 

In American culture, the combined love for food and social media has led to a trend of people constantly taking pictures of any visually appealing meals.

At first glance, this trend seems harmless and amusing. However, when you look at the bigger picture, it almost appears as if many people are purchasing certain foods just to impress Instagram followers.

Moreover, one of the most valued components of American culture is being used as a way to amuse followers on social media.

Seven years ago, when a waiter served food to a group of people, the group probably quickly discussed how good the food looked and quickly started eating.

Now, when a group of people are served their food, they often get their phones out and take a photoshoot from different angles to get the perfect shot of their meal.

Throughout the meal, instead of focusing on eating and having a natural conversation, people are more likely to have their heads buried in their phones, while worrying about editing and posting a picture.

Whether people realize it or not, social media is changing our perceptions on food, and people are immediately concentrated on taking pictures rather than the physical act of eating.

Given this information, a common question asked is, “Why does the phone eat first?”

While opinions to this question may vary, most thoughts usually all trace back to the idea that social media is often misused, and people are mainly focused with impressing and competing with their followers.

Even simple concepts, such as eating a cool meal, is perceived as a way to show off to Instagram followers.

In some cases, people are more fixated on impressing their followers than having in-the-moment conversations with their actual friends during a meal.

A new reason to attend a restaurant is because of its attractiveness on Instagram.

Although popularity on social media often means that the restaurant has good food, many people are choosing to go to a restaurant to obtain the perfect Instagram instead of the perfect meal.

Currently 69 percent of people between the ages of 18-34 take pictures of their meals before they begin to eat. By 2016, there were up to 168,375,343 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #food. Currently, there are up to 358 million posts under this same hashtag.

In today’s digital age, it’s evident that people’s eyes are almost more impressed with visually appealing meals than their stomachs are. 

Given that I am a dedicated food-lover, I know I’m not going to stop taking pictures of my favorite sushi roll or an appealing acai bowl.

Nonetheless, I try to be mindful of focusing on living in the moment after I take my desired photo.

Ultimately, I know I wouldn’t want to miss out on a hilarious conversation with my friends at the dinner table just so I can make sure I have the perfect VSCO filter on my picture.