The initial idea behind the well-known social media platform, Instagram, was to improve the photo sharing experience and to create conversations solely through photos. This unique concept at the time drove Instagram to instant popularity. Over the years, the platform has gone from a creative space to share photos with the people around you to a popularity contest where many people are posting anything they think will get them followers and brand deals. The platform has become a place that feels more like an ad than an interactive social media. Due to this, many Instagram users have started to push back against this perfect facade created by influencers and bring the platform back to its roots, creating something now known as “casual Instagram”.
Casual social media has become all the rage in the last year or so. It’s a movement against the aesthetic facade that is taking over the internet. The idea behind it is for people to show their lives more authentically and share parts of their lives that might not be considered aesthetically pleasing. Posting their lives in a more candid light has eased some of the pressures that were once all too familiar for Instagram users. Posting styles that have become popularized during this movement are photo dumps (Instagram carousel posts filled with relatable content), blurry pictures, and unfiltered/unedited posts. Even celebrities such as Marc Jacobs and Bella Hadid have been participating in these trends!
It’s hard to unlearn habits which is why it can be a challenge to post truly casual posts on social media platforms such as Instagram. We are all programmed to post on social media like influencers in hopes of gaining followers or engagement online instead of just having fun with our posts. I love the idea of just casually posting on social media without thinking about how “well” your post will do.
When casual social media initially started, it was an authentic effort to make social media effortless and carefree again. I feel like overtime this “casualness” that I see people portraying has started to become inauthentic. Now that casual posting has become trendy, is it still authentic or are people doing it to try to gain traction? Despite the casual nature of the posts, many people are still trying to capture that “picture perfect” moment. Are people posting casually because they want to or because their friends are?
All in all, are we really keeping it casual?