Let’s be real. That photo you just popped up on your grid, you didn’t just take that, did you? I mean, did you literally take that photo of what you’re doing right this second? Of that outfit, of your current desk sitch, of how your food looks. Like, is that even what you’re eating right now?

Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us. We get it. Really, we do. Guilty as charged, we are.

The realness of Instagram; we get asked about this a lot (and the algo, obv). It’s something we often discuss, and at times struggle with ourselves. Social Media is our job, and it can be frustrating and disheartening when you watch something you love change over time into something you struggle to identify with.

Q: How do you feel knowing that a lot of the content that is pushed out across the platform is portrayed as being real life, but is actually a carefully crafted, edited, ‘best of 10’ version of what someone is doing, wearing, eating & being?

It’s a good question. Does this virtual smokescreen play a key role in mental health issues? By tackling this head on, could we be saving people from pressing that, all too easy, self-destruct button? Are we, as social media managers, aiding and abetting?

There are many influencers out there who do a splendid job at reminding their loyal and dedicated following that a lot of what they see isn’t ‘in the moment’, but instead very planned, very perfect versions of their lives/themselves. This is something we, at Digique, also do an occasional song and dance about. However, it doesn’t stop [m]any of us from posting the ideal.

We actively encourage clients to keep social media social and show the human behind the logo. We hope that by doing this we keep the bots away and the engagement genuine, ultimately converting a follower into a customer. However, this doesn’t make the square any less fake.

Can I just say one thing though? All y’all going on about how when you were young, and you never knew how important your eyebrows would be? Well, what about your Instagram theme? I mean HELLO, are we all totally bonkers or just all suffering from a curious case of GRID OCD…

Q: Ultimately, is posting the best version of your life, opposed to the real version right or is it wrong?

My opinion – you do you. If you want to filter away your day, or make the sea bluer than blue – then do as you will, whatever makes you happy, hun. But, what I say next is most important. In a sense, you’ll have heard this before…

Always remember the lies you tell. Seriously, don’t get lost in them lies, guys (1 point for rhyming). We’ve all done it, exaggerated a story a tiny bit more each time you tell it because, [yolo] you’re a storyteller and captivating someone with your words is euphoric. But, do that enough times and you eventually lose touch with the original version – the real version. Well ladies, gents, instapets and instahomes, this is much like the perfect little squares you create. Post too many without staying very, very aware of the truth behind the square (2 points for rhyming), and DOUBLE TAP you have gotten caught up in your own instaweb of lies. Stuck, strung up and waiting to be swallowed whole by that instacy spinstacy spider.

Scrolling through perfection tends to have two outcomes. Sheer determination and motivation to achieve the same ideal. Or, a deep feeling that you aren’t enough. It’s the easiest thing to get caught up in. That frightens me. I don’t want that for anyone. Because, really, we’re all alone [at times], just doing all that we can to be our best. And, no matter how that looks in a series of little squares, we are enough.

On a side note, the level of content that is pushed out across Instagram frequently has me gasping in awe. There is no denying it is a modern art form, and anyone who says creating content is easy… go sit over there with the people who don’t like puppies (don’t trust those guys). It requires a lot of skill, a dedication and practice. I absolutely consider being an ‘influencer’ a profession and I admire content creators, just as I do other skilled workers. So, if you are here, hoping for a dig at the influencer industry – wrong place.

You may be feeling like my last two paragraphs are a big old contradiction? Maybe they are. I was struggling with this too. I started thinking – how can we, as a team of social media managers, speak up about how dangerous the falseness can be but in the same breath preach about how fabulous a perfect grid is for growth? And then an idea, sort of boomeranged within my mind (more of a superzoom actually).

Truth or dare, we’ve all heard of it, we’ve probably all played it. We’re mixing that old chestnut up, and inviting ALL our best instapals, pets, homes – literally all 800+ million of you on Instagram (even the bots) to play this game with us.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Post 2 pictures (within the same post, here’s a how to do it).
  2. The first picture needs to be your planned picture, I’m sure it’s already hanging out in Planoly ready to be pushed live.
  3. The second picture needs to be of what you’re actually doing right that sec, what your desk looks like, the breakfast you’re eating today (not at the weekend)…
  4. When you post use the hashtag #truthorsquare and be sure to tag @wearedigique.

By joining this campaign, you’re making Instagram a safer place – a happier place. A place where we are free to portray ourselves however we wish whilst maintaining a healthy understanding of the truth behind the square. Head to the gram now and show your truth behind the square now, don’t forget to use the hashtag #truthorsquare and tag @wearedigique.

Images by Emily Cox, Creative Director at TONIK