#welltravelled, #travelgoals, #labellavita, #goodlife – The latter, with nearly 17 million hits, is one of the most popular hashtags that day after day is diligently landing below the contributions of just under one billion Instagrammers. Instagram is an integral part of the social media universe. Why? If you look at the numbers on the platform, Instagram has rightfully maneuvered itself at the top of the social networks. And yet the public display of one’s own life usually comes up against criticism. Because what’s really up to all the supposedly perfect posts about the so-called good life? And what does it say about our society when the #instagramworthiness of an event is suddenly more important than the event itself?
A society of self-staging
One billion users. About half of them are active daily – posting, liking and commenting.. Half a billion people who look at what others have to report every single day. Chronologically prepared, the feed shows everything that life has to offer: dream holidays, beautiful people, views of the sea or across major European cities, the aperitif in the evening sun, just before the first course is served. Almost always there: The smartphone, which documents everything in great detail and then, with a good filter and the hashtag #goodlife provided, presents the result to the public. The good life that we all really like to have. And so it happens that proud mothers postpone their crawling children with #goodlife, that a short vacation to Italy with a good portion of pizza, pasta e amore is as #goodlife as a spontaneous road trip for two to the neighboring state or the Iced Matcha Latte in one of the thousands of hip cafes in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The “snapshot” of a smiling mid-twenties with a delicate figure and practiced pose on some deserted beach in the middle of nowhere: #goodlife.
Instagram as a place for big scenes
What we are experiencing is an inflation of the one, very special moment. And yes, with all the #positivity and #qualitytime we almost could be jealous. But only almost. Because despite the pretty snapshots to look at, we then tend more than once a day to the question: how in heaven’s name can all of that be real? And if we start now to label our pictures as an expression of the good life, what have we done before? Did we only show the less glorious, less good-life moments without an aperitif in the evening sun? Not likely. After all, Instagram is actually about sharing those areas of life that we really want to share with others. And if we be honest, therefore, a few days are better than others. And at the end of the day, we do not want to bore our allegiance; especially if everyone else is already experiencing much more interesting things anyway. It’s certainly easy to make fun of the fact that today almost every situation that is completely normal for us is provided with the #goodlife. On the other hand, the hashtag also shows us a trend to which our society is about to move. For what at first glance looks like showing off, perhaps represents the future of our values.
❞ What we are experiencing is an inflation of the one, very special moment. ❝
If the photo is more important than the feeling
#goodlife has become the new venue for great scenery. Headlines such as “These Seven Wonders of the World Are Most Popular with Instagrammers” or “Instagram Beach Ranking: What Beaches Are Most Popular” are just another proof that our society is increasingly determined by a collective pursuit; namely the pursuit of an optimized version of one’s own life. Only recently, a study of the travel portal Opodo revealed that a third (!) of all Germans checks whether the place is instagrammable enough before choosing a holiday destination. What was the Kodak moment in the nineties seems to be #goodlife today. It’s no wonder then, that the thought arises that all the travel-loving millenials and digital natives may not really care about experiencing a place at all; and that the possibility of recording a good picture on Instagram is actually enough to rate the holiday as a successful investment, So maybe we should all give up looking for the next #instagramworthy location for a at least a couple of hours and immerse ourselves completely in an unknown place instead; feeling the atmosphere of a place and manifesting the feeling that comes with it in our memory. Incidentally, this works just as well in everyday life. And the glass of wine on the roof terrace usually tastes even better, if it is not previously pictured from all perspectives. Maybe that’s not the perfect goodlife moment, but it’s a rare moment that you can internalize for yourself completely. And after all, that’s the magic that makes such moments.
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