Is It Time That We #GetReal About Social Media?

In a world where your Instagram presence seems to be life, how far would you go for a like - and is it healthy? We've sparked the debate with our #GetRealIssue and social media campaign...

We’re encouraging women to ‘Get Real’ this week, posting zero-BS images to social media that cheerfully poke fun at ourselves. As much as we love social media, we feel that we have a responsibility to younger generations to tell it like it is every once in a while. Filter-free.

When it comes to social media, honestly, we’re still its biggest fan. Who doesn’t love a flattering selfie or an envy-inducing brunch shot? In fact, the average person now spends 21 minutes a day on Insta, while the photo-sharing app recently hit 700m global users – proof that we’re utterly, totally addicted.

rosie

But while updates, snaps and tagging seem harmless, even celebs like Rosie H-W and Kim K have realised it’s time to get real.

See: Rosie H-W Shows Why We Need To Get Real About Social Media

That’s why, as part of our #GetRealIssue, we’re highlighting the hazards and traits that the likes (literally) of Instagram have fuelled…

Social Surgery

Being ‘addicted’ to likes feels shamefully uncool, but last year psychological findings compared the feeling to eating chocolate or winning money (and let’s face it, we’re big fans of doing those things too).

But while most people work on angles (your best side is your left, apparently), flawless contouring and ‘the perfect lighting’, there’s a darker – and frankly terrifying – new realm to achieving a winning selfie. Say hello to ‘social surgery’, where cosmetic procedures have one sole purpose: looking good on the ’gram.

In a recent survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery*, 42 per cent of surgeons said looking better in selfies was a reported incentive for their patients’ surgery.

We don’t know about you, but we’ll be sticking to filters and funny memes for now…

Employ An Insta Husband

Let’s hear it for the unsung heroes of the blogging world.

So much so that there’s an Instagram account dedicated to supporting them (@ig.husband, if you were wondering). In fact, they were behind the Instagram husband  video that went viral in 2016.

Even celebs are getting in on the action. Former US President Barack Obama has been given the title since standing down, and last month Ryan Reynolds secured his own status as Blake Lively’s official Insta husband after snapping a series of photos of Blake posing on the beach. Seriously cute behaviour, guys.

Blake Lively

But while you might already have or be tempted to employ your very own other half to snap away, you need to remember two things; firstly, their camera skills may never live up to your exacting standards – just look at Ryan’s blurry shots of Blake. Secondly, it can seriously affect your relationship. In a recent US study, it was found that 25 per cent of all arguments the subjects reported were something related to social media.

Would You Buy Your Social Media Followers?

Ever been suspicious of those random accounts that start liking every picture? No, it’s not an ex who’s madly in love with you – instead, it’s much more likely to be an automated ‘like’ from a fake account. That’s because buying followers and using ‘robots’, or ‘bots’ as they’re more commonly known, are now commonplace tactics that are as likely to be adopted by individuals as they are major corporations.

‘A brand could purchase Twitter followers, Facebook likes, Instagram followers, even YouTube views, retweets, tweet likes, Facebook shares, anything,’ says social media specialist Jodie Cook (Jodiecook.com). ‘There are hundreds of cheap sites that offer these services and some companies even make guarantees that their bots are based in a certain country or are real accounts.’

Em Sheldon

Blogger Em Sheldon spoke up about ‘bots’ recently….

It’s something blogger Em Sheldon (@emshelx) spoke up about recently. ‘If someone’s liking really weird photos, and usually it’ll be at 4am, that’s something to be suspicious about. These accounts will also often like all your photos but not follow you. It’s following people and then unfollowing if they don’t follow back and it’s tricking people into thinking they’re liking their image, so that person then likes their images back. It’s cheating engagement.’

Several social platforms have measures in place to remove pages or posts they suspect, but is it so bad?

‘I want hard-working, genuine, passionate people to get opportunities, not people who’ve cheated their way to the top,’ Em tells Look. ‘Of course people are entitled to be upset about people getting awesome opportunities and a lot of money when they’ve grown their following in a shady way.’

Pick up a copy of our special Get Real issue – on stands ’til Monday 8th – to read the full feature.

#GetReal With Us On Social Media

This week we’ve kicked off a social media campaign to shout about what really goes on behind the ‘gram.

So to champion being real, true to ourselves and, above all, happier on ALL platforms (and IRL!) we’ve teamed with a host of familiar faces and Look influencers to start a movement.

🙌🏻 @stylelobster is the latest to jump on our #GetRealIssue campaign: "SIXTEEN. What’s your number? I’m fresh off the plane from beautiful Cyprus which you’d think would be a beautiful backdrop in itself but I instead hunted the perfect white wall to shoot this bikini rose gold glasses combo against so my feed didn’t look too busy! See how sharp the sunnies look? I sharpened them before whacking on a little filter. I chose this pic over the others because the wind stopped for a moment and my hair looked perfectly tousled. Stupid and pedantic or perfectionist? Social media is amazing and inspires me everyday but I just wanted to GET REAL for a moment with you guys…@lookmagazine #GETREALISSUE" 👏🏻 • Share your own #GetReal story behind your snap so that we can shout about it too! 💕

A post shared by L O O K M A G A Z I N E (@lookmagazine) on

Want to get involved? Simply post a snap – it can be a selfie, an #OOTD, your morning coffee, whatever you fancy – and share the story behind the picture. How many attempts did it take to get the ‘perfect’ shot? Did you use a filter?

Don’t forget to tag us @lookmagazine and use the hashtag #GetRealIssue so we can see your posts.

We love social media, but let’s not take our likes too seriously…