Chaya Block


I am a social media lover. As a “Newbie” to Instagram I became fixated with checking out pictures daily from models, foodies, photographers and daily doses of inspiration. Last night my friend whatsapped me a video called “Instagram Husbands,” telling me that it is a must watch. So watch it I did. And I recommend you watch it too.

In two minutes the video sums up the social media reality of today. It got me thinking, what are we living for?

“Instagram Husbands” shows how pictures are not an accurate perception of reality. But honestly, I didn’t have to watch “Instagram Husbands” to tell you that. My 23 years of life experience has taught me so. We all know pictures are false – yet we remain obsessed with snapping, sharing, and uploading that perfect picture.

I am all about capturing the perfect moment and love taking pictures, so when a moment is over, it is never gone. It can be re-lived, whilst perusing online photo albums and photo books.

Yet do all memories need pictures to prove they took place? Is that perfect picture really for us, or is it for everybody else? Is it ever good enough to relish a moment, and store it in one’s brain, without whipping out that phone for that eventual trip down memory lane?

Joining the world of Instagram changed my life. I am busy liking, commenting and posting pictures, (obviously first ascertaining, that it is socially appropriate to post another picture, since I already posted one four hours and 45 seconds ago.) Who ever knew social media could have so many unspoken rules. From how often to post, to what should be posted, and how to hashtag appropriately, I reckon we could all use a social media crash course. Or social media school.

You see, I was always a Facebook kind of girl. But my introduction to the world of Instagram completely revolutionized my perception of Facebook. After a girls night out, albums could easily be posted on Facebook. But Instagram is all about finding the right photo, with the right people, at the right time, with the right lighting and the right filters. You only have one chance, so you better get it right.

That perfect picture is important. It makes me feel super cute, and every additional like makes me feel more loved. But at what expense? Are we missing out on hundreds of tiny moments because we are too busy trying to capture them? Is a picture really worth ruining a special moment for? Is it worth frustrating a loved one? Is it worth excluding a friend who is always the designated photographer? I was at a concert recently with a group of friends and encountered a sad reality. Everyone was too busy trying to capture the perfect picture and video. I wondered whether anyone was truly enjoying the music and performance.

My question is should it be all about the photo, or is the photo meaningless? Being the type of person who believes in balance and moderation, I know in my heart I stand somewhere in between.Yet moderation is all-relative and I find myself struggling to define moderate. In the world of social media and fast paced technology, anything and everything goes. There is no right or wrong. There is no too often and not often enough. When to post or not too post, is our right, which is what everyone loves about social media. We are our own bosses, and it is empowering.

I am not against taking a photo, and I am certainly not against Insta-ing. Yet I am not so sure the great lengths we take for the perfect picture is always justifiable. I think our picture obsession merely distracts us from our reality, and can even hinder a magical moment. Sometimes there is nothing more perfect than forgetting all about the photo and being completely present.

As I peruse my Instagram account, which is flooded with wonderful memories, it brings a smile to my face. Scrolling through one’s life in photos is quite the adventure. And because of the joy it brings me, I do not want to stop posting.

Yet how about we all stop and think for a minute before snapping our next photo. Are we going to miss a moment because we are too busy trying to capture it? Is it going to frustrate our loved ones or make a friend feel excluded?

And if the answer is yes, is the picture really worth the price?

About the Author
Chaya is 30-years-old and originally from Melbourne, Australia. She is currently living in New York City with her husband who is completing his Cardiology Fellowship at Cornell and their 2 beautiful boys. She holds a Bachelor's in Behavioral Science and a Masters in Special Education. For over 7 years, she has been working for the Aleph Institute, a non-profit that provides all encompassing support to those in their loneliest environments, namely those incarcerated and their shattered families left behind. She is particularly passionate about criminal justice reform and helping to break the vicious cycle of addiction, incarceration, and mental illness among youth.
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