Are We Fooled By Instagram Relationships? #RelationshipGoals

It’s the love month and you may notice that LOVE is on full display on Instagram. Everybody is making love, so in love, and showing love. Or are they? As we all know, there’s more to an image than meets the eye. There’s a lot that goes into taking the perfect shot, particularly these days. The perfect picture is worth a thousand words. therefore, you better caption it appropriately if you want to accurately convey what you think this image should represent to the viewer. The objective onlooker who you have allowed to get glimpses, snapshots into your life. Is this love? Is this real love? #Relationshipgoals? You are the epitome of love. You are the ideal love role model for those who seek love and this is what they should look for. Is this what love looks like? Long strolls on the beach, a perfect brunch day, selfies with scenic views behind you. Anywhere with your love is pure perfection. What happens when the camera is off? Would the little fly on the wall during your tropical vacation think you and your love are indeed relationship goals? That what everyone sees, pure love bliss, is pretty much what your relationship¬†looks like day in and day out?


Love Isn’t A Snapshot

I love taking photos just as much as everyone else. It’s nice to capture life’s moments. With Instagram, we have been able to create a ‘life album’ that not only stores our memories but also allows others to share this moment in time with us. When Instagram started, this is what it was all about. As you can see, obviously this has changed greatly. As you know, to create the beautiful images that you often see on social sharing sites like Instagram, a lot of thought goes into capturing the right image. Placement, lighting, angles, clothing, table setting, the list goes on and on. Reality has to be better than what it really is where Instagram is concerned. On Instagram, we show ourselves at our best even if it’s chaotic behind the scenes. A perfect pictorial day with your better half is argument filled and you contemplated why you were still together many times throughout that day. But that doesn’t matter, let’s take a picture captioned “best day ever”. Then continue our lives as two people pretending on and off camera. It’s silly for people to desire someone else’s life based on an image but as you know #relationshipgoals has swept the social media world and many people are at home wondering why they can’t have a love as pretty and whimsical as so-and-so. They spend their time creating a visual world that doesn’t exist. In hopes that maybe, this visual world will become their reality, #relationshipgoals.


What’s Your Love Goal

Your goals in love shouldn’t live within the realm of Instagram. Your goal for love shouldn’t be motivated by likes. The ability to connect with other human beings is a beautiful thing. Sure, it’s great to share special moments. But let’s not get lost in an image but rather get lost in the moments of happiness and love. The best day ever may be a day that only the two people who were there will remember. The best day ever doesn’t have to be perfectly lit or perfectly clothed. The best day ever will be chaotic and perfectly imperfect with spilled coffee and lunch that looked so good but surprise, it tasted like shit. This is a reality. The reality is that most of us who share images on Instagram take 20 pictures on average just to get one ‘perfect’ shot. It’s the mess we don’t see, this is what everyone is living. This is what real love will look like, an imperfect, blissful, challenging, strengthening, kind, unkind rollercoaster that will never look the same for any given person. Since we are all on a different journey in life, it’s important to understand, that although we can admire others, we shouldn’t desire to be them. Nor do we know what their life really looks like. Nor do we know if we were them for a day if this is the kind of union we would find acceptable for ourselves.

A few years back, a friend of mine returned from what looked like the most romantic vacation between two people in love. Like everyone, I remember thinking wow look at them, #relationshipgoals. When I saw her a few weeks later and asked her about her blissful vacation she told me “it was the worst time ever” and they fought the whole time. In fact, it wasn’t a blissful relationship at all, the perfect image fooled me, fooled her, fooled everyone. Not so long after their relationship ended as well. This is just an example and I am sure you can think of many other ones. Maybe you know the couple who always fights off camera but are all smiles and in love when the camera is on, #soulmate. I think there’s a problem here, that in time I am sure a sociologist somewhere will write a book about. Perhaps it’s the sociologist in me, I majored in sociology. What does a sociologist do? They study human behaviour. They study why people do what they do and the meanings associated with it. What is the long-term implication of ‘social media love’? It’s a problem we cannot see at the moment but we are beginning to recognize that our plugged-in lifestyle has made us less social and stifled our ability to connect on a personal level.

Unfortunately, it may take a while before anyone clues into this false sense of love that they are unknowingly buying into. Just so you know, I know there is a lot of love out there and I know some of the people posting are truly happy and in love. Just keep in mind, their life isn’t that perfect because no one’s life is, even celebrities. Their love lives are just as much as a mess and at times as fake as the perfectly choreographed image because guess what? We are all beings living the human experience and we are all just trying to improve ourselves. Your goals should be your own. It’s okay to draw inspiration from others. Yes, when I see a great travel image, even with a couple in it, I think “I would love to visit that place” and add it to my travel list. When I go there, I don’t plan on taking the exact photo nor do I think I will have the same experience. Maybe mine will be better? Maybe it will be worse…or in-between? I definitely won’t spend my time trying to capture an image and trying to manufacture a relationship so it’s picture perfect. There’s no straight line in love and love painted on a canvass is pure madness. Each painter, whoever holds that brush will create a unique masterpiece. I encourage to create your own masterpiece, in love and in life.


LOVE is a Feeling.

What does love look like? Well, you will have to decide this for yourself. Just know, as pretty as a picture may look and I will be honest I love images that capture love, love is a beautiful thing. Remember, that love is a feeling. Don’t let what you see fool you. Make sure that your heart feels just a connected as your mind. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. In fact, you don’t even have to share your relationship online because it’s the ‘thing to do’. If your love is only for the two of you and those who know you in real-time off camera, then this is more than enough. There’s so much effort that goes into a social media life. Put all the extra effort that you put into creating #relationshipgoals images in building a strong connection with the one you love. The best book written about your life will be written by you. Create a life that’s better than a picture. A life that not even a camera can capture the true essence of that pure feeling of love. That feeling you have when it’s pouring outside and you forgot your umbrella but wore white that day and the cupcakes you bought tipped over in the box. Just for you to come home to a someone happily waiting for you. Someone who spent the day cooking you a nice meal to go with those cupcakes. Maybe the kitchen is a mess and you look like a wet mop but with all of this, it’s still the best day. Maybe not picture worthy but life worthy and that’s what real #relationshipgoals should look like.


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Author Description

Hanifa Sekandi

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

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