Perspective: real-life vs. Instagram

Everyone has seen those posts on social media comparing "real-life" and online. These posts usually take one of two angles. The first and probably most prevalent is fitness photos, where a trainer or fitness enthusiast will post a picture showing the difference between a posed fitness photo and a relaxed body. Then there are the posts critiquing the harmfulness of photoshopped photos of models or parodying the impracticality of these photos for laughs à la Celeste Barber.

But rarely do travel bloggers or Instagramers make these some sort of posts. Perhaps, this is because travel bloggers rely more heavily on fantasy and photos that create #wanderlust.

Though I'm not a travel blogger, I thought I'd add to the conversation of real-life vs. online with this photo I posted on my story earlier this month. This isn't a particularly good photo, but after posting it to my story with no context (I had shitty service so I couldn't get any location tags to load), I got a flood of DMs wondering where I was vacationing. So allow me to share the story behind this photo and what isn't pictured.

I had just woken up from a nap when my friends came to pick me up. I was groggy with dried saliva on the side of my mouth and my hair gathered in a matted mess atop my head. I was also in sweats that I may or may not have worn the previous day. My friends were interested in buying a used boat and wanted me to tag along for a second opinion. We drove 20 minutes to the lake and test drove the boat. It was cold and windy, and while I enjoyed the company of my friends, there wasn't anything glamorous or overly exciting about this outing. But I thought the water looked pretty despite the temperature, so I snapped a quick pic.

I was actually surprised by the number of people asking about the picture, and I realized just how easy it was to be fooled by fun vacation and travel photos. So this just a reminder when scrolling through the 'Gram to take all the pretty posts with a grain of salt.

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