A photo dump a day keeps the jealousy away

How Instagram users are steering further away from trying



The new casual nature of Instagram relieves stress around being perfect.

By Maggie Kirwin

Instagram has been known since 2010 as the infamous app to share photos, stories, and videos of everyday life. What used to be a space to share overly edited photos of yourself has now turned into a relaxed app to post whatever your heart desires. After 12 years, Instagram has finally gone casual. 

Instagram’s users have collectively decided to post “photo dumps.” Photo dumps are a collage of pictures strung together with a funky caption. These collages consist of a collection of random photos that are anywhere from an artsy cup of coffee to a pile of snow on the side of the road. Users have started to transition from posed photos to these photos dumps to post their real lives as opposed to saturated poses. 

This new era of Instagram may have the disappearing like count to blame. Instagram decided to give users the option to hide how many likes their post has received. As more people decide to make use of this feature, the competitiveness of the app is diminishing.

With like counts gone, Instagram has gained the ability to be a more welcoming app. Users no longer need to feel validated by the likes they receive, or feel judged if they do not receive as many likes as their friends.

Especially for high school students and impressionable young people, these photo dumps help contribute to positive self esteem. Even celebrities like “Emily in Paris” star Lily Collins or influencer Hannah Meloche sharing more relaxed photos, there’s less of a need for young people to compare themselves to others. Teenagers no longer have to stare at one another’s photos and think “why don’t I look like that?”

While many have hopped on the photo dump train, some have still decided to post edited, perfect photos. While this is not a bad thing, it does lead to a romanticized perception of other people’s lives. The photo dump trend is a fun way for people to post whenever they want with no strings attached.

The competitive nature of Instagram will not diminish overnight, but making it socially acceptable to post imperfect photos allows the app to be a more accepting platform.