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Social Media Envy Series with Berry Dakara: Edits, Filters & Specially Curated Instagram Feeds



SAMSUNG CSCIn my first post in this series, I introduced the topic of Social Media Envy. {Click here if you missed it} The next article dealt with How to Avoid Social Media Envy. In today’s final post, I will highlight how people curate and edit their Social Media posts. Essentially, what you see on Instagram or Snapchat is NOT always real life.

Photoshop! VSCO Cam! Youcam Makeup! FaceTune! Snapchat! Even your phone camera! These are just a few tools that are used to alter photos and videos to make them more visually appealing. In a single word, FILTERS! If you search “Perfect Instagram Pictures” on Google, there are over 59 million results. These are articles, tutorials, videos and more that give you tips on editing your photos so they are ready for Instagram. From selfies to flat-lays, travel to food, beauty to events, career and shopping, the quest to project a life of seeming perfection, and perpetual fun is quite apparent and increasing as more and more people flock to social media.

It may be partly due to the Keeping-Up-With-The-Whoevers syndrome, where people try to show that they are just as beautiful/handsome, rich, well-traveled, successful or knowledgeable as the next person. Or it’s done in a bid to attract more followers which can be understandable in certain industries. Whatever it is, it’s important to note that a lot of social media posts are usually heavily edited!

Take for example, the very popular Patricia Bright. She boasts almost 1 million subscribers on her Youtube channel and has a near perfect Instagram feed. However, she is upfront and honest about how she edits her photos before posting to Instagram.

See video below:

Before I saw that VLog, I had no idea that people could actually whiten their eyes for a photo. I already knew about slimming your face, but elongating your neck?! I decided to play around with an app I found out about last week, called Youcam Makeup. See my original photo and the edited version below.

It is not just looks that are being edited. People actively select photos and videos to portray certain lifestyles. Who remembers the young lady that was called out by a celebrity for posing outside his father’s house for her Instagram photo? Also check out these articles: What I Instagrammed vs. What was really happening and The Truth Behind Instagram Photos and you’ll get a better sense of how photos can be staged to look like the subject in question lives the perfect, well-balanced life.

In this day and age of Photoshop, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Therefore, there is no point in envying the lives of others, when half the time, what they put online is either edited or the best parts of their lives. People are quick to shout out #RelationshipGoals and then are surprised to hear that the couple in question are dealing with infidelity or even abuse. Well, it’s not like we expect anyone to publicize their relationship woes, unless that person is Lindsay Lohan.

This is not to say that there is no authenticity on Social Media – there is. However, keep in mind that you are viewing only snippets of someone else’s life. The takeaway here is to be cautious with your use of Social Media, and you can start by adopting some of the measures I mentioned in the previous post.

Berry Dakara is a Lifestyle blogger ( who shares her thoughts on anything and everything from marriage to friendships to faith, and other random topics. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook - @berrydakara. She's also a weekly contributor to the African Naturalistas, a natural hair website and consultancy dedicated to teaching healthy hair care practices.


  1. Dolly

    August 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    So I have this lovely Nigerian friend of mine, she is a queen on Instagram, the perfect I.G thot, model or whatever you call it. But how come every time she visits me i have to pay her cab fare and every time we go out I have to pick up the bills.

    Well lets just say we stopped being friends after i slid in her comment section one time with lots of palm trees.

    • ATL's finest

      August 5, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Lmao @ Dolly don’t we all know a lot of these folks like that on social media? Some I just have mercy & pity for them. If that this stage in life, some don’t know their stand in the society then they need to re-think. When I see some, I just don’t know if to cry or laugh for them. As in I just DON’T get it. Yes, whatever rocks their boat but I don’t know if they think folks out there can’t tell their fake life stinks most of the time. In short hnnmm let me just rest my case.

    • Berry Dakara

      August 5, 2016 at 7:20 am

      I don’t really get how some people have the energy to fake their lives on social media. As in, is it not stressful? Just the simple edit I made to the photo on that app took me a good 15 to 20 minutes! It just takes too much time and effort to keep it up.

    • Berry Dakara

      August 5, 2016 at 7:17 am


  2. Tai omo yoruba nimi

    August 4, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Talk about being a leech but wait oo ,what Is the meaning of the Palm trees? How is that supposed to annoy her ?

    • Nuna

      August 5, 2016 at 12:12 am

      I think she means shade. Lol

    • Dolly

      August 5, 2016 at 1:30 am

      Lol get with it Tai’
      thanks Luna….shaded the heck outta the fake life she projects online smh.

  3. Choices

    August 5, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Palm trees are the emojis for shade. So. She just means she threw shade at her in the comment section.

  4. True Sorrella

    August 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    All this boils down to being insecure and wanting the attention you struggle to get in real life so people create these false realities and feed off ‘likes’, ‘goals’ and other people’s jealousy. Even internet trolls are attention seekers and feed off people’s response to them. People have time sha!

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