Getting away from tiles and filters | Inquirer Opinion

Getting away from tiles and filters

I didn’t think twice when I cut dairy from my diet. But when the idea of taking down my Instagram presented itself to me, I had to contemplate hard.

Like most twentysomethings out there, I admit that I have a grave obsession with social media. But I am not the type of nut case who would post endless selfies or pull attention-seeking stunts just to harvest a handful of positive reax.


I, however, belong to the other category, which is not as

notorious but is just as pitiful.


I was a subtle Instagram user, fascinated with lives fashioned in perfect grids. I lurked in the deep pits of this massively worshipped invention, silently peering through people’s curated worlds. I was too obsessed that I wanted to achieve virtual perfection as well, and to publish moments before they’re lost for good. They said one should maximize social media, so I obediently conformed.

But I started to get alarmed when silly things began to matter to me. How I became so fixated on the look of my feed. How I wanted to capture everything so I could collectively inform the public. How I couldn’t completely enjoy a trip because I was busy planning the most flattering shot. How I worked hard to earn a double tap — that glorious double tap everyone pines for.

Then it hit me. I was part of this 21st-century travesty — how we orchestrate moments to make them appear picture-perfect, like a socially accepted and universally practiced form of deception.

I have always told myself not to succumb to pressures or be swayed by popular opinion or conform to cockeyed cultures, but I did. It bothered me a lot. So I told myself that I should try stepping out of IG and see if I could get rid of this millennial sickness. But I was so afraid of letting go of my personal account, as if deleting all my photos were tantamount to obliterating these moments from my memory for good. But as in the way I convinced myself to stop drinking cow’s milk, regularly telling myself it was unhealthy and I was in dire need of some detoxification did the trick.

The good news is it’s more than a year since I left Instagram’s threshold, and my life has never been this fulfilling. I’ve finally learned to go to a place or hang out with people without the need to provide the world with evidence. To just enjoy moments as they unfold without worrying if they would fit the frame or look good with filter. To let things happen and not be dismayed that the scene wasn’t captured on phone. I realized that one doesn’t owe the world tiles of explanations and certifications bathed in colors.

And, yes, I do get offended when people look at me in disbelief or sometimes in horror when they learn I don’t own an Instagram account. In this day and age, to not have an IG is to waste this technological advancement, or so people say. But if I am only using such an invention for personal advancement and excessive vanity, I believe I am making a smarter decision here.

Just because we are provided with a platform that allows us to put everything up for display doesn’t mean we are all mandated to publicize everything. This technological upturn does not require everyone to surrender their privacy. If there’s any insight I can share with my fellow millennials, it’s that we should learn to adapt things that serve us well and learn to let go of things that injure our health.


Don’t let technology mess us up.

* * *

Aina Michaella Licodine, 22, “works in advertising and spews stories and ideas on”

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TAGS: Aina Michaella Licodine, Instagram, social media, youngblood
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