NSO is a freakin’ marathon, and there was probably a moment when you and your liver realized that it was unnecessary to get down and darty for the third day in a row. But here’s the dilemma: all your friends are going. Will your fellow drunk Quakers think you’re lame if you don’t post an insta from the Chancellor day party? No—but you probably feel that way. So, to avoid some serious FOMO and maintain your social (media) relevance, you and your iPhone rally one more time.

A lot of what we do centers around social media––it allows us to create an edited version of our lives. We all do it, we all know that we all do it and yet we continue to perpetuate a filtered profile of ourselves. Sometimes, we go a little too far:

At Sabrina’s, we order the tastes–like–heaven–and–maybe–a–little–heart–disease stuffed french toast because we absolutely want it...but also because the photo’s 100+ Instagram likes will make the subsequent hour–long elliptical workout in Pottruck worth it.

At concerts, we look for the tall, sweaty bro sporting a (cool) frat tank to lift us up for the perfect shoulder shot. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get a decent picture of the stage, but if not, we can always steal someone else’s from the concert––throw on a new filter and call it our own.

And at darties and downtowns, we pass our phones to anyone with a free hand to get a shot of us waving a handle of warm Bankers around on an elevated surface because everyone knows a good candid will get more likes than a posed smile. Besides, we want to look fun, and Amaro really accentuates Rumor’s blue lights.

A lot of work goes into making a “cool” social media presence. We know everything that we and our friends do to get the perfect insta; we know that we have stood on tables to get the perfect food shot and that sometimes five brains worked together to craft our caption. We like to joke all the time that we #doitfortheinsta, but let’s be honest, most of the time it’s for real.

Unfortunately, Instagram accounts don’t always translate into reality. Social media stalking is ubiquitous; we do it even before we meet people. We judge someone else’s likes, followers and how often they post. Our first impressions form around profiles, not people. As a result, your Insta-crush may be underwhelming in person without the help of their photo–apps or witty caption–writing team. That being said, don’t swipe left on Tinder if someone uses too many hashtags. Maybe your future West Philly boo just needs a few lessons in social media etiquette from you.

Keep in mind that your edited life won’t always get you likes in person. Hold off on that first impression until you meet somebody with #nofilter.


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