And how has your summer been so far?
Have you been frolicking in the Hamptons with an Academy Award-winning actress? No?
Then you have clearly not been having as good a time as Amy Schumer, who, as reported by Vanity Fair in an article titled “See Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer Together on the Summer Vacation of Our Dreams,” documented on her Instagram account a trip she recently took with Ms. Lawrence, posting a blurry shot of herself and Ms. Lawrence on a Jet Ski. (There was also one of the two forming the top and bottom of a human pyramid on the deck of what appeared to be a rather sizable vessel.)
The extent to which the subjects of summer’s most enviable photos are actually enjoying themselves is difficult to gauge. But on platforms like Instagram, the point is rarely to depict reality. Filters soften harsh lighting and captions hint (often vaguely) at fun that can’t be captured in words.
“People try to create their most desirable selves online,” said Max Wedding, 24, who has been stuck working one full-time and two part-time jobs in Portland, Ore., this summer and has watched longingly as his friends and family made time for long and short trips away. “They want to create a self that looks like it’s having as much fun as possible. The mundane middle ground is lost.”
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General in February measured the emotional effects of Facebook use, finding that passively using the platform (scrolling through your feed and looking at people’s posts the way you would on Instagram) enhances envy, which in turn makes people feel worse over all.
Ethan Kross, 35, a researcher on the study and an associate professor and director at the Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory at the University of Michigan, said: “There’s a tendency to curate the way we appear online. Constantly seeing all these positive developments in people’s lives is not necessarily good for one’s emotional well-being.”
Read the full article "On Instagram, the Summer You're Not Having" at The New York Times.