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Opinion | Pop Culture

How We Instagrammed Away Our Feelings

Today’s hipster irony and OMG sentimentality distracts from real-life sincerity.
How We Instagrammed Away Our Feelings
Image: Shutterstock

Irony walks the streets of Chicago’s most hipster neighborhood, Logan Square, where I live. Think Portlandia: Women wear ‘90s-style thrifted T-shirts, floral dresses, oversized sweaters, and Peter Pan collars; men’s curly mustaches and tapered pompadours stretch to new heights of hyperbole. They crowd local restaurants, sipping Pabst Blue Ribbon from a can and capturing it all on social media.

This neighborhood I love has, over the last few years, started to look more and more like a living version of the Hipster Barbie Instagram account. When you constantly watch the couples in coffee shops and restaurants practically having photoshoots for every single outing (perfecting the “candid” shot), all that #authenticlife starts to look little #disingenuous.

As with our lifestyles broadcast on social media, there’s mounting pressure for all of us—even kids and teens—to show how cool we are online. Many of today’s teens have had smartphones ...

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