A Cookie Cutter Feed


Paige Smith, Editor

Only a month or so in, 2021 has already been a year of change. With a new president already sworn in, the country prepares for dramatic changes. One including a turn across social media platforms. While Facebook has lost the youth’s attention, Instagram has risen to the occasion. With Reels and IGTV being introduced, the classic photo and caption posts have taken a backseat. As well as the bright pastel, photoshopped, and edited pictures getting less attention compared to the messier, less photoshopped, candid content that has nabbed the spotlight. 

“Culture is a pendulum, and the pendulum is swaying. That’s not to say everyone is going to stop posting perfect photos. But the energy is shifting,” says cultural strategist Matt Klein. Too true is his statement. The bright colored pictures are gradually being replaced with vintage filters and retro styles. 

Influencers and Instagrammers alike have even started switching up the aesthetics they present to their audience. Exploring fashion and makeup choices in cottagecore, indie, vintage, and minimalist styles. Senior Emma Stensrud believes that since people have had much more time to themselves, they’ve started to branch out and experiment with their comfort zones. And once they find a vibe or style that fits their personality, they share it and show how much they enjoy it. 

Small business owners have taken social media by storm. In an effort to connect with their customers, businesses advertise across social media platforms, and by following trends and fads of the times they stay relevant to the younger generations. “I feel like small business owners are more in touch with our generation and know what we like. I think they’re able to use social media really easily to appeal to certain groups,” mused senior Miguel Farronay. 

In a moment of wisdom beyond her years, an anonymous 15-year-old  remarked that “It’s not cool anymore to be manufactured.” Piggybacking off this comment, junior Carly Cooper explains in further detail the disregard for a cookie-cutter feed. “I think we have decided that other people like us better for those real moments on social media instead of envying us for our perfect pictures. We want to show our real personality to others,” remarked Cooper.

So while youth are exploring the outlet of total freedom of expression, many have started to wonder about the advantages and disadvantages of social media. While no one can deny the risk factor of a virtual presence, it’s not all bad. Stensrud commented, “Recently I think a lot of people have felt more connected because of the advancement social media has made over the last couple of years. If we were stuck in a pandemic without our modern media, it would’ve been very hard to keep up with each other and school.” 

If a cookie-cutter lifestyle didn’t work for millennials, a cookie-cutter social media feed won’t work either. So as the new year commences a new time for social media begins as well. Throwing out the manufactured glossy pictures in favor of a cheesy, messy moment. People are connecting on a more personal level in a world of social distancing. Maybe this change on social media platforms is for the best as we learn to connect on a more human level.