Do you all remember finsta? The separate Instagram accounts you would make where you would post the “real you” and only let a few people follow? Even though it was STILL a curated version of the “real you” because you are still sitting there choosing what to post online for an audience? That finsta?
Even though it was still a little fake, people rallied around finsta because it felt intimate. You were getting a peak behind the curtain, getting to know your friends on a deeper level while still meeting in a virtual space.
And that’s exactly why Spotify Wrapped is so exciting — there’s no hiding.
Spotify Wrapped originally debuted as “Year in Music” in 2015, offering listeners a playlist based on their listening data over the last year. For perspective, here is what Instagram looked like in 2015 (pictured right)
2015 was also the first year that Instagram debuted instant messaging (Instagram Direct,) the ability to have your pictures in portrait OR landscape mode, and of course, the Boomerang feature. There still weren’t Instagram stories yet, that was 2016.
These features were major steps in Instagram making a name for themselves in the social-media-verse, eventually making their way to the most popular app in 2022. And while Instagram can absolutely be used in positive ways, making spaces for true art and connection, it is hard to look away from the harm that immersing yourself in the platform can cause as edited content takes up a large space.
Editing photos, even editing selfies, isn’t always a bad thing. You can do what you want with your posts, and it can be fun to try different filters and settings both inside the app and not. However, it is hard to ignore that editing selfies and other posts can skew harmful, and cause a dissociation between what is achievable and what is not. Influencers in a 2019 report admitted that their job is affecting their mental health, and those consuming their content continue to struggle with theirs.
Not to mention that people actively posting on Instagram have a tendency to skew to the “highlight reel” mentality. The platform has an incredible power to be a digital scrapbook of memories to look back on — but this means that days spent laying in bed are often omitted from the feed in favor of a vacation post. This assists in altering our perception of attainability as we watch what looks like an endless parade of fancy dinners and trips from our own bedrooms.
On Spotify Wrapped day, Instagram has an entirely different energy. It takes effort to find an Instagram story NOT sharing at least one piece of their Wrapped, if not the whole thing. This is the most genuine content that we come across anymore, and all at once. Your friends post a Wrapped with a song you showed them, or an artist from a concert you saw together. Someone you don’t know that well posts one of your favorite bands and it brings you together. A podcast you love posts their top podcasts, and you find more to learn and grow with. Your partner posts a Wrapped with your song in the top 5. Your whole feed is celebrating their authentic selves, and you are baring your soul with them.
And I mean, of course it’s authentic:
But hey… you can’t fib data.
And if you’re one of the people who leaves their Spotify on all night to try and fib that data — you’re probably blocked from my Instagram.
Hannah is an accidental internet meme, drummer, loud talker, and proud owner of a purse that functions as a working analog clock. She got the media writer gene from her dad, PF Wilson, another writer for Pop Culture Beast. Her favorite bands come and go on a seasonal rotation, but Marina & The Diamonds and Say Anything are here to say. She’s probably watching The Grand Budapest Hotel right now, but if she isn’t, she’s out photographing rock concerts.