Instagram Famous – Real You vs Fake You
We speak to Angelo, a cute guy from The Netherlands about his brush with InstaFame and his method to curb this fake reality. Angelo picked up thousands of followers at the beginning of Instagram, and took the bold step of pulling back from being Instagram famous in order to create a better quality of life.
The Internet is littered with gay social media influencers like, Davey Wavey and Eliad Cohen, who are also considered Instagram famous. Getting famous quickly on an app can be a great career path for some, but for others it can come at a very high price, especially if you begin to link your own self-worth to the numbers of likes you get from strangers.
In this interview we ask Angelo about, how much time he devotes to his online persona, and how much of his digital-self is an honest reflection of the real him.
Instafamous – Angelo Scheening
Hey Angelo, tell us about you?
“My name is Angelo Scheening, but online I have always called myself EvilPudding. Back in the old days I used to be the typical emo-kid and EvilPudding was my name for all the online platforms (MySpace, Hyves). I still kept the name, but the emo look is gone. Now I am 25 years old and living in the center of Utrecht, The Netherlands, with two friends and two kitties. One kitty is called Afro and the other Stofzak (it means dustbag). I’m gay, and I typically fall for sarcastic smart guys that can bully and handle me a bit.”
How much time do you spend online?
“More than I would like. I catch myself regularly just staring at my phone on the same page for a few minutes. I guess counting all the platforms and devices (including Netflix!) I spend on average 3 hours a day online.
Every day I visit at least:
– Facebook, for watching a bit of memes and events;
– Instagram, to catch up with the things friends do and stalk some people;
– Netflix, to watch at least one episode of a series;
– WhatsApp, to check on friends, but I am a horrible texter, always late;
What’s your favorite social media platform?
“Definitely Instagram. It’s pretty to look at and simple to use. It has all the things I need from WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat in one beautiful and simple layout.”
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Instagram Time Invested
When it comes to Instagram, how much time do you devote to it?
“It depends on the moment. When I really like someone I am checking their Instagram way too much haha, otherwise not a lot of time.
Instagram for me, is just a page where you show your ideal self, and how you want to be portrayed to the outside world. With that in the back of my mind, I know it’s just someone’s portrayal of their ideal self. A few years ago a pretty page could make me insecure or jealous. Now that I have met a lot of those picture-perfect people, I know their lives, personalities, and even their appearances are not that perfect either.”
Planning A Selfie
Do you plan a photo, dress for it, or set up a location?
“Never do I plan photo shoots with friends, nor dress up especially to make photos. My pictures are just taken at random moments when I think I look nice, funny, or when my surroundings are interesting. My daily style and look is just Instagram worthy, just kidding.”
Real YOU vs fake YOU
How much of your online persona is really you, and how much of it is an ideal character you are playing?
“The ‘Instagram-me’ is full of life, adventure, fashion and fun. The ‘real-world-me’ tries to be a sweet boy-next-door, happy-go-lucky young fella. Often I hear that my online persona seems arrogant and slutty. Oh, and I especially hear the term superficial a lot. But when they get to know me they are always surprised I am actually a nice guy. I just love to post some (nude) body pics, because I am confident with that!”
Do you spend more time online or offline?
“Definitely offline! Offline life gives me way more satisfaction. A real touch, or nice comment is much more valuable to me. Never replace your offline feelings by online affirmation.
Around eight years ago I used to be one of the first people that was quite ‘Instafamous’. I had thousands of followers. Those were dark years, because I was a young insecure boy that valued himself with digital likes. Even when I was not online, in my head I was busy with what those online followers might think of me. So I blocked all the followers I did not know, or never talked to. It was such a relief!”
ESCAPING THE INTERNET
Do you ever need to have a digital detox?
“Yes! When that happens I try to leave my phone at home. When you continuously reach for the place your phone usually is, you know you have a problem, or a strange habit. Leaving your phone at home is also not always that handy. I miss the train, forget appointments and can’t Google things quickly. Our lives are very dependent on smartphones.”
Do you think most people have a digital self that differs to their daily self?
“Absolutely. Everybody has insecurities and wants to be liked. Even those who seem to have the highest self-esteem online are different in their day life. You don’t post pictures of your strife, your failures, or you looking super shitty in the morning. And even if you do, you might also have a side of you in real life that you don’t like to show online. Some things are just for you, or your closest friends.”
“Earlier, I mentioned that I don’t value myself with digital likes anymore. That is not totally true. If I am completely honest, it still makes me feel good when a photo gets a lot of likes So I guess if I invest some time in social media and it gets appreciated it makes me feel good. The time invested to feel good factor ratio feels very healthy in my life! Living online for three hours a day (remember: Netflix!) works perfectly for me.”
Anything else you’d care to mention?
“Yeah, follow me and like all my pics! No just kidding. Try to be nice online. Even though you are writing safely from behind your screen, comments can still hurt. Let people be who they want to be. #respect.”
Do you want to be Instagram famous? Do you have a story to tell? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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