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Iceni Magazine | January 26, 2021

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Brits Admit To ‘Re-Touching’ Their Lives For Social Media Glory


Millions of Brits admit to ‘re-touching’ their lives for social media glory, new research reveals.

From sprucing up a selfie to sharing perfectly filtered pictures of family picnics and days out, the average person conducts a ‘digital makeover’ to at least HALF of all photos posted online to make their lives look more perfect than they really are.

And when enjoying a family day out, picnic or trip to the beach, the average person snaps 26 photos in the hunt for the perfect image – but after an hour of analysis just five of them make the cut.  

Many spend hours taking artistic shots of scenery and landscapes, and ensure everyone is photographed laughing hysterically, in a ‘best side pose’, while eating and drinking from the most stylish crockery – all to look good for the camera. 

Making it look sunny when the weather is actually dull is a common trick, with 43 per cent of Brits confessing their profile and many of the photos on their Instagram or Facebook page are not ‘real’.  

Over three-quarters of people (76 per cent) pore over photos to find the best ones – usually those which have been ‘styled’ with clever positioning of homeware, well-dressed family members and deliberately picturesque locations have been researched in advance.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s, which conducted the study of 2,000 adults, said: “British adults now conduct so much of their lives publicly on social media that it is no wonder that the first thought when it comes to planning a picnic or day trip is what it will look like in a photo. 

“Sharing experiences with friends and family has become much more of an art to recreate the moment and fun in a beautiful diarized edit.

“It’s no longer a case of point and click, and hope for the best. It is important though that we don’t forget to take a step back and enjoy ourselves in the moment rather than giving too much thought to what things will look like later online.”

Other ways Brits get the very best from their photos include encouraging people to breathe in, angling the camera correctly to avoid double chins and making some pictures black and white to give a more arty effect.

Taking pictures outside in the sunshine, picturing the family eating exotic foods, and buying stylish homeware and decorations to make events look impressive also feature in the list of things people do to digitally enhance their lives. 

Re-taking the same photo several times, cropping out people or ugly items if they ruin a picture and blurring out unsightly blemishes are other ways people give their profile a digital makeover. 

In fact, at least 47 per cent of photos which appear on social media have been taken more than once, and cropped, tampered or tweaked before the post went live.

A third of people will post a photo of something they have bought if they’re particularly proud of their purchase, while the same percentage are more likely to ‘check in’ to a location if it is exciting or interesting.

When asked what their social media profile means to them, 29 per cent say they use it as a visual diary, to capture everything they want to remember.

A quarter of Brits like to have a place to voice their opinions while 42 per cent use their profile to stay updated with their friends.

As such, 32 per cent of people edit shots of themselves before uploading, 28 per cent write statuses about something which has happened in the news, and a third talk about trending topics as much as they can.   

The spokesman for Sainsbury’s added: “In a world of perfect filters and professional-looking shots taken with the average smartphone, it’s understandable that people place more emphasis on their online profiles. 

“It’s natural to want to appear your best and take pride in having nice things and there’s no reason to stop enjoying that but it should never come at the cost of not enjoying the moment and appreciating things as they’re happening.”

Brits’ top 40 digital cheats

1. Taking artistic shots of scenery and landscapes

2. Spending hours after taking the photos sifting through to find the best ones

3. Sprucing up a selfie

4. Removing any photos in which you don’t look attractive

5. Cropping out unsightly backgrounds

6. Breathing in for photographs

7. Angle the camera correctly to avoid double chins

8. Carefully arranging yourself and your family to get everyone’s best side

9. Making the picture black and white

10. Dressing up in best clothing for a photo

11. Putting filters on pictures

12. Re-taking a photo several times to photograph yourself in a more favourable light

13. Sharing a perfectly filtered picture of picnics and day’s out

14. Crop out people or ugly items if they ruin the picture

15. Photoshopping the photo after to make everyone look better

16. Photographing drinks in the best glasses

17. Taking hundreds of photos of the same view or landscape to get one good one

18. Photograph food placed decoratively on the best crockery or picnic ware

19. Making the weather look sunny when really it was a dull day

20. Looking off moodily into the distance

21. Putting lots of make up on before allowing anyone to photograph you

22. Adding more than one picture to a collage so you can show more than one thing in a photo

23. Blur out unsightly blemishes

24. Trying to take the photos at funny angles, to make it look like you ‘accidentally’ got a good shot

25. Styling / propping a dining shot to make it look its best, e.g. with a vase, flowers, positioning of glasses and crockery etc.

26. Tagged friends / brands / places in the hope to get more ‘likes’

27. Spending much of a day trip taking photos rather than actually enjoying the day itself

28. Constantly booking days out to amazing places so your Facebook / Instagram feed is full of impressive content

29. Making a picnic look good by using the best blanket and crockery

30. Written a status or a tweet that was a lie / exaggeration

31. Deliberately travelled to picturesque locations for days out, picnics, beaches etc. just to get a good photo to post

32. Placed an item of interested on the prettiest things you have – tea towels, shabby chic furniture

33. Buying nice homewares  / decorations to make an event look more impressive

34. Take all pictures outside in the sun

35. Upgraded your camera to get a better shot

36. Pretending to be laughing hysterically, or having an amazing time, when the photo is taken

37. Buying expensive or exotic foods and then photograph the family eating it

38. Posed for a photo next to a car / motorbike / house that wasn’t yours

39. Using an app to make yourself appear slimmer / more tanned / whiter teeth

40. Appearing to go natural / bare faced but actually wearing make up


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