The Three Lessons We Took On Social Media From ‘Ingrid Goes West’

Ingrid Goes West is a decent comedy if you want some laughs to be had, but it also shows a dark side to the use of social media and what it can do to ourselves if not used in moderation. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen and O’Shea Jackson Jr., we see a film targeted towards millennials and their reliance on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. When we’re sharing stuff online, it only proves how much we consume people’s content and the way we want our lives to be portayed in a certain way when posting that aesthetically-pleasing photo or hilarious online status.

Here are three important lessons we took from watching Ingrid Goes West at Sydney Film Festival this year.

If not used the right way, it can turn into an obsession

How many people do you follow on Instagram? How often do you tweet to let others know what you’re up to on Twitter? The more social media accounts you manage, the more effort it’s expected from you to use it. Our consumption of social media can turn into an obsession, especially if it’s trending. Maybe it’s annoying to take a photo each time we’re at a “new” and “hip” restaurant just for those likes on Instagram or the maintenance of multiple streaks with friends on Snapchat.

We are low-key obsessed with these social media platforms, so if you feel like you’re getting to that point, take time to disconnect and go on a social media detox. Not only is it good for you, you will gain a fresh perspective on life. Ingrid’s obsession with Taylor was downright stalker-ish and unhealthy. Do you really want to be Ingrid when it comes to social media?

A #hashtag is more powerful than you think

Viral content is viral for a reason: hashtags. Hashtags have become the social media norm when it comes to extending your reach on Instagram or Twitter. Videos become viral if you use the appropriate hashtag and put it out towards the right influencers on social media. It’s an amazing curse if you think about – in a way it can be life-saving but at the same time, it can be toxic to our brains if we see idiotic videos surface our feeds. If you use hashtags the right way, you can create a positive impact on your social media platforms, but you also have to be careful. Be wise when sharing content – think before you post!

Be careful what you share online

When it comes to sharing locations on your Instagram feed, be aware of tagging yourselves in a location especially if you have a large following and are considered a Top Blogger on Instagram. You would not believe how many online stalkers still exist ’till this day. What you share online may be harmless in your books but it could also endanger you. In the film, Ingrid was able to track Taylor because she tagged herself in stores she visited and promoted on her Instagram. Taylor wasn’t careful and ended up (unknowingly) meeting her online stalker. It’s worth thinking about setting yourself on private if you’re paranoid by randoms stalking you online. Your safety comes first, remember that.

Ingrid Goes West is a wonderful film but it also gave us the heads up of social media etiquette. Using social media in moderation is encouraged if you have something positive to share, but always remember to be smart when it comes to building your online identity.

Ingrid Goes West made its Australian premiere at Sydney Film Festival on June 10