However, more and more people are using the platform to speak candidly about the truth behind the pictures; from food bloggers admitting Instagram made them ill, to Sarah Hyland opening up about her hair loss.
From those lavish beach holidays to social stars’ covetable wardrobes, it’s easy to take everything you see on social media at face value.
The latest Instagram star to let her followers in on the secrets behind her photos is Lauren Curtis, a 25-year-old vlogger, who showed her followers how she edits her photos with two side-by-side snaps.
Taking to her account, she wrote: “I think there needs to be more transparency on social media, so here is a side by side comparison of before and after editing this pic.”
Here’s the before snap…
And here’s the after picture…
Explaining the edits she made, she added: “Besides the obvious colour editing (which has warmed up the image therefore boosting the colour of my tan), I whitened the whites of my eyes which were yellowed after the colour edit, and then fixed the gross fake tan on my hand.
“I also lightly smoothed over my legs as I was freezing which makes my skin go a little blotchy.”
She added that while she loved editing her snaps, because she studied photography at school, “Instagram is really just smoke and mirrors.”
Her followers took to the comments section in their droves, noting that the edits were so subtle, they’d never have noticed. Many of them said she looked better in the before snap, while others said they found her post ‘super interesting’.
We think she looks amazing in both pictures, if you’re asking.