Let’s bring back photo dumps on Instagram for good


Instagram is seen by many as a toxic environment only meant to bring others down. By bringing back the photo dump trend, Instagram can finally become the fun social media app it should. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

Lockdown: the era of whipped coffee and “Tiger King,” truly a period of our lives never to be forgotten. Dozens of viral trends came and went from early 2020, but it would be a waste to let these trends die off without even a trace, especially the photo dump trend that was circling Instagram last year. 

Photo dumps on Instagram are exactly what they sound like: a cluster of photos that have been piling up on one’s camera roll that have nothing to do with each other in one collective post. Sounds kind of strange at first, but the trend gives a new and refreshing taste to Instagram that is rarely ever seen. 

Liz Sommar with StayHipp explains, “The idea of a photo dump is that it lets people share photos that might not fit into their curated aesthetic or may not be current.”

These unfiltered and goofy photos bring a sense of relatability that the app is severely lacking. Often, Instagram is only ever seen as a place to post perfect photos of oneself after picking through hundreds of photos to get just the right one. This photo dump trend flips the Instagram narrative completely upside down, putting less stress on people to get “the perfect picture.”

Being a social media platform designed specifically for sharing the highlights of one’s life, but the app can be overwhelming and too stressful at times, leading to many people feeling put down rather than lifted up from it.

People often take dozens of photos to make sure they get the perfect one, bringing this trend back once and for all would relieve the stress and make Instagram a less high-stakes social media app. Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash.

A-West Sophomore Chloe Wentworth explains, “I think Instagram is something I don’t want to be a part of because I don’t like the sole idea of people judging other people for their photos, and it’s something I have no interest in.”

Instagram is consistently getting a bad reputation for being the social media platform only designed to bring about insecurities on others and feel very isolating at times. Being coined by TIME as “the worst social media for mental health,” it makes sense why one would not want to be a part of a toxic community, but that is where the photo dump trend comes into play. 

Getting a break from flawless photos and seeing that Instagram models and influencers are normal people just like the rest of us brings a sense of relatability that was severely lacking before. Seeing these public figures not posed for a photo or doing something random makes the app more playful and less serious, which is needed so much during this time of Covid. 

While celebrities made this trend popular, it quickly made its way all over the app regardless of how many followers someone may have. Being able to see even friends and family members posting these unfiltered and raw photos can bring joy. Since the trend started back in 2020, it made people feel closer to friends without being near them and since there was nowhere to go or do, the trend was a perfect excuse to post something even if it was not an important moment. 

Now, almost halfway through 2021, this trend has nearly disappeared from social media. It, like every other trend, fell from the spotlight fairly quickly. Unlike other trends, however, this one needs to stay on the app for good. It has brought nothing but good times and big laughs to everyone involved, so it should not just stop because lockdown stopped. 

Off-guard photos and random snapshots will never go away, so might as well make the most of them and post them for everyone to enjoy. Break the standard that Instagram has set and show the imperfections in daily life that are all too often deleted and never seen. It is so refreshing seeing people be their authentic and true selves rather than doing the same pose behind a filter for the hundredth time. 

The majority of photos on Instagram are posed and professional, making the photo dump trend stand out against the normal feed seen on the app. Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash.

Grace Wallace, a sophomore at A-West has taken part in this trend before and explains, “I think it totally makes social media feel more authentic.”

If we do not break down the box Instagram has put over us we will begin to lose our connection with one another. Seeing fake photos all the time is damaging us slowly, but we never stop to think about it. Bringing back this trend for good would eliminate that completely and bring more fun to social media.

Wacky photos that people would never dare to post on a regular occasion became normalized with the photo dump trend, giving the app less structure and creating a more upbeat environment within the app. Letting this trend die will only result in an endless cycle of unrealistic standards set by Instagram. Bring back this trend for good so social media can stop creating false illusions for us.