The book title suggests an unvarnished look at the lives of professionally curated Instagram stars—and we definitely get a warts-and-all look at what goes on behind the camera. As well as offering a look behind the scenes of sponsored content and professional contentment, Unfiltered goes one step further and turns up the technicolour on the Insta-universe. Some of the drama should come with a seatbelt warning for the wild ride, but White’s depictions of modern social media habits and obsessions with living your best life online are absolutely worth the attention.
You can’t make this stuff up. You don’t need to. It’s clear that White has done her research (many an hour on the internet) and she plays on the very thing she critiques: combing life for “content”. But this “filtering” of life through fiction seems different to the “filtering” of life through Instagram. It’s mirrored in the book when Ali, our main character, writes and performs a play about her experience. For her, art brings catharsis, while the internet induces anxiety.