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Tweet of the Week #41: Instagrammer Gets Real With Pigeon Post

Learn how to use the Japanese suffix そう with this week's #realitycheck.

By 3 min read

Twitter had better watch out: Instagram is catching up to Japan’s favorite social media. Since 2016 the photo-sharing app has climbed from 12 million users to a massive 26 million as of July 2019 and it’s now ranked as the second most-used social media platform in the country, even beating its owner Facebook.

It’s not hard to see why Instagram is so popular here. Not only is Japan the nation of all things kawaii it’s also home to world-class scenery and is a well-documented food paradise. In the motherland of Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm, it’s actually kind of surprising that it didn’t come up with the app in the first place!

The bad news: Instagram is the worst social media for our health

As photogenic as Japan can be, Instagram here is just as afflicted by the same false embellishment that’s been damaging this generations’ mental health. Unrealistic portrayals of real-life can warp expectations and has created an epidemic of insecurity, low self-esteem, and anxiety-inducing FOMO.

That’s why it’s always super refreshing when we get to see an Instagrammer showing the truth of what goes on behind the scenes.

Pigeon of Prey

On Instagram, ViennaDoLL offers the typical polished feed of a successful influencer, with great posing, on-point outfits and an eye for finding the right background.

On Twitter, though, Vienna gets real with her followers, showing the dirty and sometimes dangerous work that goes into her oh-so-perfect posts.

Her series of side by side “Insta VS Reality” pictures is a hilarious example of the gap between what we see on Insta and what we actually experience in everyday life.

Sometimes this includes being attacked by a bird.

インスタえの理想りそうVS 現実げんじつ。= Instagram VS reality

Or being caught off guard by cold seawater.

なみたれたときの理想 VS 現実。= Ideal VS Reality when struck by a wave

Or enjoying food a little bit too much…

きなひとまえでパスタ VS 仲良なかよいやつの前でパスタ。= Eating pasta in front of the person you like VS with a close friend.

One Twitter user was more impressed with what was going on in the background of the photo. Specifically, a pigeon looking like he was on military parade before the attack:


現実のかおも好きだけどここ好きすぎてきそうになりましたw = I like the IRL face but this part makes me laugh so hard I was about to explode lol

Using the Japanese suffix そう

Used in various key expressions in Japanese, the suffix そう has a few nuanced meanings and is often tricky to use correctly. Roughly, it can be translated to:

  • “looks like” or “seems like”
  • “about to” or “going to”
  • “I heard”

In the expression Verb + そう + になる, there’s the idea something was about to happen but eventually didn’t. You could translate the structure by “close to [being].”

吹きそうになりました = I was about to explode (with laughter) 


Japanese Romaji English
インスタ insutabae Instagrammable
理想りそう risou ideal
現実げんじつ genjitsu reality
なみ nami wave
たれる utareru to be hit (by)
とき toki when
suki like
ひと hito person
まえ mae ni in front of
pasuta pasta
仲良なかよ nakayoi get along with
やつ yatsu that guy, fella, bloke
かお kao face
mo too
けど kedo but
fuku blow up, explode, burst (into laughter)

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