It's Cool to Edit Your Instagram Pictures Like It's 2014 Again, Already

Seven years isn't all too long, but for the way we edit our Instagram pictures, it's a digital lifetime ago.

Instagram filters now may mean making your nose smaller and lips bigger, but in 2014 it was simply making your pictures a whole lot more colorful with the help of "X-Pro II" and "Lo-Fi."

For years now, those overly saturated, Valencia-filtered, square-cropped selfies have been uncool, the type of thing Gen Z would "Ok, boomer" at, but now they're back, and they're actually kind of cool.

Influencers of today favor the clean-cut, brightly lit, #spon photos, but TikTok users are taking us back to our roots with the latest photo-editing trend that sees us longing for the simpler times.

TikTok user Cindy Peralta, @bapesidechick, started the trend just last week, sharing her take on the editing style with her own selfies added to a video. "Making my pics look like they were taken in 2014 just because," she wrote.

"I am pretty active on Twitter and since the middle of summer, I had seen people tweeting, ironically, about how the 'y2k trend' will eventually die over and the 'swag era' (2013-2015) will make a comeback. People would tweet the most iconic selfies of that time ranging from Rihanna to Nicki Minaj. It was nostalgic really," Peralta told Newsweek.

"So at 1:00 a.m., the night I had posted the video, I was genuinely doing it for fun and trying to see how I would 'fit in' that era if I was living in it as a teen since I was like 11 at that time."

It isn't surprising that we're already getting nostalgic for the old updates and trends of social media apps. In 2017, pop culture writer Brian Raftery theorized for WIRED that nostalgia will soon be felt through the medium of the technology we used at the time, rather than specific events or things.

"When you think of 2009's 'David After Dentist' does it conjure up instant, specific, I remember where I was when I saw it excitement—or does it instead bring on warm, vague memories about wading into YouTube's early-era viral-video stash?" he asked.

Case in point: This trend. Not only are internet users editing their pictures to look like 2014, but they're actually editing them onto the old Instagram layout too. @bapesidechick offered up a ready-to-use template in her second video on the trend.

"The nostalgia is so cool. Also, everyone's 2014 was completely different. I know some people who were living that 'grunge' and Tumblr aesthetic at the time while other people, including myself, were mainly on Instagram, Musically, and Vine," said Peralta.

In just a week, the trend is already catching on. YouTuber @elliethumannlol shared her reel of Instagram-edited pictures on Tuesday to TikTok, captioning it "What a time" and gaining over 150,000 views.

User @annanomontana racked up 40,000 on her series of filtered selfies, while @killersarai has over 37,000 with her take on the trend.

For most, the trend is offering a nostalgic throwback to a time when Instagram was the creme-de-la-creme of editing images and it all wasn't so serious—a time before apps let us so easily morph our faces into what they could be.

To try it yourself, it couldn't be simpler: just use Instagram's in-built filters on the app's photo editing feature before posting—just make sure to bump it all the way to 100 percent.

Adding vignette to the edge and upping the saturation slightly also adds to that nostalgic feeling.

"It's all so cute," said Peralta. "I have seen people put more effort into the editing than I did, which inspired me to upload a better version of my first video by making my pictures look like they were screenshotted from 2013-2014 Instagram. I enjoy seeing Black people do it the most since we were the ones who had taken over this aesthetic the most at the time, especially with streaming the specific iconic songs too from artists like Future, Dej Loaf, Nicki Minaj, and Fetty Wap."