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Instagram is, by far, my favorite social media app. I love looking at pictures. You don't have to have a story because you can create one. Or you can provide a bit more context or wit with the captions. It was already brilliant and then they added the 15 second video feature? Game changed. I love Instagram. And since I'm on it so much, I have a few observations about Instagram, and what our behavior on the app says about the state of our society. Can I share them with you all? Follow me.
I DON'T LIKE MY SELFIE ANYMORE
The art of taking a selfie you'll approve of weeks later is no easy task. You smile, you give a straight face, duck lips, curled lip snarl until you get the perfect face to match your mood. The mood you'd like to share with the world...and by the world I mean your limited Instagram following. You've chosen the best picture out of the 10 you just took and upload. You're not Beyonce, so it might take a minute for that first like to pop up. And while you're waiting, looking at yourself looking at you...you start to think, I don't know if this is the version of me I wanted to put out there. And just as you're about to delete it, someone comes through with a comment featuring three smiley faces with the heart eyes. And just like that you're assured, once again, that you made the right decision.
ALL YOUR SELFLES LOOK ALIKE THOUGH
I've established a silent rule in my head. If you post too many selfles in one day, I will strongly consider unfollowing. I mean, your boredom is taking up very valuable space on my timeline. I would hate to miss a fascinating piece of art simply because you feel the need to upload 4-5 pictures of yourself with the exact same pose and position within an 8 hour time period. If all of your selfies look alike, I'm questioning your creativity�which is basically just a nice way of saying I'm judging you. Switch it up.
THE ACCIDENTAL LIKE
There is nothing like the sheer terror I feel when I've accidentally liked a picture on someone's page I really have no business being on. Unfortunately, this has happened to me more times than I'd like to remember. Whether you know that person and don't want them to know you�re lurking or if you don't follow them on Instagram, once you accidentally double tap, they will receive a notification. And your stalker tendencies will be known. Scroll carefully.
SHOULD YOU LIKE YOUR OWN PICTURES?
This entire post was inspired by a conversation started over at VerySmartBrothas last week. (I steal from them often.) Basically, the post was The VSB contributors, both men and women, arguing whether or not it was cool to like your own Instagram picture. The general consensus was, No, it's not ok, with the final thought from Samantha being No judgement if liking your own pictures is your thing but we can admit that she does have a point, right?
WHY DO WE HAVE TO LIKE THAT YOU LIKED SO MANY OF OUR PICS?
One of the weirdest Instagram behaviors is when people screenshot their likes notification page to show the rest of their followers that so-and-so is giving them Instagram love. It's just...odd. Like, why? I understand the desire to thank someone for liking so many of your well-thought out selfies, pictures of your kids and random landscapes but why can't you just mention them in a comment to express your gratitude? I don't know it just always makes me feel uncomfortable to see people's eagerness put on blast like that. Call it second-hand embarrassment.
IS THAT WHO YOU REALLY ARE? UGH.
It's sad but as with all forms of social media, someone's Instagram page can provide some pretty frightening and disappointing insight into who they really are. Like the guy you went to college with who is adamant about featuring the outline of his penis in every other picture or the the girl from your hometown who is hell bent on letting her followers know that her baby daddy ain't sh*t. Its a sad thing when you hold people in a high regard and then have to lower that bar.
Did he/she just unfollow me?
Let me tell y'all about my own sickness. One day I noticed that someone who used to like my pictures was no longer doing so. So I got it into my head that this person no longer followed me. When I tell you I literally scrolled through my 200 something followers at the time to see if this person's name was still there... The name was still there, that person just wasn�t liking my pictures anymore. Sad face.
Then one of my friends placed the perfect meme on her Facebook page and I realized I'm not alone in my foolishness.
PUT US ON IG SO I KNOW IT'S REAL
This is a sad statement on the state of our society but seriously, if someone posts on Instagram all the time and I don't see their significant other, I automatically start to assume that there's trouble in paradise or they've already broken up. Now, there are exceptions like the people who keep their relationships relatively private or have a partner who doesn't want to be "out there" like that. But 85 percent of the time, if you stop seeing someone�s boo on Instagram, chances are they've stopped seeing them too.
WE'RE ALL SO SELF ABSORBED
If there's one lesson I've learned above all on Instagram is that we're all narcissists. And Instagram is the place where you share your narcism with others and wait for them to cosign it. Though most of us try to hide or camoflouge it in some way, it's always there, in the pictures we post, the pictures we like and even the way we silently judge others for doing things we wouldn't. (Looking at myself.)