I will freely admit that I don’t see the appeal of Instagram. It’s like Facebook and Tumblr had a baby that inherited their least interesting traits – Tumblr’s limitations and Facebook’s no-nudity policy. It’s no surprise to me that Instagram is dominated by notoriously self-centred, image obsessed celebrities because those are two key traits that will make you successful on this platform.
For proof of this you only need to look at the 10 most popular individuals on Instagram – Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Nicki Minaj. If you asked me to come up with a list of the world’s most obnoxious people it would look almost the same. Apart from Beyonce, of course. After that last Super Bowl performance she could eat a puppy on live television and I’d still adore her.
But as odious as these people are they’re very good at attracting Instagram followers, Minaj has 50 million followers, Swift has over 67 million! But you won’t see me joining their ranks, ever, and here are 5 reasons why.
1. It Looks Exhausting
Where do people find the time to post stuff to social media? I know that the stars have publicity staff but what about all the ordinary people who also use Instragram to document their lives – what they’re wearing, what they can see on their way to work, their lunch, their dinner, their cute kitten doing a trick, the snow that fell over the night, the giant bug that is watching them while they’re on the toilet… It also takes a huge amount of time to conceive of posts, take the photos, edit them, and come up with witty captions. It takes time and it also takes energy and commitment. And wouldn’t it always hang over your head? You’re out having a good time but you’re always thinking “is this an Instagram moment?”, “should I take a selfie?”. It’s like The Truman Show but as well as having your every moment recorded you’re also holding the camera.
2. I’m Not Sufficiently Outgoing
It’s called “social” media for a reason – you have to be prepared to engage with others in order to make it work. Meanwhile I’m so reclusive that even our “indoor only” cat leaves the house more than me.
3. I’m Not Sufficiently Photogenic
I’m not the Elephant Man, mind you, but equally I’m not George Clooney. The wrong lighting and I go from being halfway okay to looking like I need a stint in rehab for my meth addiction. In my entire life I’m yet to take a photo that I’m 100% happy with so being forced to share endless selfies day after day after day would be torture. And not good torture with safe words but bad torture with…no safe words.
4. I’m Not Sufficiently Narcissistic
It takes a healthy dose of self-love to assume that other people will find your everyday life fascinating, that they will want to view 2,456 carefully posed pictures of you in your bathroom mirror which is what I’m guessing Kim Kardashian’s Instagram feed consists of. Only a narcissist would think their life is SO interesting that it needs to be obsessively documented.
5. My Life Isn’t That Interesting
Is anyone’s life THAT interesting? Mine certainly isn’t. My days consist of writing, eating, television, sometimes going to the gym, and cats. Actually the cats should come earlier in the list. Or maybe they should just be the entire list. My days consist of cats, with a side of eating and television. And even our cats aren’t interesting enough to bother instagramming. All they do is sleep and throw up. And poop. Maybe there’s an Instragram audience for pictures of cats pooping but frankly anyone who would enjoy those types of pictures aren’t people I want to engage with.
People who actually do Instagram their lives aren’t people I want to engage with either. Because we all know that the images they present aren’t their real selves – it’s a highly constructed and carefully edited story. Whether by accident or design presenting a lie as your life will ultimately make someone feel inferior and I’m betting that someone will ultimately be you.