what i learned from instagram, part 1 of 3

NB: plenty of people love instagram and they’re entitled to that love.  i’m not leveling any accusations or judging them.  this is just about me and my experience, so, onward i go. 

if instagram filters were honestly named, we’d have:

#flawlessskin

#allmyactivitiesarebathedingoldenlight

#thinnerthanyou

#myhomeisnaturallyclean

#ihaveamillionfriends

#coolerclothes

#thesunsetslikethisforme

#mykidsarealwayscute

#evenmycreamofwheatlooksdelicious

#contemplatingnegativespaceisdeep

#whatithinkilooklike

i briefly had an instagram account.  the experience was miserable and overwhelming.  i’m not a great photographer and don’t like drawing attention to myself in public, especially for standing to photograph my tacos from above. 

every second with instagram felt like an opportunity to give meaning to a mundane activity by slapping a filter over it.  much of the time i either felt like, “should i be photographing this?” or “oh no.  i need to photograph something for instagram.”  i was pulled out of the moment, looking at present events like they were already over. 

but the discomfort didn’t even end there.  once something was posted i awaited likes and comments from complete/partial strangers or complete/partial friends.  this portion was the worst kind of popularity contest because it was endless. sometimes i’d catch myself thinking, “what am i waiting for?  someone i’ve never met to like a shitty photo that makes my life look infinitely amazing?”  don’t get me wrong, my life is infinitely amazing, and that’s exactly why i shouldn’t require the photos or outside approval to prove it. 

check back tomorrow for part 2.