I’ve been avoiding Instagram for a long time. I’ve had an account for about a year, but I kept it private, following no one and allowing no followers, because I was only interested in the super cool photo filters that made things I posted to Facebook (or here!) look like I’m not a horrible photographer.
Case in point:
Terrible photo of dog.
Stylized photo of dog.
So, why have I been avoiding collecting virtual friends via yet another smartphone application, when it’s totally obvious that I love the attention and validation of social media just as much as the next 21st century person? Because: both Instagram and Twitter serve to remind me that only reason I have a respectable number of Facebook “friends” is that I snatched them all up in 2004, as a first year in college, when we all used Facebook to connect with people either living near us on campus or attending our same classes, and were all too dumb to turn down friend requests. I’d say a good quarter of the people on my friends list are UCLA grads I haven’t spoken to in years (or, in some cases, EVER).
And these strangers aren’t lining up to follow me on other apps. (Obviously, they don’t know what they’re missing.) Instead of making me feel really special, which is the point, these apps illuminate to me that I only have seven people in my life who care what my food looks like every day, and that is just unacceptable.
However, despite my very real and very serious reservations, I opened up my Instagram account to followers the other day simply because I was desperate to able to stalk the profiles of other people. Before I unlocked my account, I spent an obscenely long time grooming my profile, deleting images I didn’t want anyone to see. While I was painstakingly building a photo feed I thought was acceptable, I thought about how disgusting and weird social media is and what a time-suck it is and what my great-grandparents would say to me if they, who survived unspeakable terrors like having to listen to news on the radio and actually speak to their spouses over dinner, knew I’d spent about an hour on a beautiful spring day culling through shitty internet photos.
Yes, I thought about these things. Sometimes, I am very profound. I had some very deep thoughts,
and then went right on editing my profile.
I deleted tons of photos I took of myself in good lighting and at good angles, because I feel like a person can only have so many totally narcissistic self-portraits floating around the internet. My current total is like four and that’s about enough.
And I deleted some photos I thought would be embarrassing. I mean, I’ve got some cool people following me now.
What? You’ve never posted a photo of you Nair-ing off your moustache? Okay. That I believe.
If you’re interested in looking at some artificially blown-out pictures of things like the time I wore Target slippers to my job
or what I eat for lunch most days
feel free to follow me at www.instagram.com/sarahcrabertson.
It’s really thrilling stuff, guys.