Let’s be honest here, if you own an iPhone and are between the ages of 12-34, there’s a 75% chance you’re addicted to instagram. We can go back and forth about what addiction really means, but let’s not waffle on about terminology. If you truly believe you don’t fall in this category, then I’d advise you stop reading because some of the things below will sound completely absurd to you (but let me assure you, it happens).
This list came about over lunch a few months back with a couple of girl friends. Part way through our pasta, a friend vehemently exclaimed “I don’t get it! You never even acknowledged me in highschool, and now suddenly we’re like BFFs over the internets!?!” (she had just checked her instagram updates and gotten a spam of likes/comments/queries all from the same person)
Cue. Floodgates. Sociamedialites. New aged attention whores. Braggarts. It seems that social media (sometimes) brings out the worst in us – and that includes the bunch of us at lunch that day (we won't even try to claim to be saints). We did however come to the conclusion that of all the insta-gripes, it was those that signalled a lack of sincerity/authenticity that drove us most insane.
It seems etiquette is needed in the virtual world, as much as it is needed IRL - I mean, social etiquette makes it possible for me to make it through the day without killing anyone, so shouldn't the same rules apply online since so much more of our time is being spent there these days? There’s a lot of posts on “things you should not do” on social media, but here’s our call for a better virtual world. So listen up folks, won’t you please stop:
- Liking your own photos [we get it, your photo is r.e.a.l.l.y. awesome, you've made this point by sharing it with the rest of us, no need to hammer the point home.]
- Taking the same photo of your face with the exact same expression every.single.day. [I am now more familiar with the contours of your face than I am with my own mother’s!]
- Tagging (unrelated) people to your photos so they will check out your photos [this is called spam and is the equivalent of leaving flyers on the cars of unsuspecting people.]
- Acting like everyone’s best friend E V E R ! [pssst… we know you despised us in highschool, you never even acknowledged our presence. So when did we become BFFs in the virtual world? Did I miss a memo?]
- Posting naked pictures of your children. [You might think it’s cute but those kids are soon going to be walking, talking(back) teenagers and you can bet they're not going to appreciate it]
- Playing the follow game e.g., follow and unfollow and follow and unfollow the same person in an attempt to get them to follow you back [if you’re going to do that, at least don’t have your very recognizable face as the profile picture]
- Claiming credit on other people's photos [so you recommended XYZ to someone else, no need to go pee all over their feed and claim credit for it All Knowing One]
- Posting pictures with the comment “most amazing <insert item here> ever!” and then when people ask what/where, refuse to tell them. [Social media is about sharing not showing off]
- Instagramming other people’s photographs – why the hell would you upload something like a Richard Avedon photo, put a crappy filter over it, and caption it with something stupid like “OMG YOU GUISE SO PRETTY (emoji x 100).” You didn’t take that photo of Marilyn Monroe. I know you didn’t. You weren’t even there.* (this brilliant item was taken from this post about other annoying instagram habits – have a read if you’re on a roll with this one)
- Complaining to everyone within hearing range about how everyone's trying to copy you and your style / your sudden lack of privacy [if you insist on putting everything you do up for public display, whining about the after effects is akin to a celebrity whining about fame – except more lame because you aren’t actually famous]
- Asking others “how are you babe?” on instagram – as S put it, what am I supposed to do, write you a report? If you actually wanted to know how someone was doing (vs. looking like you care to their 253 followers), pick up the phone, give them a call. Sometimes, old fashioned concern wins, even in a virtual world like ours.
Okay fine, so that’s 11, but technically number nine isn't mine.