Hello, I haven’t made a post in a little while as my mind has been in other areas, such as learning a lot of new vocabulary for Japanese, preparing for my Human Rights and Sociolinguistics subject this semester, and dealing with some financial issues. Anyway, what I am going to be discussing with you today is an idea which was recommended to me by a friend (Her blog is at http://eternalwayfarer.blogspot.com.au/), and a lot of points I agree with.
The discussion of today, quite obvious from the heading of this article, is going to list 5 main reasons why I don’t like Instagram. In summary:
It is pointless
It feeds narcissism
It stunts in-person interaction
It encourages people to seek validation
The filters make amateurs think they’re photographers
1. It is pointless
So, what exactly does Thommy Dee mean by Instagram being pointless? Well. I have gone back onto Instagram for a week now to see what it is like, and I can pretty much say that you can do everything that you do on Instagram on other forms of social networking. Upload a photo? Facebook. Comment on a photo? Facebook. Like a photo? Facebook. It basically has the same features as Facebook, but less. On Facebook you can also check into places, you can chat to people on a live form of interaction (Facebook chat), you can also choose moods and list what you’re doing when you post a status (WITH a photo!!), and share things. So in terms of function, Facebook is most certainly winning because it ticks all the boxes Instagram does, but more.
“Oh, but Facebook etiquette states that I can’t post too many facebook statuses about my daily life…”
Now now Jimmy, calm down, we aren’t up to reason two just yet.
2. It feeds narcissism
It’s a given that any form of social networking is going to be seething pot of narcissism; these narcissistic black holes which suck everything around it inside, compress it down to a deathly state (or takes it to another universe, who knows?) and then grow larger and destroy even more around it until all you’re left with is an empty universe full of black holes. The hunger for these black holes to get bigger and bigger will also feed into the fourth reason in this discussion. But at the moment, let’s just go over this point.
If social networking is a seething pot of narcissism and a black hole, then Instagram is a pot bubbling out of control, splurting toxic liquid in all directions, and is the size of a supermassive black hole.
Going back into the first point of Instagram being pointless: it is basically just people posting up photos, and most of the time these are photos of daily occurrences in people’s lives. You are naked in your bedsheets, oh well, the world needs to know. You are having a 10am coffee at a trendy hipster café, oh the world certainly needs to know. You’re going underwear shopping, OH LORD YES THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW THEN. Nothing gets my gay gears grinding on more than knowing a lady is buying some new frilly undies with a cupcake over their caboose regions.
I think now you are getting to see the point. But if not, I will take you on a trip back down my memory lane. It was a sunny January day (where I got sunburnt for three days just spending 10 minutes waiting for a train to get into Melbourne), and I met up with one of my also gay male friends to have a Starbucks frappuccino. Anyway, I met up with him, and we both got green tea frappuccinos and decided to sit down in the shade outside. I was about to drink my frappuccino when this guy told me “Oh, I have to take a photo of my frappuccino to put on Instagram.” So, pulling faces like an assortment of farm animals in selfie-mode, picture 1, 2, 3, 4…7…16…18…573
“I didn’t get the starbucks logo on it correctly”
“Uh my eyes look weird”
“The straw covered my face too much”
“You look too pale in the photo”
15 minutes just to take a good photo WHERE HE FINALLY LET ME DRINK THE FRAPPUCCINO I PAID FOR. He then spent 10 more minutes trying to find the perfect filter to put on the photo.
So, basically, there are people who base themselves on the number of followers they get on Instagram, and then think that because they have a number like that, then their life is more important than other peoples, and so they must promote that life and they constantly admire themselves and expect others to kiss their feet.
I can only imagine how many more image obsessed people there are out there like this, and how much time out of their day is used to feed their own narcissism and promote their own life like it is a cat walk.
3. It stunts in-person interaction
With my story in the last reason still fresh in your mind, let’s go over the next reason. Now, for those who are a part of my generation (or a little bit older, as the addiction to smartphone use has spread up to many middle-aged businessmen I come across on public transport), raise your hand if you have ever felt your in-person interaction has been stunted or ruined because of someone using social media on their smartphones 24/7.
Just as I thought, yes.
I’ve gone across some dates with guys where they have half-interested, half paid attention and then half-arsed the date because in their hand they have been using a form of social media, one of them including Instagram (I certainly don’t go on a second date with people like that). To narrow it down to Instagram even more, I’m grateful I have not come across many Instragram addicts in my life, but the ones I have come across take pictures of every meal they have outside home, of every place that they go to, and then of anything they like in a store. Then they spend extra time getting the perfect filter (please just choose Valencia and get the fuck on with your life). It makes the time with them I’m supposed to be spending socialising then feel like a pageant of their life and I’m just there to feed what’s more important to them; their likes and followers. Sorry, but that’s not social interaction – not in the way I want it.
4. It encourages people to seek validation
Feeding narcissism for those who want others to kiss their ass, Instagram also promotes those who are insecure about the popularity of their life to then post many images of their life. These pictures then, they hope, make them popular and a sensation, and so it then makes that person seek validation on Instagram. There are no limits to how many photos one can take, so then pointless photos and images bombard the app like shrapnel.
Yes, it is nice to take a photo of an event occurring in your life for the sake of the memory, but when you are taking a photo and uploading it just for validation, then that’s where there begins to become a problem.
And those who do take photos, and those who do get likes/favourites on their photos, and comments, then want to place themselves above those who don’t get many. It’s the way the human ego goes. And so this political society is made within the social network. So then, people are based upon how much attention and validation they receive from other people, and they construct their image on that.
Then people try and live their life like those who do get more likes (If I’m like them I’ll get more likes and followers and get attention), and so it promotes this image-based lifestyle: Tanning on the beach, spending money on expensive things, eating out all the time, going clubbing every weekend. Because Instagram is just posting about your life, and how others see that life.
I have had people get upset because they don’t get many likes on their pictures, and then I’ve had stories of people basing other people on how many likes/followers they get on Instagram. Then I’ve had people brag about how many followers they have on Instagram. I don’t mean to sound like a bitch, but if you’re that insecure that you base your worth on other people’s validation and your number of followers – then you need a reality check, or perhaps a psychologist.
5. The filters make amateurs think they’re photographers
Okay, don’t get me wrong, I like some of the lighter filters because they help to clear out the imperfections in my skin. I do this when I take pictures to change my profile pictures on facebook, BUT I do know that that does NOT make me a photographer. The part of Instagram which also annoys me, and the last reason in this opinion piece: The filters that blur out the details in the photos, details that some may seem undesirable, make people think they’re amazing at taking photos.
And then because some of these people think that they’re amazing at taking photos (because the filters make the photos look ‘mellow’), they should take ten thousand. And then upload them all (Notice me senpai). Some of the heavier filters just make the photos look tacky.
If you also want to see a video perfectly depicting something else wrong with my generation (I’m the cut-off of Generation Y and Generation Z), then this video perfectly describes it:
Thank you for reading.