An Open Letter to Instagram
I am a freak for you. I am obsessed. If you were an actual person, like, say a guy I wanted to have a MOS with (that’s a make-out session, duh), at this point in our relationship I would have heavily stalked you. On Instagram. Probably also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a standard Google search or seven, but mostly on Instagram. Look, it’s not like I’m a stalker or anything, it’s just that Instagram makes it so easy!
Instagram makes everything more than easy – it makes everything beautiful. That picture of you and your besties taking tequila shots at some hole-in-the wall dive bar is suddenly transformed into a sepia-toned vintage photograph of an NYC speakeasy during Prohibition. That mess of french fries you just devoured at McDonald’s looks like a five-star meal when it’s merely the trash from the world’s finest fast food joint. That time you accidentally took a picture of your ceiling and added a filter and posted it anyway it got thirty “likes” within ten seconds because you may as well have just been commissioned to paint a still life of a fruit bowl that serves as a commentary on contemporary consumption patterns. I don’t even know what that last sentence means. It sounds rich and intelligent and specific and worldly and like how a picture of the ceiling might look on Instagram.
Then there are the nail photos. I realize that most of the men of Instagram must dread these photos, but a crisp shot of some freshly lacquered nails makes me tingle with excitement. There is no nail photo I won’t like. There is no nail art I won’t dream of getting myself one day. Sometimes I wonder if Instagram should change its name to Nailstagram. Or maybe I will make my own nail-pics-only social sharing app and I will call it Nailgasm because bad jokes that are a variation of the word orgasm are a thing.
Sometimes I wish Instagram had a special secret side-app for the people like me who really just take pictures of themselves all day. Yes, I am one of those people. My followers are so lucky I’m not a Kardashian, because otherwise, they really would just be getting a non-stop influx of GPOYs (GPOY = gratuitous picture of yourself, duh) and I would be wearing a different pair of sunglasses in each of them because I have a sunglasses problem.
I like when one of my pictures hits eleven or more likes because it means there are too many likes to list all the people liking them, and instead you just see the massive number of those likers, and in the case of Instagram, eleven is a massive number. It is validating and makes me feel good about myself, and because I know this I make a real effort to like as many of other people’s photos as I can. I’ve heard rumors about people who over think who and what they are going to like but I think that’s silly – if you like something, why not tell the person?
I do not like when one of my friends forgets that Instagram is not Facebook and they post thirty-nine consecutive photos that are simply different versions of the same group of people posing in different line-ups. I think we should cap it off at three in a row of fast succession and that you should ideally keep your picture count under five photos a day and you should follow a mix of musicians, TV networks, famous people, friends, DIY blogs, NASA, Rich Kids, foodies, Rihanna and a lot of these random Japanese fashion websites. And don’t make your photos private, that’s just silly and how will your stalkers stalk you? And fine, maybe you can see from the picture above that I personally have close to 900 photos, which would seem like a whole lot, but remember, I’m one of those early adopter people (and I still couldn’t even get the same name as my Twitter handle, but whatever, I’m not bitter. Wait, is this how John Stamos feels about me?) and you better believe that as soon as I heard about Instagram a little over a year ago, I signed right up and started snapping away like the photographic genius I was convinced I was thanks to a little something called an Instagram filter and a little something else called a tilt-shift. Yeah, thanks to Instagram, I even know all sorts of cool things about photography now. Like all the best apps to make your Instagram pics even better, which you probably didn’t even know was possible.
Instagram has replaced Twitter as the first online service I check when I wake up in the morning and the last one I scroll through before falling asleep at night. I barely even check Facebook at all anymore. My heart belongs to you, Instagram, and if I could, I would Instagram that and I would probably use the Valencia filter and add a little bit of a soft focus somewhere in the upper left-hand corner.
(Image via Shutterstock)