An open letter to overeager Instagrammers

Dear Instagram Addict,

#Shoutout to you, the girl who’s had an Instagram for so long that your name seems naked without an @ in front. You truly believe Instagram is your one true love, your #baeforlife. This may come to you as the biggest blasphemy since Pluto was stripped of its planetary status, but Instagram is not the center of the universe. With every new post, you’re drawn deeper and deeper into Instagram’s soul-encompassing vortex. I’m here to lend a helping hand and show you that there’s more to life than just Instagram. Now sit down, look up from your phone (because let’s be honest, your battery is probably at like 2%), and listen to what I’m about to say. I promise, everything I’m saying is with love.

I know you’re not trying to be annoying when you tell people you reached 1,000 followers on Instagram, but after being told for the seventeenth time, I want to unfollow you immediately on principle. You spend hours trying to get perfectly-angled foodagrams for your followers instead of actually enjoying your meal and friends that are right in front of you. People say “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but how do you even give your pictures a caption if you have no story to tell? If you tried living in the moment, you might find that you get more out of life.

In ancient times, like say 2000 C.E, there was no such thing as Instagram (*insert shocked gasp here*), and people had this fascinating technique called “memory” to recall things that happened to them. Memory is like Instagram, except there’s no competition to gain the most followers or likes (sounds pretty cool, huh?). Don’t get me wrong: I have an Instagram, and it’s great for posting an occasional cute picture (or finding hilarious Vines). But the pursuit of a perfect pic for your daily hashtag shouldn’t dictate your whole life.

Also, your captions have tumbled into your speech IRL (which, as you know, means “in real life”). You’ve slowly replaced your actual laughter with saying “lol.” What’s next: Instead of crying you’ll say :’( ? Our generation has been blessed (not #blessed) with the amazing outlet that is the Internet — we’re able to connect with people across the globe and share our unique ideas. But lately, with Instagram (and many of its social media cohorts), the Internet has become your greatest curse. Instead of using your words to describe the sorrows and joys that make up your life, you shorten your feelings into “feels.” You should never choose brevity over clarity for your emotions, because if you don’t fully acknowledge your feelings, who will? You have the right, nay the duty, to express all the multi-faceted, unique characteristics that make you the wonderful person you are.

But before I lose your attention (because by now you probably have over 20 notifications fighting for it), let me impart these final words: Remember that no matter how many followers you gain, the people that truly matter are the ones who you can call at 1 a.m. to cry about a bad breakup, who will tell you when your mascara is running, or stand up for you even when you’re completely wrong. Few people will remember that picture you posted a week ago that perfectly punned your early morning Starbucks run with the Earlybird filter. But, unless you change your ways, to everyone you’ll always be known as the girl who lived behind filters. I want to remember you through our great memories together. My memory might not be photographic, but my best memories always happen when I’m off your phone and fully living in the moment.

Warm Regards,

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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