Instagram used to be considered the redheaded stepchild of social media applications. Way back in 2011, Instagram was still relatively new. We were still learning how to use Snapchat and Instagram, but Facebook and Twitter dominated discussion as well as your free time. You would post a picture of some cool monument you went to on summer vacation if you had Instagram in 2011. And then, slowly but surely, Instagram gained some steam. You amassed followers, and frequency in between posts became less and less. Your world before Instagram is a remnant now. A wrinkle in time which should be cast off into the abyss. If it wasn’t documented on IG and didn’t garner at least 11 likes then what was the point?
Our attitude towards social media has changed since college. Remember those privacy settings you had your first couple of months following graduation from college? Bonging a beer was absolutely forbidden on the timeline. Nothing but professional photos of you in business casual on the timeline. I know I battened down the hatches right around my senior year of college when I realized employers could see that shit.
Sometime around age 23, I just stopped caring. And I think it’s because of Instagram. The popularity of Instagram has been so profound that people are doing the exact opposite of what they used to do in regards to posting and liking pictures. Everything is documented on Instagram and immediately shared on Facebook and Twitter. Me visibly inebriated at a bar with some friends? Sure, why the hell not. Let’s post that on all three major social media platforms.
That picture of you scantily clad heading to the club? That’s gonna get you a bare minimum 50 likes. Better wait until peak Instagram hours to post, though. And if you’re one of those people with a private Instagram account, let me know when you hop off of your high horse and join us commoners.
Gone are the days of being weary about posting pictures which could cast us in a bad light. Obviously, none of us are getting our pictures taken ripping a bong or doing a line of cocaine in a bathroom stall but we’re all pretty goddamn close. Toeing that line between professional and carefree. We’ve become more liberal about what we post to the timeline and it’s awesome. Employers know that their underlings get drunk. People imbibe in their free time. This is not news to any boss. So why can’t we throw a picture on the ‘gram of us taking a tequila shot? Who is anyone to say that it’s not appropriate to post that picture of you in one of those thong bikinis? You’ll never see me complaining.
And what’s more, we’ve become a lot better about double-tapping on Instagram. I think it’s still frowned upon in some circles, but for me, I’ll like literally anything that pops up on my timeline. I used to be cautious. I’m talking about the dreaded accidental like. You’ll be creeping through a girl’s Instagram and end up liking a photo she posted from sixty weeks ago. But who cares? Double tap that picture with confidence. Take pride in your inner creep.
If you’re interested in a girl who lives in your immediate area and you’ve got her phone number I have a homework assignment for you tonight. Right around 9:30 p.m., or whenever your bedtime is and after you’ve finished your nightly “it’s time to go to bed” routine, get onto Instagram and like that picture of the girl you’ve got a crush on. Make sure it’s a photo from at least a month ago, too. Just get weird with it. Give her a double tap on some tbt photo she posted from her freshman year of college or something.
Follow that up with a text on Friday afternoon to see if she’s free for drinks that night. Will it come off as creepy? Only if you think it’s creepy. It’s a mantra I’ve stolen from a friend and amended a little bit. He used to say “it’s only awkward if you make it awkward” all the time. And it’s the truth. It’s only creepy if you think it’s creepy. Instagram has allowed all of us to let our freak flags fly a little bit higher than previous eras. You know what you have to do. Now get out there and do it. .