There’s a certain kind of person that regularly posts pictures to Instagram. They’re usually incredibly vain and faux wealthy OR they’re celebrities. I’ve actually had to stop pulling up my Instagram when I’m waiting in line anywhere because my feed is mostly anonymous butt models.
Obviously, pretty girls that you know personally or through a friend of a friend are repeat offenders. These are typically the girls that wouldn’t give you the time of day in high school or college because they were dating guys a few years older than you. They’ll post a picture of two In-N-Out burgers situated just so on a red tray and get a couple hundred likes. If it’s a special occasion or a holiday weekend, they’ll post one of them in a bathing suit or some absurdly low-cut dress that hugs the body in all the right places. A picture like that merits at least three hundred likes on the ‘gram.
But let’s not forget about your one actually rich friend from college that you hate-follow. After graduation, he moved to Spain and you’re not really sure what he does for work anymore. His parents are oil barons or work for a special interest on Wall Street. This is the guy who posts a picture on top of the Himalayas on some idle Tuesday while you slowly die under the glow of fluorescent lights.
Then there are celebrities. Kendall and Kylie. Gigi Hadid. They’ll post photos that I would most adequately describe as tastefully slutty. I can’t get enough of Emily Ratajkowski on Instagram. She is the greatest of all time and I won’t hear anything to the contrary.
And, of course, we have the #fitchicks. The really popular ones can make six figures a year promoting FitTea, portable teeth whiteners, and workout tips to get your ass (YES, YOU!) toned, supple, and shapely. I was listening to a ‘This American Life’ podcast the other day about high schoolers in 2016 who consider Instagram to be something comparable to a social hierarchy. And just like in any social ladder, you will have what I’d call the haves and the have-nots. One girl they interviewed said that if she’s not past 50 likes after the first 10 minutes of her posting a picture she’ll delete it for fear of backlash or laughter at her misfortune. I weep for the future.
Meanwhile, I’ll post a picture of the Lincoln Memorial with my measly 500 followers and be lucky to get 20 likes. I’m ashamed to admit it, but three years ago this would have actually bothered me. Now I just don’t really post pictures. And it’s not because I don’t get tons of likes. It’s because I’m too embarrassed to walk up to a stranger and ask them to snap a picture of me posing or looking candid in front of a neon sign that says “Don’t kill my vibe.” Like what do people do when they ask someone to take their picture in front of their car or looking down at the ground in some parking garage? “Make sure you get at least ten. A couple with the flash on. And maybe try from a few angles because I can’t tell how this lighting is going to show up on my phone.”
It feels ridiculous, and I know in my heart of hearts that it looks ridiculous. Yet other people have zero shame in doing this. I’m jealous of their lack of humility but simultaneously embarrassed for them. I’d like to be better about throwing up Instagram pics, I’m just not sure I can delve into that world without sacrificing my dignity. Maybe I should get off my high horse and start posting pictures of every inconsequential thing that’s going on in my life. Maybe I should just delete Instagram. Or maybe I’ll just continue to post a picture once every couple of months when the mood really strikes me. In any case, if you fall under the category of frequent Instagram poster, props to you. It’s something I will probably never be comfortable doing. .