This piece was inspired by the article “How I Fell Out of Love with the Internet” by Avery Erwin. In class we have been discussing internet, so I decided to write about Instagram.
1. Fall in love with Instagram
It is 2010. You are in elementary school. Instagram just came out. Get out your brand new iPod touch. Go to the app store. Download the app. Wait eagerly till it loads. Open the app. Create a username and password. Disguise your name by making your username something you love. This weird username will probably be changed to your real name in a few years. Press skip when they ask you to find your contacts. Go to settings. Make yourself private. Go to your profile. Add a profile picture of you or of you and your friends. Add your favorite things and your favorite people in your bio. Search your friends account and follow them. Impatiently wait for them to follow you back. Get excited when you have about 50 followers. Start posting pictures of everything you are doing. Get about five or ten likes. You could not be happier.
2. Middle school Instagram phase
You finally make it to middle school. You accumulated a lot of followers over the years. You finally change your username. Your friends get mad that you can’t fit their name in your bio. You add the date you started dating your boyfriend or girlfriend in your bio with a heart next to it. You start caring about what others think of you. When it is your best friends birthday make a collage of all the pictures you took together and write the longest paragraph about all your memories and why you love them so much. Feel obligated to post for peoples birthdays that you aren’t close friends with. Compare the amount of likes and followers you have with your friends. Who ever has more is “cooler”. You are so close to 1,000 followers. You life depends on how many likes you get. If you don’t get enough likes you delete the picture. You care more and more about what people think of you. You only post pictures that make your life look awesome.
3. Tagging your friends
You can now tag your friends on your post. The creator of this new update didn’t realize how much drama this would cause in young girls lives. You start with just tagging the people in the picture. Then, you tag all your other best friends. When you don’t tag someone that feels they should be tagged, they will comment on your post “tag?”. You feel bad so you go ahead and tag them, but you don’t really want to. This new feature is a way to tell who is in and who is out. This all starts getting too much, so you start to only tag the people in the photo again.
4. Instagram tries something new
You see a notification pop up for settings that Instagram can be updated. You can’t wait to do this because you always love the updates. You open up you feed when it loads. It doesn’t look too different. You search around trying to find what the new change is. Later that day you friend tells you she just posted. You go on to see what the picture is and you can’t find it. That is when you see the new update. The pictures are not in chronological order of the way they are posted. You ask your friends why it is like that and they tell you that the pictures are now in an order that Instagram thinks you would like the best. You are aggravated about this. You want to see all the posts in chronological order. You do not care what Instagram thinks you like because it is clearly not correct. You think it is creepy that Instagram can determine what you want to see.
5. Everyone starts to get a finsta
A fake Instagram? More like a real Instagram. Well, at least when you first get it. You make your username a word play on your first or last name. Here you will post all about what actually goes on in your life. You don’t hid behind your fake life you post on Instagram. You are real here. Only your close friends can follow this though because you will be posting ugly, embarrassing pictures and stories about yourself. More and more people start finding about your finsta and want to follow. An acceptance and a follow back is a the ultimate way to know you are really liked by this person. Well actually, you now start accepting everyone’s request. This small finsta meant for just your friends has expanded so far. You use your finsta less and less. You don’t want all these people you are barely friends with knowing everything about your life.
6. Join the resistance
You delete your finsta because no one really uses it anymore. The private story on snapchat is the in thing right now. You are tired of seeing all the fake and edited pictures. Everyone is competing to look like they are having the better life. They hid what is actually going on in their lives with fun and exciting pictures. You decide you have had enough with Instagram. You delete the app. You tell yourself that you will never use Instagram again. Four days later you are downloading Instagram again. You tell yourself you just want to look at one thing and then you will delete it. You do this, but guess what you do in a few days. You redownload it. You can’t help yourself. You are addicted!
photo credits: https://knowtechie.com/how-to-appear-offline-in-instagram/