5 REASONS...I Won't Instagram My Life

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I recently joined Instagram in an attempt to up my social media game. Given that I’m incredibly anti-social and I have little in the way of “game” you can imagine how well it’s been going.

In an effort to get inspired I took a look at the most popular individuals on Instagram and experienced immediately regret. Here’s the list (most popular first): Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Lionel Messi, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, and Kendall Jenner. That’s the list of names I’d produce if asked to come up with the World’s Nine Least Interesting People. I’ll let you guess who I actually do think is interesting. Hint: It’s The Rock.

Below the uber-celebrities, of course, is a thick layer of Instagram “influencers” who have made taking mirror selfies and pictures of their breakfast into a career. More power to them, I guess. But the cynic in me—which comprises about 95% of my being—isn’t impressed. Instagram is all about the visual. These pictures tell a thousand words or, in the case of the Jenners and Kardashians, just three words: Look. At. Me.

I don’t have any issues of people making a living from their face or body. But Instagram is effectively advertising on steroids. In other words, it’s not just “look at me”, it’s “be me” and to be them you need to do what they’re doing, buy what they sell. While I’ve jumped onto Instagram you won’t find me posting pictures of myself or my life on there as a matter of course and here are five reasons why.

1. It Looks Exhausting

It takes a huge amount of time to conceive of posts, take photos, edit them, and come up with appropriate hashtags. And to sate the insatiable social media beast you need to do it every day. Every activity is a potential post, every moment an opportunity. No wonder the world of influencers is rampant with anxiety and burnout, I had a panic attack just typing this paragraph!

2. I'm Not Sufficiently Outgoing

It’s called “social” media for a reason—you have to be prepared to engage with others in order to make it work. Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, I’m so anti-social that even our “indoor only” cat leaves the house more than me.

3. I'm Not Sufficiently Photogenic

There aren’t enough filters in the world to make me comfortable enough to post selfies daily. I’m not the Elephant Man but equally my passport looks like evidence the detectives on a police procedural stumble across when tracking down a serial killer.

4. I'm Not Sufficiently Narcissistic

It takes a healthy dose of self-love to assume that other people will find you fascinating. Instagram is effectively a giant advertisement where influencers are the product. Don’t believe me? Scroll through someone’s feed but substitute their image for a bar of chocolate. See! Product.

5. My Life Isn't Interesting

Is anyone’s life sufficiently interesting to warrant daily documentation? Mine certainly isn’t. My days consist of writing, eating, television, sometimes going to the gym, and cats. Actually the cats should come earlier in the list. Or maybe they should just be the entire list. My days consist of cats and even they’re not interesting enough to bother instagramming. All they do is sleep and throw up. And poop. Maybe there’s an Instagram audience for pictures of cats pooping but frankly anyone who would enjoy those types of pictures aren’t people I want to engage with.

People who actually do Instagram their lives aren’t people I necessarily want to engage with either. Because we all know that the images we present aren’t our real selves—it’s a highly constructed and carefully edited version of our selves. Whether by accident or design presenting a lie as your life will make someone feel inferior and I’m betting that someone will ultimately be you.