Instagram's the best, except when it's the worst. Below, some simple guidelines for not being a monster on everyone's favorite social platform.
1. #Hashtag #Abuse
If you have something to say, just say it. Hashtags were created with the intention of making trending topics discoverable. Your #instagood, #likesforlikes, #picoftheday is bullshit and has got to go. If we're going to continue with this trend of hashtagging whatever we please, then we need to start asking the real questions. #WHEREISAVRILLAVIGNE has only one post to its legacy, and it's a photo of a dude on a skateboard waiting for a train that's already come. I'm serious. Look it up. 2. Workout Selfies
I have nothing against personal fitness and I promise I'm super supportive of the whole "New year, new me" kick you've been on but please, spare me the selfies. I've seen the inside of a gym and I really don't need to be reminded of the terrors I experienced. And if you're in LA, we all know "hiking" is just an excuse to go for a stroll with a friend while you talk about how hungover you both are. This whole hot yoga/juice cleanse combo you're bitching about seems like it's really doing wonders for you and I'm sure your shaman (aka Chad, the physical therapy undergrad) is a great guy, but really, I don't need you to rub it in my face. Nama'stay-the-fuck-in-your-lane. 3. Motivational Posts (Spiritual or Otherwise)
Do you remember that poster hanging in your high school geometry teacher's classroom, the one with the cat clinging by its claws to a clothesline or a telephone wire, urging you to "hang in there" with that for-a-dollar-a-day look on its face? Yeah. That one. Posts like, "It doesn't matter how slow you go so long as you don't stop" -- especially when they're done with cool typography and have punchy gradient color backgrounds -- are just as annoying. Cut it out.
4. Latte Art
Is that a cute rendition of that one anime bear in your latte froth? I can't even. No really, I can't. I've seen him, a cat, and three attempts at heart-shaped foliage this morning alone. I'm over it. Let me know when you find the face of Christ in your coffee. And even then, it's been done. Not even the Vatican will like your post now.
5. #MCM and #WCW
Okay this is an A or B sort of situation:
A: This (wo)man crush is a celebrity. You don't stand an addict's chance in a pharmacy, but that's exactly what this hashtag is meant for. It's harmless fun, and I, for one, have no problem with a bi-weekly dose of unattainable devastatingly attractive creatures dancing through my feed.
B: You're using this hashtag incorrectly and this person is actually your significant other. Boring. You bagged a good one and I'm happy you're happy. Live your dream. But chances are I'm going to see pictures of you and your "bae" every other day of the week. There is no need to declare this a national weekly holiday. Give it a rest.
6. TBT Transformation Posts
You had an awkward phase and you overcame it. Braces? Chubby cheeks? Vodka in a Tropicana bottle during first period homeroom? (No? Just me?) The point is, we've all seen it. That's middle school. I don't need a reminder of adolescent yesteryear every Tuesday and Thursday. I pay my therapist enough already.
7. Fake Followers
You've got 20k followers and nineteen likes on your last post -- you're not fooling anybody. I've researched the price points of fake Instagram followers (not because I'm a writer, but because I'm an asshole) and I can't help but think that you've expended a questionable portion of your downtown rent this month to pay for millennial robots that don't care about you. Seek help.
8. Early Bird, Brannan, or Nashville Filters
I really can't talk about this right now. Not to sound like my shrink, but I can't care about you if you don't care about you.
9. Bad Bios
"Business Inquiries" are not business inquiries if they're directed to your personal Yahoo email. Go back to school.
10. "Year In Review" Slideshows
Nobody paid attention to these photos the first time around. You paid $1.99 in the App store to have Apple curate a seizure-inducing collection of your most okayest posts of the year, and I totally understand. You feel that most of your photos this year have been slept on, but rest assured, we were all awake. We were just far too wrapped up in ourselves to give you a "like."