There are about as many articles critiquing people's internet behaviours as there are different behaviours to exhibit on the internet. I'm not sure I approve of this phenomenon.
Unless you're being racist or misogynist or going Full A**hole some other way, probably just keep doing what you're doing, online or IRL. Here are a few classic Instagram habits that draw a particular amount of bile, and which, if you think about it, are all absolutely fine.
Whatever, selfie haters. I have the Oxford English Dictionary behind me (HEARD OF IT?), and honestly if you don't want to see pics of your friends looking supermodel gorgeous with the help of make up, miracle-lighting and some hot filter-on-filter action, there's something wrong with you. No one looks like that for REAL, but isn't it nice to pretend? Can't you be happy for your pal revelling in what her face can look like instead of sitting there obsessing over the passage of time or some freckles or whatever? I recognise that a lot of the time taking millions of heavily-filtered selfies can play into this age-fear or the idea that women must be beautiful all the time, so in that light I also LIVE for a #nomakeup or #nofilter selfie. Like, a real one. Raw humans—especially female ones without mascara or under eye concealer—are beautiful, vulnerable creatures and I love them. Whether cray-flattering or a true #iwokeuplikethis, both ends of the Great Selfie Chain of Being are fine by me.
Artsy Close Ups
It's like, you walk by flowers and leaves every single day, but do you ever really *see* them? Up close?? It is well-known in artistic circles that a constant XCU is how visionaries see the world. Turn people's minds upside down and make them question their perception of just about anything by hittin' that zoom liberally and often.
These kinds of pics are the hallmark of a true insta-beginner, I think. I used to take a lot—like, a LOT—of close ups of candle flames, or fun ‘artsy' angles of mugs while drinking tea. Selfie with just my mouth and chin? Check. Eggs like you've never seen them? Check. A flower, blooming slowly… next to some garbage?? Check-juxtaposition-check. It's a bit wanky, sure, but experimenting with angles and filters and zooms are a fun part of amateur photography, and as long as you are not referring to it as “photography” in front of literally anyone else, I think it's totally fine. Now get out there and zoom in on your shoes for a bit.
I used to be very, very anti-food photography. I still am, in theory. These days I only Instagram really embarrassingly bad and weird meals I eat (oatmeal made with a small shovel, the world's saddest plate of beans, etc.) as a “haha, what is my life” kind of … fun… joke? I guess? Reading that back, I don't know why I share those photos either. The ones I REALLY want to share are the kinds you tend to see more of on good old Insty—green smoothies in mason jars, carb-free dinners, impressive feats of vegetable use. The kind of thing onto which you might pop a trendy food hashtag like #eatclean #paleopower or #srslymesohealthycheckitout. This ultimately amounts to bragging but I also feel good about the motivational power of bragging, and may start with the fancy food pics. Srsly, my breakfast juice this morning had broccoli in it. BROCCOLI. [Unrelated but important: Once, while out with my sister and my mum, my sister snapped a pic of her appetizer and my mum said, “Oh, that's a good idea!” as though my sister had invented this practice. #bless #paleopower]
The Most Obvious Travel Shots Ever Taken
You can tell I went to France, because here is the Eiffel Tower! Did you know I am somewhere warm right now? Warmer than where you are, probably. You can know this because of this generic photo of a beach I have taken and decided to share. Living in London as an expat I am one of the absolute WORST at this, because my Canadian friends are legitimately pretty into pictures of London townhouses or Borough Market, or my sweet baby angel the Shard. (I love the Shard.) I'm sure to anyone actually FROM the UK I just look like a confused and embarrassingly eager tourist, but you can pry my shots of the Thames at night from my cold, dead hands (after I've drowned in the Thames trying to get *the* perfect angle).
This is the entire point of social media, sorry.
See you on Instagram, you guys. Keep doing what you're doing. (If someone hates it they can always unfollow.)