To follow or un-follow? That is the question. Most of us are swooning over Instagram. With over 200 million active users and 20 billion photos shared, our “hearts” click strong for the little app that’s carved its place into the steady rhythm of our day. Within the frame of that little square, we curate our style, our humor, our intellect, our lives. We put our face forward and we frame the world as we see it. Consciously or unconsciously, we’re branding ourselves, collecting friends/followers, and building mini-empires that promote a world we love. When it comes to branding, “image” is everything. So, what is your Insta-style saying about you? Here’s a list of the 7 greatest Insta-sins of our time, and the reason you might not be getting all the “love” you’re looking for.
1. I LOVE MYSELF…A LOT
To some degree, we all have a fascination with our own face, a healthy curiosity about our physical form, and even, at times, the need to be appreciated for it. But nothing, nothing, screams Narcissist! like a daily, steady stream of your filtered face in someone’s Instagram feed. This is not your Tinder profile.
2. THE NAKED TRUTH
Please keep your pants on. We repeat: Please keep your pants on. We’re not trying to get a “heart” on in between pictures of our family and friends. There is a time and place for everything: Those of you posting pictures in thongs or tidy-whities, or even those awkward bikini shots in front of your bathroom sink… you’re in the wrong place. Pretty sure there’s a different app for that kind of full disclosure, and no, Tinder is not that place either.
3. ACCIDENTAL LOVE
When you accidentally hit that heart while stalking an ex, secret crush, or the current person you’re jealous of (whom you have no prior history of following)… OOPS! You’ve been revealed. The push notification will be delivered regardless of whether you take back that heart. They know you’ve been Insta-stalking. Just stay cool. Genuinely cool. Own up to the outpouring of accidental affection. Do not try to save face by hiding and changing your profile pic and name, or texting to explain that your phone was pocket Instagramming and magically landed on his new girlfriend’s page. Hey, you might get lucky; they might think you’re genuinely happy for them.
Insta-gratification feels good. There’s no denying that immediate surge of love you feel when all those little hearts bubble up around a recent post. But this, like any other high in life, is something worth working on. The nature of Instagram is that it’s designed to inspire careful and conscious curation. It should be a selection of your favorite/best moments of the day, not every moment of your day. When it comes to Instagram, it’s quality over quantity. One to two posts per day is the sweet spot.
5. YOU MIGHT CONSIDER VIDEO FOR THAT…
Beyond the Insta-binge temptation, the bigger culprit is scrolling through a stream of the same exact photos taken a second later. Unless you’re trying to revolutionize Instagram and turn it into a stop-motion-Instagram-flipbook of some sort, one picture of you and your besties at brunch is enough. Or, you can just capture the moment with the new hyperlpase feature and save us from the many versions of you and yours.
6. HASH ATTACK
Less is always more. And editing is always one of the first rules of proper etiquette in any medium. Guide the eye towards what matters. Hash tags can really show off your wit and help you organize future posts, all while growing a steady following of people who actually respect what you post. #emphasizing #every #word #is #confusing #and #doesn’t #really #make #any #sense.
7. FOLLOW THE FLOW
Number one rule of avoiding heartache in life: Don’t take things personally. The same is true with Instagram. If you’ve been un-followed or your request is not accepted, don’t create dramatic stories filled with lofty conclusions about why you think that person hates you. That’s just crazy-town. And, yet, so many of us go there in search of the reason why. You’ll probably never know why, unless you call the person up and ask them, which is, well, something we don’t do anymore. So, don’t make assumptions and don’t take it personally. There’s a good chance they missed the request or they’re editing their feed for a reason that has nothing to do with you. As is true in life, you just gotta go with the flow. Love what you love ‘cause you love it, and don’t worry about whether it loves you back.
What gets your heart beating? Tweet us your insta-favorites here, and tell us why that particular feed does it for you.