Here’s the issue I have with Instagram- I can’t just turn off notifications for people. On Facebook, I can at least ‘hide from timeline’. You know hide that ex who posts a Facebook stories with his current girlfriend (I mean how old are you that you post Facebook stories?) I can also hide that aunty who shares random cooking videos on her timeline. I can hide ’em all!
But on Insta, I have to be tortured by looking at everyone’s every picture. WHY GOD WHY?
One after the other they come in a stream as if looking straight at me saying, “Hi darling, I’m here vacaying in Santorini running down white steps in a blue flowy dress and someone snapped this totally candid moment. Sorry but the only thing you could post right now would be your laptop screen. Toodles!”
And obviously, I do that courtesy double tap on the picture and just cry at my sad life from inside.
The turquoise waters and lilac skies never leave you, do they? You can never truly unsee those #Wanderlust videos of palm trees swaying in the breeze that you can’t feel on your face.
See, the point is that do you think you really went on a vacation if you didn’t post the pictures on social media? The answer my dear friend is no, no you didn’t go.
You didn’t actually lie on the sand and sunbathe with a beer. Not unless you posted a photo of your daintily folded legs, beer precociously placed and the endless waters in the blurry background (and if you want to add that extra #Goals touch- then you can add a book to the mix too).
The Insta funda is simple, more holidays, more likes, more followers.
And the only thing that can add to the number of likes on holiday pictures is if it were a polaroid. Here’s the difference between what a Polaroid picture caption is and what it should be.
Picture Caption: “You took a Polaroid of us, then discovered the rest of the world was black and white. But we were in screaming colour. #TaylorSwift #TaylorSwiftQuote”
What the photo should actually say: “OMG! I just bought this instant camera cause it’s cute and colourful. I worked very hard at clicking these perfectly timed grainy photographs. And then I have worked equally hard to hold the photograph up against a green background with my well-manicured hands. Plz like!”
Then when the narcissism gets too much, there’s always food. There should be a special place in hell for those people who take videos of their chocolate cake being cut and molten choco syrup oozing out onto the plate.
I mean even I eat the Dominos’s choco-lava cake but the chocolate never really drips out in the same way, does it?
And is it just me or is one person on your Instagram always in Goa and using #Sunkissed on their pictures?
In the world obsessed with check-ins and geolocating their pictures, you know what they’re trying to say, “My girls and I are sitting by the poolside at this swanky five-star and why else have we ordered Champagne if not to clink our glasses together for classy-yet-cute Boomerangs?”
And so like a loyal friend, I watch the Instagram story and rewatch it. All the while I ponder over where I went wrong that on a Wednesday evening I’m confined to the four walls of my office while she is out guzzling cocktails.
But one day I was forced to be on the other side of the narrative. During a casual Sunday brunch, a friend of mine came and said,
“OMG! Anandita I stalk your Insta feed all the time, your posts make me so jealous. How do you party so much?”
That’s when it hit me- aren’t we all trying to one-up each other on social media? We’re all trying to project that Insta perfect life and trying to seek validation from those who apparently really matter to us in the virtual world.
She got 300 likes on her photos. He has over 2000 followers. I have to beat it. I have to prove that my life is so much more fun than theirs. Crazy, aren’t we?
*goes back to scrolling my Insta feed*