it's not you, instagram; it's me

Confession: I hate Instagram.

Not in the “too deep for superficial social media” way. For heaven’s sake, I’m a Twitter user and that place is a cesspool.

My Instagram hatred is specific to how isolated I feel among my peer group. Let me explain.

One day, I looked at my feed and it reminded me of how Facebook looked before I abandoned it. Parents with children or new baby bumps. Engagements and weddings and date nights and game nights. Live your best life memes. Selfies with “self-love/care/acceptance” captions. Glossy, post-edited photo shoot flicks.

Had I bumped my head and fallen through a portal into Auntie/Uncle Instagram?

Wait.

My peer group is Auntie/Uncle Instagram. It’s not their fault I’m the 36-year-old weirdo who’ll go on a night on the town in December and only photograph the glittery balls hanging from the ceiling.

i was not exaggerating.

To be honest, I’ve never considered myself an Instagram person. Even when the app was iPhone-exclusive, I never clamored for an Android version because I understood, even back then, that my inner life was more compelling than the outer. “Twitter works for me because all the good stuff happens in my head,” I told a friend. “My daily life is pretty dull.” And that was when I was 28 and still had a social life.

At 36, my life doesn’t look like anyone else’s I know. Even my fellow spinsters have thrown themselves into careers, side hustles, and bucket list vacations. I’m not there, either.

And because I don’t want to resent my friends for being “normal 30somethings” or myself for being a… whatever the fuck I am… I deleted the app from my phone without ceremony and took my photo-taking talents to the VSCO. Apparently, socially-anxious teenagers and those searching for deeper meaning through photography are my people.

the chaotic collage-style profile lets you know this is where the non-conformists hang.

I occasionally check IG from my mobile browser with little proof of life photos here and there. I might hit one or two likes. Then I dip back out to the social mediums that don’t make me feel like a pariah.

So if I haven’t answered your Instagram DM, please do not fret. It’s not you; it’s me.

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