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?
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.
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.
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.