Unpopular Opinion: Go Home Instagram, You’re Drunk

My super original and unique plan to post a low-quality photo of myself from fraturday came to an abrupt halt when I received a follow request from my 82-year-old grandpa on Sunday morning. Upon further investigation (i.e, calling my mom later that day), I learned my uncle set up my grandpa’s account to see my cousin’s photos from studying abroad in Barcelona (apparently it’s not all about me?). I also learned that he already had an Instagram, but he forgot the password and had to make a new one. So now my 82-year-old grandpa follows me on Instagram twice. I posted the photo anyways (because Sunday night is prime time, obviously).

This article actually isn’t about my grandpa, even though he’s a really awesome guy. It’s about the crazy world where an 82-year-old man is forced to make an Instagram account in order to keep up with the people he cares about. Instagram isn’t just about pictures anymore. It’s about information, influence and power.

I was the kid who got access to social media way too early in life. It was great clout to have at playdates, but not-so-great for my long term reputation. My 2009 Facebook statuses about Hannah Montana and being, “sooooo sad to leave the 5th grade,” (not even making this up) are case in point. I don’t totally remember the exact day that Facebook became overrun by suburban moms, but that day has definitely passed. I took refuge in Tumblr at that point, but this respite was short-lived. The rest of the trend- setting world went ahead and joined Instagram and I complacently followed. Instagram was simple and fun at first. But somewhere down the line, it got caught up in “algorithms” and “livestreams.” Everybody got mad when these changes first happened, but eventually gave up and forgot.

In addition, the app “Facetune” came out when I was a junior in high school. One of my friends showed it to me with the secretive urgency as if it was an illegal and life altering drug. It quickly became a subject of controversy in my friend group, mostly because one of my psycho friends was mad at me (or just psycho, I don’t remember) and posted a hilariously edited photo in which she shrunk my features so much that the door frame next to me was visibly concave. Long story short, I learned that Instagram was fake and also that I had a really bad friend.

Over the past few years, I’ve blocked this girl, but Instagram hasn’t gotten much more authentic. Influencers have changed the landscape of the social media world and frankly they’ve made it really boring. Ever since the slow death of finsta accounts, there has been no real niche for real content or any content at all that isn’t majestically filtered and aesthetically pleasing.

Nowadays, Instagram only matters for two purposes: birthdays and stalking. In some respects, Instagram has become this massive encyclopedia where you can look up anything from where that red-headed boy in your preschool class went to college to the resort that that-girl-you-hate is staying at for spring break. Instagram has become more about information than it has about pictures.

Instagram doesn’t cost money, but it does cost time. And energy. The bottom line is that Instagram peaked. A while ago. Everything it has done in the past year has just been annoying. As my roommate once famously said, best to leave a party when you’re at your most drunk. Nothing that happens after that is ever worth staying for. You just end up wasting your time and pissing people off, @Instagram.

Contact Kara Schindler at [email protected].