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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Column: Inst-ugh-gram

Due to the recently granted access to Android users, everyone and their mother has an Instagram account.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to reprimand you for adding a filter to a plain photo to make it hipster-chic. I’m not going to do it because I commit this crime on an occasional basis.

As an Instagram user with 10+ followers, I’ve deemed myself pretty much the most popular user and thus the best person to comment about this application. Used by millions of people, anyone can gain access to a plethora of photos that range from pointless to magnificently brilliant taken by teen queens and professional photographers.

If for some reason you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to the “cool-looking” photos that your friends are uploading to Facebook. How did they make it look that way? Has your friend turned into – oh my god – a hipster? Did they spend hours on Photoshop editing this piece of art? Do you have to take a trip to the nearest Urban Outfitters and buy an overpriced Polaroid? No. 99 percent of the time, Instagram is the likely suspect.

Now don’t be duped when you start perusing your friends’ photo collections on this app … Some try to outsmart their followers and cheat by uploading photos taken with really expensive cameras to their Instagram accounts just to gain “likes” and essentially the approval and love from the world. Don’t kid yourself — we can tell that your iPhone did not complete that long-exposure shot. Nevertheless, 30+ likes. Perhaps aspiring photographers are realizing that if they upload their work to this app, people will recognize their talents on yet another social media site.

Some sneaky camera whores realized that this is just another outlet for their apparent beauty — excuse me, but taking a picture of your face every day and adding a colored filter to it just does not make sense. Photo of your abs? Okay, cool, good for you. Why is this on my newsfeed with the X-pro II filter applied to it? And why the hell are you hash-tagging the photo “hot,” “summer 2012,” “girl” and “amazing?”

It’s like when people realized no one wanted to hear about their daily woes through their Facebook statuses and realized that Twitter was the place to be. Now, people are realizing that posting a picture of your face every other day with a caption containing song lyrics isn’t hard-hitting Facebook news either … that’s how we get 50 percent of Instagram users.

Now, 30 percent of Instagram users, for some reason, only post pictures of their food. I don’t get it. Yeah, you’re making me jealous and hungry, but please tell me why I have to look at a poorly thought-out shot? Unless you’re running some sort of food blog, please save it for your Tumblr.

I’d like to believe that the rest of the 20 percent of users, such as myself, keep true to the main purpose of Instagram, which I like to believe is this: to share pictures of beautiful views, cats, babies, comedic happenings and/or natural beauty in everyday life. Of course, a sassy caption is much needed.

To take part in this phenomenon, all you have to do is download a simple app for your smartphone or iPhone. If you don’t have one of those, well, sucks. Actually, there are a few apps you can utilize through Google Chrome. But you know that if none of your friends can like it on Instagram, then you’re not cool. You’ll just have a cool cover photo for your Facebook profile.

Please stick to these three rules, however. 1) Don’t upload your photos straight from the Instagram app to your Facebook or Tumblr account. Take the extra time to separately upload photos to avoid the “taken with Instagram” caption. Nothing screams “Facebook illiterate” more than that caption. 2) Don’t just take a photo of the sky, add a filter and upload it. No. That’s pointless and stupid. Unless there was a flailing bird or some cosmic rarity, you’re being a reckless Instagram user. 3) Utilize this outlet to make fun of your friends. With the option to blur out parts of the photo, you can direct the main focus of your audience to the fanny pack your best friend is wearing in public.

ELIZABETH ORPINA judges everyone like no other and can be reached at arts@theaggie.org. To entertain both her and her Tumblr followers, upload pointless Instagram photos — better yet, LINK your Instagram to Facebook so she can screenshot them and point out your flaws.

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