How Instagram Almost Ruined My Life

Insecurity, FOMO, and the other unfiltered harms that everyone's
favorite photo app can do to you.

In 2013, the phrase "you have no filter" no longer means you're not invited to dinner parties. It just means you don't have Instagram, an app that turns its users into monsters. Don't get me wrong--the platform is a great way to pass the time and stare at yet more pictures of fashion bloggers in Isabel Marant sneakers on Little West 12th, staring with pouts into someone's lens. It's great for stalking exes or new crushes.

Instagram all started with a dog (as do most great things). The first Instagram was of a puppy. If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about what works in our digital economy, I don't know what does.

Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. Many Instagram devotees were furious, determined that Facebook would sully the "privacy" and "intimacy" of Instagram. Neither are true, but it speaks to the power of the app's brand--users had deep feelings about their Instagram experiences.

Is this a problem?

So what if we we are obsessed with photographing our lives, down to every first dance, every flower, every sandwich. Does this mean we have issues? Yes, says the CBC, Canada's public television.

We are ceasing to see. Using our eyes to appreciate beauty is no longer enough. It always has to be documented for some other time--often resulting in an abyss of recordings. My first thought at a pretty sunset--where's my phone?

This is a tremendous problem. For many reasons.

We now look at people, dinners, events as opportunities to show-pony and showcase our lives. Everyone wants fame--our gram-obsession is a slice of that.

The New York Times just wrote about how online validation creates real feeling. Maybe instead of feeling and seeing and exploring the world, we want others to tell us we're doing a good job at it.

There is often so much "instagramming" going on at events I go to (myself included) that it can be hard to enjoy them. Sometimes I want to talk to my friends and celebrate someone's birthday without needing to see them blow out the candles in a photo uploaded by five people in attendance.

Instagram might create a deeper issue, too--feelings of FOMO, feelings of sadness. As I alluded to in my piece about comparing yourself to others--you are comparing yourself to the perception of someone else's glossy, Instagrammed existence. In Greta Gerwig's movie, Francis Ha, Francis tells her best friend that her new life looks so "happy" on her blog, when in reality, she is just projecting that to others and is completely miserable.

Frances Ha, official theatrical trailer

This is how Instagram looks--like one giant party. And don't we all want people to think that our lives are shinier than they really are? That the filters enhance and blur out things we don't want others to see?

It's not just about Instragram, either. All photostreams--Facebook, Flickr upping its game and improving its platform--are just two other ways to stare at photos all day. Snapchat, with the little cheeky ghost, is a photo-sharing app that self-destructs photos. It's adored by teens and also, apparently, Wall Street guys. I think by showing our lives, we are missing out on them.

We even know how bad our photo documentation obsession has become, and yet it won't stop.

Limit yourself to one or two photos per day. Any more than that, and you may as well be a fashion brand's intern.

Why read when you can look at pictures? Why look at and admire beauty when you can photograph it, invert the colors, slap on a Sierra, and share it with everyone you know?

Instagram has turned me into a filtering, snapping, cropping monstrosity.

As a navel gazer, Instagram is perfect: It's a direct expression. It's nearly 100% shoes, as I stare down at my navel. I also stare down at my nails, apparently. Once you become obsessed with photographing your surroundings constantly, it's then about approval from others.

The "golden number," as my brother calls it, is 11 likes. Once you get 11 likes on a photo, you no longer see user names, but instead you see just a number.

To add insult to injury, there are special days on Instagram. My least favorite and yet most utilized is ThrowbackThursday, which began with a photo of a car. TBT, as it's called, is Millennial narcissism and delight at its finest, as it combines both broadcasting and nostalgia.There are even unspoken rules to #TBT, with some Instagram loyalists demanding that the photo has to be "so old" that it's in physical form. What's your filter of choice? Everyone has his or her own, and there have been many articles trying to dissect what your chosen filter means about you. Mine is X-Pro.

Limit yourself to a certain amount of time looking at pictures.

It's easy to fall into what I dub the Instagram Hole: I am now looking at the photos of my ex boyfriend's best friend's new girlfriend's sister's baby (I actually tracked this). Before you know it, you're busy looking at celebrities' selfies and drowning in a sea of summer Hamptons-share-house pictures. (Red solo cups look best without a filter.)

Go play outside without your phone.

Maybe try sharing beauty with a person. Or yourself. The best filters are your eyes, so stop looking down and see the world.

Meredith Fineman is the founder of FinePoint Digital PR. You can read more of her writing here.

[Image: Flickr user Godolphin]

Add New Comment

144 Comments

  • Spencer Miller

    I AM SO HAPPY THAT MY EX IS BACK TO ME HE NOW ADORE AND RESPECT ME ANYTHING I TELL HIM THAT IS WHAT HE FOLLOWS ALL THANKS TO DR vOKE,THE GREAT SPELL CASTER,THIS MAN HIS THE BEST AND STRAIGHT FORWARD SPELL CASTER THAT TELLS YOU THE TRUTH AND YOU WILL GET RESULT UNDER 3DAYS,OTHER SPELL CASTER ARE SCAM BUT DR VOKE IS VERY TRUSTWORTHY PLEASE IF YOU NEED YOUR LOVER ONCE BACK PLEASE KINDLY CONTACT DR VOKE ON HIS PRIVATE MAIL (DOCTORVOKE@GMAIL.COM)

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the

  • Cynthia Jerry

    My Names is Elizabeth Mark I'm sharing this testimony.i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to usa in march last year on a business summit i meet a man called Dr JOHNBULL, is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love s gone misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job i m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 5 year i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try and in 8 days when i returned to taxes my husband (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settl

  • Spencer Miller

    I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD'S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE'S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I'M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS... I REALLY LOVED HER, BUT HER MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND SHE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO US, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HER MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO..

  • Cyntia Morgan

    Good spell caster. Thank you Dr edaho you are the best spell caster that i have ever seen in my life, the spell you casted for me have work very perfectly, my ex boyfriend who live me for over 3week now is back and apologizing for me to come back to him that he is very sorry for the pain he caused me and i am so happy Dr edaho your spell is nice and make me fill alive again i will keep sharing you good work all over the world about the good spell you cast for me to get Fred back and i will also give your email address to everybody who is in need of help like you told me that you can cast a spell to bring my ex back, Money spell, Protection spell, lotto spell, Good job spell and many other spell you told me you can cast for me if i need them i hope you will find a place to help other so they can give testimonies like me dr edaho please help others, many people have problem like mine but there is nobody like you to help them solve their problem like you do, if anyone need the help of thi

  • Michelle Nelly Brown

    Will I have to say thanks to dr sakura from bring my ex lover back to me…he is so good to me since I met he, I did thought that he can bring my lover back, a friend of my called Josephine from Canada gave me his contact telling me that the spell caster helped her to get her ex back and her children I did believe it and she explained everything to me about the dr, that he dosent charge at all but you have to provide only the things that will be use in casting of the spell which I emailed him and he told me that is the bus-stop of my problem and I believed him without doubting his work so he told me that i have to provide the requirements and which I provided and between an twinkle of my eyes m y ex called me and ask me that we should have a date and which I went and he ask my hand back in our relationship..i am so happy today for the marvelous work dr sakura has done in my life I don’t have anything to give him but to say thanks only ….EMAILED HIM TODAY AT DR.SAKURASPELLHOME@OUTLOOK.COM

  • Michelle Nelly Brown

    Will I have to say thanks to dr sakura from bring my ex lover back to me…he is so good to me since I met he, I did thought that he can bring my lover back, a friend of my called Josephine from Canada gave me his contact telling me that the spell caster helped her to get her ex back and her children I did believe it and she explained everything to me about the dr, that he dosent charge at all but you have to provide only the things that will be use in casting of the spell which I emailed him and he told me that is the bus-stop of my problem and I believed him without doubting his work so he told me that i have to provide the requirements and which I provided and between an twinkle of my eyes m y ex called me and ask me that we should have a date and which I went and he ask my hand back in our relationship..i am so happy today for the marvelous work dr sakura has done in my life I don’t have anything to give him but to say thanks only ….EMAILED HIM TODAY AT DR.SAKURASPELLHOME@OUTLOOK.COM

  • Elizabeth Rosas Bella

    After being in relationship with emma for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily a

  • Stacey Lee

    With due respect all thank goes to dr.ogala.i will like to share my testimony to you all.i just got married to my husband about 2 years ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side.i have never love any man in my life except him.he is the father of my children and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today.few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken and in sorrow.i went online looking for help,then i saw a testimony about dr ogala,i was afrad because i have never done any thing like this before.so i gave it a try by contacting him. and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell that will make him come back to me forever. and also he to

  • Lily Frank

    Hello friends. I would like to share my testimony,my name is Lily Frank, I want you all to understand that there is no problem without solution. You have to sometime give a chance to what other think is not real and see what happen at the end. I gave this great man lists of problem and he found for me a solution my husband came back after 48hours to me and the kids. About his family, his mother and his sisters came for forgiveness to me and the kids are back. It took only a week and 4 days for him to show me the result... if you are having any problem you can contact him via this email dregbesoltiontemple@gmail.com mailto:dregbesoltiontemple@gmail.com no problem without solution my dear friends you have to make a move that will change your,life,your home and your world for ever.you call him on this number +23409032545351* (such as)spiritual problem//get your job back//get your divorces back//get your breaking marriage back//general love//get spell multiple favor.with no side effect.stop dieing in silent.

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the

  • Caroline Stewarts

    Hello my name is caroline, My life is back!!! After 8 months of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our two kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart.I saw a testimony on how roborobo reunion a marriage so I contacted this prophet and after I explain my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to us and apologize for all the pain he brought to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before with much love.i really appreciate the love binding this prophet did for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about his good work Thank you once again.incase you are in any relationship problem you can contact this prophet for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem.Email> droborobo@yahoo.com

  • Caroline Stewarts

    Hello my name is caroline, My life is back!!! After 8 months of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our two kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart.I saw a testimony on how roborobo reunion a marriage so I contacted this prophet and after I explain my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to us and apologize for all the pain he brought to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before with much love.i really appreciate the love binding this prophet did for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about his good work Thank you once again.incase you are in any relationship problem you can contact this prophet for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem.Email> droborobo@yahoo.com

  • Edwin Wallace

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Edwin Wallace i live in United State,and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i

  • Vivie Loxton

    I have been in great bondage for almost 2 years suffering in the hands of a cheating husband, we were happy and leaving well until he meant his old time gilr friend and he started dating her outside our marriage before you knew it he stooped caring and taking care of his own family it was to the extent that now he was planning to get married to her and divorce me his own wife, i have cried and reported him to his family but he never listened to anyone but to cut my story short i came in search for a real spell caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back me and our 2 kids on my search i saw people making testimony on how their marriage where restored by DR.ABEGBE i pick his email and i narrated my story to him and he agreed to help me and after performing a spell on the third day they both had a quarrel and he beat his girlfriend up and he came home begging for i and my little kids to forgive him that his eyes are clear now that he will never do anything that will

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the