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]

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315 Comments

  • Alisa John

    I want to testify of the good work done by a faithful Dr Adodo, a spell caster. in my life I never thought there is such thing as love spell intercession. my problem started nine months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, I never knew he was having an affair outside our home. it dawn on me on that faithful day when he came to the house to pick his things that was when I knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which I have built for over five years, I was confused and dumbfounded I called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after I started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, I really went through hell. until a day I was browsing on the internet and I happen to meet a spell caster I never believed on this but I needed my man back so I gave the spell caster my problem at first I never trusted him so I was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved

  • Alisa John

    I want to testify of the good work done by a faithful Dr Adodo, a spell caster. in my life I never thought there is such thing as love spell intercession. my problem started nine months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, I never knew he was having an affair outside our home. it dawn on me on that faithful day when he came to the house to pick his things that was when I knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which I have built for over five years, I was confused and dumbfounded I called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after I started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, I really went through hell. until a day I was browsing on the internet and I happen to meet a spell caster I never believed on this but I needed my man back so I gave the spell caster my problem at first I never trusted him so I was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved

  • Kimbely Brown

    I will not stop testifying about this great man who helped me. My name is

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  • Robin Laura

    I have been in great bondage for about 4 years suffering in the hands of a cheating husband. We were living happily until he meant his old time girl friend and he started dating her again outside our marriage and before i knew it he stopped caring for his own family, to the extent that he was planning to marry her and divorce me. I cried and reported him to his family members but he never listened to anyone and to cut the story short, i came in search for a real spell caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back to me and our 2 kids again; on my search i saw people sharing testimony on how their marriage was restored by Dr. Eze Malaka and i pick his email and told him the problem that i was going through, and he agreed to help me and told me never to worry. After he had finished casting the spell, on the second day, they both had a quarrel and he beat up his girlfriend and he came back home begging me to forgive him that his eyes are clear now that he will never d

  • Robin Laura

    I have been in great bondage for about 4 years suffering in the hands of a cheating husband. We were living happily until he meant his old time girl friend and he started dating her again outside our marriage and before i knew it he stopped caring for his own family, to the extent that he was planning to marry her and divorce me. I cried and reported him to his family members but he never listened to anyone and to cut the story short, i came in search for a real spell caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back to me and our 2 kids again; on my search i saw people sharing testimony on how their marriage was restored by Dr. Eze Malaka and i pick his email and told him the problem that i was going through, and he agreed to help me and told me never to worry. After he had finished casting the spell, on the second day, they both had a quarrel and he beat up his girlfriend and he came back home begging me to forgive him that his eyes are clear now that he will never d

  • Mike Larry

    I am Lydia Fred i lives in united states and i was in a serious relationship with my Ex Guy for 3 good years.. One day we were in a dinner party, we had a little misunderstanding which lead to a Quarrel and he stood up and left me at the dinner party. i try to call him but he was not picking my calls so after than i contacted my brother and told him about it,my brother so much love me that he had to see him on my behalf,he told my brother that it is over between us. I cry all day, Then i contacted a friend of mine that had this similar experience and she directed me to Dr.Azuka, and i contacted him and tell him my problems how i lost my relationship with my lover. at first i thought it was not going to be possible.i was ask to come up with a little requirement information of me and my Ex Guy,so i did what i was ask to do, after 24Hours the spell was cast i was in my office when my Ex Guy called me and was asking me to forgive him and come back to him. i was very surprise it was like a

  • Suge Knight

    Truthfully, i was tested hiv + positive last 7 months. i keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strenghtful, i tried all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me unsecurely without protection, although i never knew he is hiv positive. so last few 4days i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this powerful herb healer get her well and healed. so as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. so i copied out the dr oyalo balo the traditional healer’s email id: dr.oyalospellhome@hotmail.com and i mailed him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his temple home wereby all what i seek for are granted. i was please at that time. and i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he

  • Suge Knight

    I am Dorcas Foxx i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to Dr.oyalo who brought back my divorce husband that has left me for 2 yearS ,i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every weekend so that those that did not read about it last week will read about it this week,i have been looking for how to get pregnant and how to get my divorce husband back to my life because i love him with the whole of my heart,i could not replace him with any body,one day i was watching my television when i saw a lady giving thanks to Dr aluda and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost marriage,then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my divorce husband back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my divorce husband,that he will surely be back to me, within 48hours at first i could no

  • Spell Temple

    My names is joan am from USA i want to use this opportunity to thank my great Dr odudu who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great Doctor ODUDU brought my husband back to me, i had 3 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought then will never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i couldn’t control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and i always wish he will come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn’t worry about it at all so i asked her what wa

  • George Ewumbua

    my names are George Ewumbua and am from the united state of America, i would really want you to hear my true life testimony... on how i got my healing and family back again. it all started on 11th June 2013 i felt so ill so my husband had to take me to our family hospital for proper text and the medical doctor carried out a text on me and the result came out to my surprise i was HIV-AIDS positive,i felt so bad and lost all my hopes of living again, so immediately my husband left the hospital with great anger living me behind, on my getting home i discover that my husband has packed out of the house living me and the kids behind so i search for him all over the town but could not find him on the second day a friend of mine came to my house and told me that she saw my husband with a lady in a hotel, so i started crying......... due to my illness i spent a lot of money trying to cure my self from the deadly virus but nothing change in me, rather my business was just crumbling and i

  • George Ewumbua

    my names are George Ewumbua and am from the united state of America, i would really want you to hear my true life testimony... on how i got my healing and family back again. it all started on 11th June 2013 i felt so ill so my husband had to take me to our family hospital for proper text and the medical doctor carried out a text on me and the result came out to my surprise i was HIV-AIDS positive,i felt so bad and lost all my hopes of living again, so immediately my husband left the hospital with great anger living me behind, on my getting home i discover that my husband has packed out of the house living me and the kids behind so i search for him all over the town but could not find him on the second day a friend of mine came to my house and told me that she saw my husband with a lady in a hotel, so i started crying......... due to my illness i spent a lot of money trying to cure my self from the deadly virus but nothing change in me, rather my business was just crumbling and i

  • Dugan Marian

    Hello I am Marian, I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex lover back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR ADODO the great messenger to the oracle that he serve, I narrated my problem to DR ADODO about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company. He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect. He told me what i need to do, In the next 2 days, My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR ADODO at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem

  • Dugan Marian

    Hello I am Marian, I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex lover back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR ADODO the great messenger to the oracle that he serve, I narrated my problem to DR ADODO about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company. He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect. He told me what i need to do, In the next 2 days, My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR ADODO at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem

  • Spencer Miller

    Hello friends, an awesome and amazing testimony about a Great spell caster i really love to share. My name is SPENCER from Canada. Getting my wife back is what i least expected and could never imagine. I and my wife have been married for five years and we have been living happily but all of a sudden she changed completely and turned away from me and i never knew what was going on, i tried to ask her but she refused to tell me what the problem is, and as time went on she sought for a divorce. I was so worried and confused, and i did all my possible best to get her back but it wasn't easy, i thought all hope was lost, and during my search for a way out, a friend of mine who had similar problem told me about a great spell caster called Dr VOKE who helped him get back his wife also. I never believe in spell casting in my entire life or a magic because i never thought it will work but i tried to give this man a chance and to my greatest surprise, He cast a spell to bring her back, but today

  • Spencer Miller

    Hello friends, an awesome and amazing testimony about a Great spell caster i really love to share. My name is SPENCER from Canada. Getting my wife back is what i least expected and could never imagine. I and my wife have been married for five years and we have been living happily but all of a sudden she changed completely and turned away from me and i never knew what was going on, i tried to ask her but she refused to tell me what the problem is, and as time went on she sought for a divorce. I was so worried and confused, and i did all my possible best to get her back but it wasn't easy, i thought all hope was lost, and during my search for a way out, a friend of mine who had similar problem told me about a great spell caster called Dr VOKE who helped him get back his wife also. I never believe in spell casting in my entire life or a magic because i never thought it will work but i tried to give this man a chance and to my greatest surprise, He cast a spell to bring her back, but today

  • Amanda Williams

    My names are Mrs. Amanda Martinez from Houston, taxes.i never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once. when I went to Africa in March this year on a business summit. I met a man called dr. Abulu.He is powerful he could help me 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 because the man I am married to today left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down because our relationship has been on for 2 years… 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 6 days when I returned to taxes, my boyfriend ( now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everyt

  • Morgan Kate

    My name is MORGAN KATE, and I am from i USA. My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Ozil, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Ozil e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back t

  • Morgan Kate

    My name is MORGAN KATE, and I am from i USA. My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Ozil, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Ozil e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back t

  • Helen James

    I want to share my testimony to everyone I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i contact this man called dr osas .He is really powerful..My husband divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have him back because i really love him so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and he woke up one morning and he told me he’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when he came back from work he tender to me a divorce letter and he packed all loads out from his house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have him back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for his full name and his picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell

  • Sarah Andy

    My name is sarah andy i am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr john for the return of my husband to me, they t