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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124 Comments

  • 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

  • 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

  • Jose Cordoba

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK, ALL TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE, BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 9 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN, UNTIL I SAW THIS EMAIL ONLINE ABOUT DR RASHID TSHUMA FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £350 FEE AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GI

  • Jose Cordoba

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK, ALL TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE, BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 9 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN, UNTIL I SAW THIS EMAIL ONLINE ABOUT DR RASHID TSHUMA FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £350 FEE AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GI

  • Jose Cordoba

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK, ALL TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE, BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 9 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN, UNTIL I SAW THIS EMAIL ONLINE ABOUT DR RASHID TSHUMA FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £350 FEE AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GI

  • Jose Cordoba

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK, ALL TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE, BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 9 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN, UNTIL I SAW THIS EMAIL ONLINE ABOUT DR RASHID TSHUMA FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £350 FEE AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GI

  • Jose Cordoba

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK, ALL TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE, BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 9 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN, UNTIL I SAW THIS EMAIL ONLINE ABOUT DR RASHID TSHUMA FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £350 FEE AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GI

  • Stacey Lee

    With due respect all thank goes to dr.oagala.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 t

  • Lewis Cheney

    Hello my name is Lewis Cheney from USA, My life is back!!! After 6 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our 2 kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted Dr ONIHA I explained my problem to him. In just 2 day, my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before you are the best spell caster Dr ONIHA i really appreciate the love spell you castes for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work Thank you once again at onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com. in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is :onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

  • Lewis Cheney

    Hello my name is Lewis Cheney from USA, My life is back!!! After 6 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our 2 kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted Dr ONIHA I explained my problem to him. In just 2 day, my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before you are the best spell caster Dr ONIHA i really appreciate the love spell you castes for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work Thank you once again at onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com. in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is :onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

  • Louis Frank

    Testimonies from my previous clients

    My name is Mrs. Max,From USA ,and I'm happily married with a lovely husband and three children.I had a very big problem with my husband few months ago,to the extent that he even packed his things away from our house. He left I and and my kids for almost 5 months,and i tried all my possible best and effort to bring him back.l discussed it with a very good friend of mine,and he gave me an advice concerning a spell caster, that he is the only one that can handle my situations and problem,that he's always ready and able to do anything related to spell casting and helping of the needy, pleas every one i would like you all to contact him with his email address,which is as follows."templeofsolution99@gmail.com". I never believed in spell casting,but My friend convinced me and i had no choice than to follow my friend advice,because i never dreamed of loosing my lovely Husband. And i contacted him with his email address,and i discussed with him all my probl

  • Louis Frank

    Testimonies from my previous clients

    My name is Mrs. Max,From USA ,and I'm happily married with a lovely husband and three children.I had a very big problem with my husband few months ago,to the extent that he even packed his things away from our house. He left I and and my kids for almost 5 months,and i tried all my possible best and effort to bring him back.l discussed it with a very good friend of mine,and he gave me an advice concerning a spell caster, that he is the only one that can handle my situations and problem,that he's always ready and able to do anything related to spell casting and helping of the needy, pleas every one i would like you all to contact him with his email address,which is as follows."templeofsolution99@gmail.com". I never believed in spell casting,but My friend convinced me and i had no choice than to follow my friend advice,because i never dreamed of loosing my lovely Husband. And i contacted him with his email address,and i discussed with him all my probl

  • Louis Frank

    Testimonies from my previous clients

    My name is Mrs. Max,From USA ,and I'm happily married with a lovely husband and three children.I had a very big problem with my husband few months ago,to the extent that he even packed his things away from our house. He left I and and my kids for almost 5 months,and i tried all my possible best and effort to bring him back.l discussed it with a very good friend of mine,and he gave me an advice concerning a spell caster, that he is the only one that can handle my situations and problem,that he's always ready and able to do anything related to spell casting and helping of the needy, pleas every one i would like you all to contact him with his email address,which is as follows."templeofsolution99@gmail.com". I never believed in spell casting,but My friend convinced me and i had no choice than to follow my friend advice,because i never dreamed of loosing my lovely Husband. And i contacted him with his email address,and i discussed with him all my probl

  • Benita Moyes

    BEWARE! THESE PEOPLE ARE BIG SCAMS BUT MALAIKA IS REAL Dr Malaika doesn’t ask for testimonies and he doesn’t charge. He is genuine and people get to meet him by luck. Every other testimonies of spell casters you read here are scams...... Dr Malaika lives in Nigeria and I happened to meet him by chance after a friend told me about how he brought back her ex and restored her lost womb. She also told me about how Dr Malaika cures all forms of illness ranging HIV to Cancer, Fibroid, and Infertility and also Money spells……. I followed those other internet testimonies and was hugely scammed to the extent that I wanted to kill myself. Dr Malaika turned my situation around by bringing back my ex within three days and also made me regain double of what I lost over to those scams. He made my ex come crawling on his knees to have him back. All I spent was $250 and at last gained back all my lost money and even double of it. His email address is (odogwumalaika@gmail.com)

  • Benita Moyes

    BEWARE! THESE PEOPLE ARE BIG SCAMS BUT MALAIKA IS REAL Dr Malaika doesn’t ask for testimonies and he doesn’t charge. He is genuine and people get to meet him by luck. But right now am your luck if you could meet him. Every other testimonies of spell casters you read here are scams...... Dr Malaika lives in Nigeria and I happened to meet him by chance after a friend told me about how he brought back her ex and restored her lost womb. She also told me about how Dr Malaika cures all forms of illness ranging HIV to Cancer, Fibroid, and Infertility and also Money spells……. I followed those other internet testimonies and was hugely scammed to the extent that I wanted to kill myself. Dr Malaika turned my situation around by bringing back my ex within three days and also made me regain double of what I lost over to those scams. He made my ex come crawling on his knees to have him back. All I spent was $250 and at last gained back all my lost money and even double of it. His email addres