Instagram is a bit like school
There is a lot of talk about Instagram not being like real life and while in some cases that might be true, in a lot of cases Instagram behaves a lot like real life, or at least the community does.
So how is Instagram like real life?
1. Popularity counts on Instagram
Just like a school, you are either in or you are out. Instagram growth seems to move in waves and when growth is in your favour people come out of the woodwork to befriend you, but when this growth slows down, turn around and these people are gone. Yes, fair-weather friends even appear on social media platforms and just like real life, this popularity is often fake and just a vanity matrix. People just assume someone’s popularity without even digging any deeper and just like real life, people forget that friends can be bought and online, they can be bought in large numbers.
2. Copy cats are everywhere.
The popular creative Instagrammers tend to start trends, just like the cool kids at school who are the first ones to get THE pair of trainers. The cool kids on Instagram create something unique and different then everybody copies it, suddenly the cool kids see everyone wearing their trainers so they move on and the cycle continues. Just like real life, the cool kids have to stay one step ahead of the rest.
3. To gang or not to gang on Instagram
Instagram is full of gangs, even though I think they would call them communities. They hang out together, talk about stuff they love, and help each other out, the Mumstagrammers, the Bookstagrammers, the Foodstagrammmers, the Fashionstagrammers. People tend to stay in their cliques and not really move out of them. And while the cliques are generally supportive, sometimes they can turn on their own for breaking the rules which are often unspoken; yes school playground does come to mind. So while finding your own gang can be brilliant, sometimes floating between lots makes it a lot easier, a tactic I learnt early on in school.
4. There are unspoken rules and often you don’t know what they are.
“On Wednesdays we wear pink”. Want to be in with the cool kids? Your feed needs to be curated, the colours need to match, you need to have a mixture of photos so you create white space; the list is endless. Yet no one really tells us what these rules are and unless you are lucky to find someone who will explain the rule of thirds, you might not be making more friends simply because you are wearing blue when it’s a pink day.
5. It’s full of drama, self-esteem issues and people take it all too seriously.
On any given day any amount of drama can break out, someone didn’t comment on someone’s photo or someone said someone else wasn’t good at what they do. Honestly, the drama is everywhere in the app if you go looking. A nose around and you will find grown women sat in the corner berating themselves because more people didn’t like their latest photo. Slide into their DMs and you will find people talking behind each other’s backs. Oh, and you know that time you helped someone and put their new thing for sale in your stories? Even though they have told you they owe you one they have forgotten and now you sit alone feeling like Billy No Mates. Its Instagram, people, and you’re grown-up women – get a grip!
So there you have it. While I adore Instagram and all it stands for I do often sit there giggling at how much it makes me feel like I am back at school.