As someone who thinks Instagram is the most enjoyable of all social media experiences, I will admit that it is not without its pitfalls. Even though I love having the ability to post a an especially fiery selfie, I will be the first one to admit that many of us are suffering from Instagram Fatigue: we’ve seen so many annoying recurring photo trends on social media that we’ve become semi-immune to them.
While it’s a love-hate relationship for all of us with our feeds, here are a few Instagram trends that we could all probably do without — or, at the very least, trends that we definitely love to complain about it.
1. Inspirational quotes.
You know what I’m talking about: when you’re scrolling through your feed and stumble upon a text overlay which was clearly ripped from Pinterest and is meant to impart some kind of deep wisdom about life. While doling out insightful (read: probably sappy) bits of wisdom is admirable, I guess, I have zero interest in reading a cursive quote from Marilyn Monroe or Mark Twain — which was probably misquoted, anyway. Like, this is Instagram. It’s for photos. If I actually wanted to find a treasure chest of inspirational quotes (which may or may not have ever been said), I’d hop on over to Pinterest and be done with it.
2. Fingers in and around the mouth.
Thanks to Kylie Jenner, it seems like every hot Instagram girl has at least a handful of selfies in which their fingers are artfully posed on or around their lips. While I’m sure the pose is meant to call attention to one’s pout, the whole visual is weirdly reminiscent of a baby sucking its thumb — which is an aesthetic that nobody really needs? I don’t know, this trend is still somewhat baffling to me, and I’m not sure who decided that this kind of selfie was sexy. (You’d think the featured underboob would add enough oomph, you know?)
3. Hot bod humble brags.
Oh, you just happened to take a selfie at the gym? You just happened to be doing the splits in a bikini? Please. You shared this photo to remind your followers that you are (in this photo, anyway) the peak of physical perfection — but you’re trying not to look too braggy about it. Unfortunately, the thirst trapping is pretty obvious, and only serves to perpetuate Instagram’s unfortunate trend of reminding women everywhere what they should “aspire” to look like. Also, like, don’t front and pretend you don’t have sand in your buttcrack.
4. Completely out of context photos.
Perhaps even worse than the faux artsy amateur photographers are the people who put almost no effort into their photos at all. They’re weird, poorly-lit and blurry, presented with zero context, and not interesting in the least. They often seem to be taken when a significant amount of partying is involved, and the captions are usually mystifying and don’t explain anything. They garner maybe four or five likes before they finally cycle out of everyone’s feed. I didn’t include an image of one because these photos are so random and bizarre, I would have no idea how to go about searching for one of these visual riddles. But believe me, you know it when you see it — and once you see it, you’re left with even more questions than you had before.
5. Bird’s-eye food.
Who decided that this was the most attractive angle for food? Why do I need to see what a bird sees when it flies over my brunch table and miraculously doesn’t poop on everything? I have nothing against this angle, per se, but it has turned each dining experience into an embarrassing photoshoot endeavor where everyone holds their phone precariously above their plate until they achieve that perfect angle and symmetry. Take a picture of your food, if you’re so inclined — but why do you have to take a photo where there’s a 20% possibility of dropping your phone in your omelette?
6. Relationship boasting.
Relationships are great! Really! As someone in a couple, I have certainly taken my share of obnoxious couple photos. But, let’s be real: there’s a difference between taking a few happy couple photos and literally DOUSING your followers with reminders that you’re getting laid on a regular basis. Yes, we’re all stoked that the two of you found happiness together. That said, we don’t need a daily update on how couple-y you guys are looking today. I understand you’re proud of your union, but occasionally there’s something to be said for “less is more.” Because honestly, the more couple photos you post, the more it seems like you’re trying to convince me that your relationship actually exists.
7. The amateur photographer portfolio.
Sad subway platforms. Moody fire escapes. Buildings with the black-and-white filter. We all have that Instagram friend who just got a decent camera and fancies themselves a bit of an artiste now. But, while their efforts are admirable, they’re also pretty predictable and (dare I say it?) boring. Sure, there are many talented photographers on Instagram, and the only way to get better at something is through practice — but, maybe keep just a few of those pensive, exposed brick walls to yourself?
8. Makeup trends from Hell.
While it’s mesmerizing to scroll through the beautifully-photographed work of Instagram makeup artists, there are occasionally some makeup trends that truly cause me to pound my forehead against a table. While I understand that many makeup artists must produce some sort of social content in order to stay engaged with their followers, sometime it feels like (no disrespect intended) they are literally pulling these trends out of their asses. Sure, experiment with your makeup all you want — but do you have to start a new, obnoxious brow trend that’s going to get picked up by Cosmo and declared as the “hot, new” beauty trend on the scene? There are only so many ways to do your eyebrows, babe. Let it go.
9. Hashtag parades.
This is more of a caption gripe than anything, but the complaint still stands: CHILL OUT WITH THE HASHTAGS. Seriously. Just choose a handful of good ones, and you’re probably covered. People who write out full paragraphs of mundane hashtags underneath their photos give me a tension headache, mostly because the whole thing seems kind of inefficient. But, then again — these people have thousands of followers, so clearly they are on to something with their obnoxious hashtags, and I’m an idiot.
10. Shameless sponsorship.
Okay, okay: all brands with Instagram accounts are advertising, and many companies partner with brands on a regular basis. This is an inevitability, and I’m not throwing rocks. What’s particularly annoying is when an “Instagram famous” individual account starts trying to incorporate their money grabs into their Instagram feed. While I honestly envy anybody who can make money off of Instagram, the whole thing also feels a little bit disingenuous. It’s the reason we have Kim Kardashian advertising FitTea and waist trainers on her Instagram. I get it, everybody has to do their hustle — but it doesn’t mean I have to enjoy these posts that are clearly trying to get me to spend money.
(*Steps off soapbox*)