I’m old, but I’m not that old. I was in college when Instagram first got big.
I tried posting photos when I first got an Instagram account. The thing is though, I’m not very good at taking photos. Photographers are good at taking photos. I am not a photographer, and I do not have the time, energy, or desire to become one.
But so I would post photos of stuff I thought was cool or funny or otherwise shareable, and some people would like it, and occasionally people would leave comments.
And…that was it, that was the end of the transaction.
I didn’t get whatever it is you’re supposed to get out of posting photos on a mobile app and having other people respond to them positively.
And I don’t think it’s a question of volume — aka not enough people liking my photo. Whether five people liked my photo or 25, I just didn’t get anything out of it. I think that would hold true even if 500 people liked a post of mine.
So I stopped posting photos on Instagram but kept using it in order to follow other people, and especially to follow musical artists I liked so I could see when they were releasing new stuff, going on tour, etc.
Eventually I reached a point where I was mostly using Instagram to keep up with these artists. But then I realized I could follow the artists I enjoy without Instagram. I can just check out their website or their Bandcamp or their Spotify periodically. Following them on Instagram started to feel redundant.
And finally it occurred to me that the only times when I actually used Instagram were when I was bored, trying to look occupied while standing in line, or on the toilet. And I didn’t even particularly enjoy using it during those times.
Instagram is hella boring, but for a while it beat doing nothing. And then one day, doing nothing started to beat out Instagram for me.
I got a new phone recently. I haven’t downloaded the Instagram app onto it yet. I’m waiting to see if I miss it. I haven’t missed it yet.
But anyways obviously I am using Instagram wrong, because hundreds of millions of people around the world spend hours and hours on this app, and apparently they get a lot of value out of it. So my question is: what am I doing wrong?
Like, what am I supposed to do on Instagram, man?
I’m literally asking. Somebody please tell me.
Follow me on Facebook. Or Instagram, if you can find me.