Instagram is an amazing corner of the internet.
It’s full of artsy filters, ridiculous parody accounts, and seven-second videos of celebrities twerking. Where else can you get that kind of content?
But lately, people have been abusing Instagram. We’re talking about those posts that make you question whether the service was ever a good idea in the first place. For example…
1. Pictures of Text
Instagram is for pictures. You know what’s not a picture? A sentence. A sentence is not a picture.
For some reason people have been posting more and more pictures of inspirational quotes and memes on Instagram, usually with an “artistic” font on a plain white background. Save that stuff for the other social media services that, you know, support text posts.
The entire purpose of Instagram is the pictures, and when you start taking those away, it basically becomes MySpace.
Yeah, that’s right, we just compared Instagram to MySpace. We’re that serious about this. Don’t post pictures of text.
2. Pictures of the TV Show You’re Watching
This takes two forms. The first is an actual screenshot of the show, downloaded to your phone, then uploaded to Instagram. It’s mainly obnoxious because it throws off the whole feed; we’ll be scrolling through pictures of friends, then suddenly wonder when we added Bryan Cranston.
The second (and more annoying) is a picture of someone’s television as they watch The Walking Dead or The Price is Right or whatever else. Televisions don’t photograph well, so it mainly ends up being a greenish blue blur, possibly with a set of feet in the frame.
The caption is usually a spoiler for the show, followed by a hashtag like #spoilers. Thanks for the warning, but even if it’s just a shot of a character from the show, it’s enough to let us know that something happens.
And really, what’s the point? We get it: You watch Netflix. So does every other person. It’s a shameless way to get likes off the back of Walter White, and everyone knows it.
Beg for likes the honorable way: by posting pictures of your pets in funny hats.
3. Post-Workout Selfies With Inspirational Text
You know the pic: It’s a sweat-drenched person leaning against a gym bench, looking down at a water bottle filled with a protein shake that tastes like a smoothie made of sand. The person looks directly at the camera, challenging the viewer to…uh, work out, or something.
If you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger, feel free to post workout selfies. If you’re not on that level, however, you might be annoying some of your friends by posting pics of your biceps with hashtags like #getit and #beastmode.
Workouts aren’t very exciting, even for the person working out. Plus, there are rarely action shots. You’re just posting a photo next to a piece of equipment, and we’ve got no proof that you actually used said equipment.
While we’re on the subject, if you do take selfies at the gym, make sure you don’t get anyone else in the shot. Nobody else wants to be part of your failed hashtag.
4. Dozens of Hashtags on a Single Uninteresting Picture
Try to limit your hashtags to, say, four. Past that point, and you’re just writing full thoughts that would be much less frustrating if expressed as full sentences.
People typically add dozens of hashtags when their picture is really uninteresting to begin with. “These are the best socks,” the caption might say, followed by a 4,000-character dissertation on the virtues of wool, delivered entirely through hashtags that almost nobody will read.
We know we’re not exactly breaking new ground with the “don’t overuse hashtags” thing, but some people can’t seem to cut it out. The most annoying trend is using dozens of the things to mock hashtags. That just creates more hashtags.
Eventually the world will be overwhelmed with hashtags. Hashtags will pour out of every window. Families will flee to the countryside, where hashtags will descend on them by the thousands. #worldofhashtags
5. Clips of the Concert You’re Attending
You’re excited about the show, and you want to share that excitement with your friends, so you grab your phone and snap a few seconds of video.
Do everyone else at the concert a favor: Just watch the show. By taking out your phone, you’re blocking someone’s vision with a bright screen.
What’s worse, you’re not really getting anything of value. You’re not Martin Scorsese, and you’re just holding up your phone in the vague direction of the show. If you’re really lucky, the video’s going to look like dancing ants.
The artists don’t appreciate it, either. They work hard to control their public image, going over every press photo and radio spot to make sure that they’re perfectly establishing their vision. You’ve just put 30 seconds of their unreleased new single on Instagram, and filtered through your cellphone’s mic, it sounds like someone put 1,000 balls of tin foil in an industrial dryer.
6. Certain Pictures of Food
Not all. We’ve given up on that battle; we get it, you like posting nice pictures of food that you’ve eaten. You can have that one.
But there’s a difference between posting a quick snap of the fifth course at a Michelin-starred restaurant and a dimly lit photo of some hot dogs that you’ve mashed in your macaroni. Ideally, if you’re going to post a picture of your food on Instagram, you’ll choose food that looked good in the first place.
Oh, and don’t rely on Instagram filters to make your food look better. Instagram filters are for convincing people that their selfies are fine art, not for making your microwave burrito appear slightly more palatable.
This goes double for smoothies. Nobody wants a picture of the 37 vegetables you just crammed in your Magic Bullet. We get it, you’re trying to eat well, but that thing looks like a green disaster.
7. Pictures of Yourself in a Swimsuit With Hashtags About Body Positivity
Don’t get us wrong, everyone should be comfortable and happy with their bodies. Body positivity is important, and if you want to promote it on Instagram, more power to you.
But it comes off a little annoying when you post a perfect bikini pic with a body positivity hashtag. You’re gorgeous; everyone was already positive about your body.
Just don’t treat your swimsuit selfie like it’s a brave choice. You’re basically bragging with photos, and that’s fine, too.
Save the #bodypositivity hashtag for after you come home from the beach with a wicked sunburn.
8. Pictures of Your Feet
You’ve seen dozens of these pics. They’re feet on a beach. The implication is that the person is having a great time—since they’re at the beach—and you should be jealous, since your feet are cooped up in stupid socks and shoes.
The next time you see a selfie focused on someone’s feet, picture them taking it. They picked the ideal spot, set out their towel, pointed their toes at the sun, then waited until they could get a perfectly clear shot. Meanwhile, the beach was happening, and they were missing it, all so that they could brag on Instagram about the nice weather at a random beach.
At the end of the day, what do they have to show for it? The same foot picture that about 10,000 other people have taken—many of them on the same beautiful, warm beach.
Okay, we’ll admit it, we’d probably take pictures of our feet, too. But that’s not going to stop us from being annoyed about it.