349. Instagram / Alcoholics Anonymous

A little more than a week ago, I got myself an Instagram account. Because we all need to stay updated on the most current trends in social networking in order to avoid looking like a total dork.

Creating my account, I was chagrined to find that my default username “zhenyee” has been taken. Signing up instead as “zhenyee.jo”, I silently swore eternal vengeance upon whomsoever stole my screen name. I managed to get the account up and running, followed a whole bunch of people, considered following some cute girls outside my social circles as well but ultimately deciding against it, and then I stared at the screen, waiting for something interesting to happen.

Nothing did.

I should post a picture, I thought. But post a picture of what?

With a growing realization that my life isn’t, by a long shot, interesting enough to be documented in photos, in a last ditch attempt to avoid looking like a total dork I took a picture of my workstation with all that snazzy symmetry everyone seems to be all about these days. I uploaded it with a caption, and a bunch of people “liked” it.


Now what?

And that was when I realized that I had experienced almost everything Instagram had to offer me. Also, that no matter how hard I try, I will always and forever be a total dork.

(the sooner we all just accept who we are, the better. No one ever said that who you are is popular or cool)

I have since uploaded a couple more pictures, all of which got a couple of likes each. Again: I’m coming to the realization that my life isn’t interesting enough to be documented in photos. Whoever started following me in hopes of getting interesting updates are in for a big letdown.

I’m not sure if it’s just me getting old, but even after a little over a week, I still don’t see the point in it. You post some pictures, you get some likes, you like other people’s pictures… And then what?

Earlier this evening I went out for supper with a dear friend of mine who had come back from Melbourne for a short break. Somehow the topic veered to Instagram. He told me about how in order to get likes, you need to just like everyone else’s photos, and they will like yours in return.

It’s like the golden rule, but with photos. Who knew that the ultimate lesson in getting along with others would be finally taught through a photo-sharing site?

I also realized something else: Instagram is just like Alcoholics Anonymous.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, you join them, you tell them your story, and at the end, everyone gives you a round of applause. In return, when someone else tells their story, no matter how corny it is, you applaud them as well.

On Instagram, you join them, you share your photos, and everyone gives you a “like”. In return, when someone else posts their photo, no matter how corny it is, you give them a “like” as well.

And there we go.

Even after this startling realization, the question that again came to me was “But why?”. Which was when I realized that my priorities are so different from the average Instagrammer that I cannot even empathize with their value system.

And I realized that I am already a complete dork, even with Instagram.


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