Much Ado: Instagram

Guys, if you didn’t know, I’m old. Too old for this world.

Yeah yeah sure, all legal documentation and social media bios will tell you that I’m 23, but I swear this is a mistake and some kind of cruel joke. I don’t belong in this generation.

I try to make it work. I try to be about the social medias and whatnot. But this stuff is the worst. And every time I get to a kind of comfortable place and find my little niche aesthetic for each platform, they revamp and make me learn new things. Don’t I have enough things to learn that actually matter? Ugh.

I’m probably very late to complain about this, but like hell if that will stop me.

So…this Stories feature on Instagram..

What’s up with that? I don’t get it.

I can only pay attention to maybe two social media platforms at a time. Lately it’s been only the least useful ones, Snapchat and Tumblr. I realized how long it’s been since I used Instagram and how much my blog was thriving when I utilized it regularly. I took a lot of care to follow a lot of artistic users who always kept me inspired on that site. Honestly, I wholly forgot about the app when it changed its iconic logo to some rainbow gradient, minimalist nonsense. But I rediscovered it yesterday. And found this Stories feature. I tried to use it a little, but…

Why the blatant and shameless rip off of Snapchat?

And if you’re going to do that, at least¬†improve upon the concept.

Social media, as annoying and over demanding as it can be to our lives, is a compilation of some really fantastic media, communication, and marketing tools. The appeal, at least to me, is the variety of each platform and the differences that make each site work toward different uses. You can’t, or at least shouldn’t, approach all of them in the same way.

That should be reassuring to these companies. That should give them a blanket of security in the sea of competition. As long as they do what they do well, and cater to the best examples and most effective users of their platforms, they will stay relevant.

Someone please tell all of this to Instagram. In an industry where you’re only as good as the content you freely allow the masses to create in your space, it’s dire for the space itself to maintain a strong foundation and not act like the insecure, desperate attention-seeking tweens who use the product. And envying other apps’ appeal and feeling threatened by their competitors seems to be Instagram’s entire business model.

Like, chill. You’re embarrassing yourself. We all love you just the way you are.

Instagram is like that gorgeous friend who is hopelessly insecure about themselves.

Instagram is that person who can’t compliment anyone as if someone else’s good features discredits their own.

Instagram is like those mid-life crisis panicked people who dress in trendy clothes that don’t suit them and use current slang that they don’t understand to desperately convince the world you’re still cool.

You’re pretty, Instagram. You are beautiful just the way you are. Just because Snapchat is cool and fun doesn’t take away from your cool and fun-ness. Wasn’t rendering Vine completely useless and causing it to shut down enough for you? When will this end? How much is enough?

I must commend you for taking care into developing with the times. I mean, while you were a huge factor in Vine’s demise, the fault also fell upon Vine’s failure to develop beyond their initial concept.

But,

Half-assedly biting off of the sole function of an entire application is not effective development.

I have no interest in splitting my attention between two platforms just to do the same thing. That’s the point of utilizing multiple social media channels. I open Snapchat with expectations. I take pictures and videos and doodle and write all over them, and look for the latest snap and geofilters. I go into My Stories to see what my friends and others I subscribe to have posted in the past 24 hours. I look at the event and location based curated stories. I follow maybe 70 people and only about half of them are active on a daily basis. People can only find me if they have my phone number or know my username.

I open Instagram with expectations. I try to only post quality imagery on my page or at least have a decent caption for something basic. I scroll through my timeline to see photographers, artists, musicians, djs, restauranteurs, coffee crafters, etc. post quality imagery and good reads for captions. I follow over 1,000 users on Instagram. I have maybe 500 followers myself.

I do not care about the monotonous day to day goings-on of over 1,000 people. I can’t care about the random day to day happenings of over 1,000 people. And 500 people are not going to care about mine, nor do I care to craft my day in a sequence of pictures and videos to entertain that size of an audience. I know it’s not popular among people my age to realize, but I am not that important.¬†And I’m definitely not that interesting. And random strangers can find me way too easily on Instagram. I don’t want to publicize my life to an unapproved crowd. I’ve had an issue with a stalker before. And for what, Instagram? Where’s the pizzazz? Where are the stickers I can swipe across my screen to have my friends know where I am? Where can I turn my face into some piece of fruit? How about you leave the whole operation to the pros, and stick to what you know.

This needs to stop. Please everyone, reassure Instagram that they’re pretty and useful and current. And stop tempting them and other platforms to start merging services by not knowing how to post proper content on the proper mediums. It’s as annoying for them as it is for your friends. The shallow understanding of social media is really killing the game. I have many a rant regarding that, but I’ll end things here.

I’m Writing This Because I Have The Time

I have work at 7:30 this morning. During the week, I open my cafe an hour earlier, so I like to keep my misery consistent and wake up at 4am on the weekends too. So I set my alarm, my old fashioned, analog, ear-piercing bell alarm.

I wake up this morning to my bell alarm, and start to get ready. Like a good digital slave, I check my phone for social media notifications and note something strange. It says 3am. But the slow-to-update weather widget on my front screen says 4am.

What the hell time is it?

I look at my bell clock again.

4.

I look at my phone.

3.

I look at my oven clock.

4.

2-1 says it’s 4 in the morning, so I continue getting ready.

Please note that it is indeed 4 or 3 in the morning and my mind only functions at a quarter capacity until the sun comes out. I digress.

I’m doing this thing where I really want my hair to grow, and I bought an arsenal of vitamins to aid with that process. I have an alarm set every morning at 6am to ensure that I take them. Yes, it’s that early to make sure nothing can possibly get in my way of doing so, because ‘know thyself’ and ‘know thyself’s pathetic inability to maintain routines.’ Anyway, 6am rolls around, and that alarm never went off. So I start piecing together the weird nature of my morning and take to the Internet to discover that Daylight Savings Time ended last night and all clocks need to be adjusted back an hour.

There are two things that, when deprived of, lead me to get impossibly hostile. First is food, second is sleep. I am infuriated. I am tired. I am still confused. It’s still morning, but now it’s even more morning. I loathe mornings. And worse than being frustrated is not being able to direct it at something or someone. I didn’t even know exactly what I was mad about. Was it that I could have gotten a whole extra hour of sleep? Was it that I was not informed ahead of time? Was it that I have gone out of my way to bring back certain analog elements into my life because the digital alternatives have failed me and now analog is betraying me too? Is it because I have a rant in my drafts I have yet to publish about that very topic and I feel like my point has, in this moment, lost its impact? I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M MAD, BUT I’M MAD DAMMIT.

I’m going to just direct my rage at Daylight Savings Time as a whole. Why do we still practice it? We’re like the only country in the world or one of very few. It’s pretty antiquated at this point. Was there a time when it was useful? Sure. For farming. When people were farmers. And daylight savings was put into motion so there would be more time in the day for the harvest during the summer. That makes fine sense.

But do you even know a farmer? Are you best friends with a farm hand? Ever hugged a chicken? No? Well yeah, because the farming industry isn’t a bunch of families out working their fields anymore. They’re a bunch of big companies growing barely-food and harvesting it commercially with machines and advanced technology that doesn’t need an extra hour to do diddly squat.

I feel like at this point, Daylight Savings Time is a blatant disrespect of the few American farmers that are still left. They aren’t treated well and are constantly being edged out of their business by corporate giants who the government backs because their bullying pays politicians’ salaries. What’s the extra hour for now? Sixty extra minutes of harvesting the Monsanto soy that blew into your field so you can get sued out of house and home? The practice is pointless and I’m tired and mad.

I suppose I can be grateful that I had an extra hour to say hi to you all and write a post. But no, I would have preferred the sleep. I hope you all at least set your clocks back or relied on satellite based time telling tech for your alarms this morning. I’m going to sleep vicariously through you.