The Curious Universe of Instagram

From what I’ve read and learned about Instagram, the protocol seems fairly straight forward. It’s about brands (a word I’ve come to detest), and to further yours, you should strive to get as many followers as possible. Once you’ve got several ten of thousands of followers – or hundreds of thousands – then you’re considered to be “an influencer.”

I’m not exactly sure how influencer translates into sales, but as my social media savvy daughter informs me, it may translate into cash because of advertising. I often receive messages from people I follow about paying them a nominal fee to buy followers. But what do the purchased followers get out of this deal? Are these legitimate followers or bots? Those things aside, this smacks of some high school thing where you vote for the most popular kids in school – not because they’re the smartest or most likely to succeed, but because they’re good looking or pushy in a personable way.

I’ve come to understand that with IG, the idea is to focus on one particular thing – your brand or your passion or whatever moves your blood. You’re a great chef, an incredible parent, dog lover, professional travel photographer, fitness trainer, yoga teacher, real estate agent, life coach, artist, writer, editor, agent, movie producer, gardener. You get the idea. But I’m a Gemini, I have a lot of interests and passions. As a result, I’m following way more people than follow me, and they span the gamut from writers and photographers to dog/animals lovers to UFO trackers, real estate agents, tattoo artists, synchronicity and paranormal researchers.

One weird trend I find on IG is the number of people who “become” celebrities.There are so many “official” JK Rowling IG sites that I haven’t been able to find the real JK. This is rather depressing, People can’t find their own voice, their own personas, so they choose someone else’s. Even trump gets buried in the morass of wannabes.

Stephen King also has impersonators, but his official IG page has 1.1 million followers and he’s following 1 person – “itmovieofficial.” I love his posts about his dog.

Rachel Maddow also has her share of impersonators. One of the funniest is Rachel Maddow Texas, which features 3 posts of a woman falling out of her bathing suit while holding up a drink of some kind

Another odd trend is women and men who flaunt their bodies in some way to attract followers. The men are usually shirtless, prone to selfies that show bulging biceps, chests as hard as iron, bodies that aspire to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. These photos are usually taken against stunning backdrops of sunsets or sunrises. With women, it’s the nearly nude or totally nude yoga poses that are accompanied by some feel-good aphorism: be proud of who you are or claim your power. Really?

If nothing else, IG provides insight into the collective human psyche at this weird juncture in time.

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2 Responses to The Curious Universe of Instagram

  1. lauren raine says:

    I reached the end of my social media life with facebook, which I very often think of deleting, except that it seems to connect me every so often with people I value. I don’t do linked in, or Instagram, or others……..I fear I would lose myself in all of that………..