CONFESSIONS OF AN INSTA-ADDICT
“Hello, my name’s Tommy, and I’m addicted to Instagram.” Well, that’s how I picture it’ll go down. Then there will be other addicts sitting around in a makeshift circle of chairs who will respond in unison, “Hi Tommy!”
It’s my first Instagram Addicts Anonymous meeting and if something doesn’t change, I’ll be there sooner rather than later. I will look around the room and see a whole motley crew of other obsessed people. Mostly girls who have either been to, or are attending, a private school, but there are also a few D-grade celebs and a mum who was shown how to use Instagram by her daughter, and now can’t go a day without finding out what or who Rebecca Judd is wearing.
I’m no stranger to the social media world. In fact, it stopped being social for me a long time ago. I tweet and Facebook under the table, while my actual physical friends try in vain to prop up a one-sided conversation. It’s just that Instagram never really interested me. I thought it was full of girls who like to call themselves promo models, posing in clothes they were given for free. After months of having the app on my phone, I can tell you categorically that I was bang on the money. I only downloaded it out of curiosity because I’m very much of the mindset that the one thing worse than a bad party is to find out you weren’t invited to said bad party. And that’s where this whole mess started. For the first week, I was like a nervous man at a swingers’ night, much happier to sit back and watch rather than actively participate. I posted a picture, some people liked it. I instantly confused that with “People like me!” and Instagram wasn’t so bad. I then discovered the joy of filters. Looking pale? Valencia will fix that. Bad skin? Make it black and white, and you will look like a movie star! Suddenly your family photo album has turned into an amateur-modelling portfolio.
This euphoria of a better-looking me was quickly replaced with fear. What if I run out of material? What if these people who like me get bored because I have nothing to post? I decided to plan in advance. In three months’ time, I will buy a puppy, and a couple of months later when that’s photographed to within an inch of its life, I will have a kid. And then if I don’t get at least a thousand new followers, I will adopt out and then try again until I get one who’s cute enough.
I wish I could say at this point that I’m joking, but I’m not. I realised I was in the full throes of addiction when I started tapping people twice on the forehead if they were wearing something I liked. I’ve now become that guy and I hate it.
It’s at that point in the meeting that I will suddenly realise I’ve been ranting for an hour and I should let the next person have their turn; “So that’s my story, thanks for letting me share.” I will sit down to a smattering of applause. The next person starts to speak and I will pretend to listen, while secretly trying to take a photo with my phone that’s peeking out from the top of my pocket. “First meeting at IAA, lol #nofilter.” Yeah, that one will get some double-taps for sure.
“My hair looks so flawless ... need to take a selfie. #instahair #coiffed #beardgamestrong”