On Instagram Straight Flexin

The minute I wake up each morning, I grab my alarm clock (a.k.a. my iPhone), unlock it, and spend the first moments of my day checking social media outlets. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. Facebook is obviously the most dominant of the four. Facebook has been part of my life since I was 14 years old; it’d be very easy to imagine what my world would be like without Facebook. Although it often offers the most intimate information about the people you’re connected with, Facebook offers the least intimate experience. I often find myself deliriously reading my news feed and asking myself, “Who is this person? Why are they on my news feed? What on earth are they talking about? Why do I care?” Many people I’m friends with (I’m talking about real-life friends) have deleted their Facebook for extended periods of time; some reactivated their account and some have remained “off the grid.” Perhaps it’s because they are more novel than Facebook, but I would have a much harder time deleting my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat.

Both Instagram and Twitter have a format that allows for more personal sharing that would normally happen in the real world. Facebook offers so much information that is entirely unusable. I really don’t care about what my best friend’s little brother ate for brunch, but Facebook puts it on my newsfeed. I think the exclusivity on Twitter and Instagram come from their terminology. To connect with someone on Facebook you must “Friend” them. “Would you like to be my ‘friend’ so we could both be updated on the mundane lives we each are living?” It’s almost rude to not accept a “friend request” from even the most obscure “real-world” connections. The information gained from such “friends” is often unwanted and, for the most part, useless. Twitter and Instagram on the other hand each use the terminology of “following”. “Following” someone is a lot more deliberate than accepting a “friend request”. What I mean by more deliberate is that you choose to “Follow” where as you’re practically obligated to accept a “Friend Request.” On Twitter I follow 115 users, compared to the 1000+ friends on Facebook. The information I consume on Twitter is far more relevant and worthy of consumption than that of Facebook. Twitter consists of close friends’ quirky thoughts, not aimed at anyone in particular, and short amusing anecdotes. If Twitter, or Instagram, were to disappear I feel that my “real-world” connections would suffer far more than if Facebook were to disappear. I care about what a friend of mine tweets, I don’t care about the 180 picture photo album my cousin’s ex-girlfriend put up of her spring break.

"Hit that flash quick, Post my bad habits,F*ck you and your Instagram." - Pain by A$VP Rocky

“Hit that flash quick, Post my bad habits,
F*ck you and your Instagram.” – Pain by A$VP Rocky

My Twitter and Instagram, because they are more exclusive and personal, are a much deeper extension of myself than my Facebook. The smaller audience size of my Tweets and Photos, as well as the limited amount of output all users are allowed, enables me to share deeper, richer content while knowing those reading are more likely to appreciate my statements. For this reason, I think Instagram and Twitter are far more personally fulfilling than Facebook. Rappers like Trinidad James and A$VP Rocky recognize the greater intimacy of these social media outlets and reference Instagram by name in their lyrics. A world without Twitter and Instagram would be less enjoyable than a world without Facebook.

Shameless Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat plug: @bermansauce


11 thoughts on “On Instagram Straight Flexin

  1. You may have finally convinced me to get a Twitter and/or an Instagram. I have been so fed up with Facebook that I just kind of bagged my social media experience all together. My page still exists, and every now and then I will check it, but like you said, I often find myself not giving a shit about ANY of the stuff I read on there. I originally enjoyed having a Facebook because it allowed for personal interaction with friends, which it just doesn’t do for me anymore. It got too big, and as a result, the relevant information was drowned out by the clutter. For this reason, I have held out on creating a Twitter and Instagram, but the day might be coming soon to give in.

  2. From your post: “Although it often offers the most intimate information about the people you’re connected with, Facebook offers the least intimate experience. I often find myself deliriously reading my news feed and asking myself, “Who is this person? Why are they on my news feed? What on earth are they talking about? Why do I care?” ”
    I could not agree more with this statement. While Facebook provides people with the ability to get in touch with almost anyone they desire, has it degraded what it really means to “be a friend”? I think that our generation has adjusted enough to realize that your “friends” on Facebook may not actually be your friends in real life. Instead it is just a label for the people you are connected to (via this website), which in this day and age, are the people who can view your online profile (as many users have privacy settings to make sure only “friends” can view the details of their page).

  3. Completely agree! Also…I just tried to find you on snapchat, but couldn’t 😦 On another note, I found that I enjoy my facebook more now that I narrowed my friends from 2,400 to 340! That way I only see what my REAL friends are up to…not just some random people. My rule is that if I would pass a person by on the street without them saying hello, then they shouldn’t be my “friend” on facebook. You would be surprised by the number of random Bucknell people that actually try to re-friend me. It’s sad, really.

    • One of my favorite things to do while procrastinating is deleting friends from facebook because it is so refreshing to get rid of the clutter!
      I also delete a lot of “friends” on their birthdays (as mean as that sounds) but if I don’t want to say happy birthday, then we probably aren’t really friends anyway…

  4. Facebook relies on presumed reciprocity of relations. Each friend you make is your friend back. Twitter (I don’t know instagram) is asymmetrical, non-reciprocal. Ashton Kutcher can have 1,000,000 FOLLOWERS but only FOLLOW 1 person (Demi?).

    Actually, the way u use twitter to limit who you follow to a smaller subset of people is a different usage of it. When Biz Stone was here, he actually talked up the other way to use it- that it allows high profile people to have their own audience of followers.

    Also, as you say, FB tries to “figure out” what readers want. Twitter is simpler and hence more open to adaptive usage. At its simplest, you simply have a stream of tweets. How you sort and read them is up to you and to the tools built to take advantage of the stream.

    • Lyrics by rapper Trinidad James. Here’s a link to one of his instagram photos that garnered 28k+ likes.

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