Hashtag jealous.

Words by

Alyce Cowell

Ah, the memories. Doesn’t it feel like only yesterday when we all became professional HTML-coders and spent all hours of the night pimping out our MySpAcE pRoFiLe with pics from der cluurb and Ministry of Sound tracks? Well, news flash: it wasn’t yesterday. It was actually almost FIFTEEN YEARS ago, and that is why we all need to get over the fact that social media is a thing. 

Soon after we did what Gen Y-ers do and get over MySpace in a hot minute, Facebook was there to take its place. Then in 2010, there was a new arrival called Instagram, which was basically just Facebook for pictures. 

Originally, Instagram started off innocently enough. We used it to upload grainy pictures of sunsets and anything else that looked cool with a Valencia filter. Over time, it changed… or more specifically, evolved. Suddenly Instagram was the new fashion blog, with #ootds and #hashtags.

It was fun to complain for a while – it was a new concept, and there were plenty of things to be made fun of. For starters, people were buying friends followers and standing on chairs to take a photo of their scrambled eggs. After a while, though, (I thought) this got a bit stale.

Apparently, though, not everyone was with me. In fact, seven years after Instagram was invented (!!!) people still aren’t used to it. People are still complaining about everything. 

Firstly, there are the influencers with their free clothes. OK, I get it. Once upon a time, we followed influencers for their amazing wardrobes and knack for putting outfits together and now, mostly, it’s just photos of them wearing the same gifted range as the next blogger. We need to understand this is how it works now and get over it already. Rather than be annoyed by it, try to think of it as shopping that comes to you. Convenience.

Then there are the free brunches, lunches, dinners and cocktails. Look, we know they’re getting it for free, but I’ve gotta admit it’s kinda handy to see what’s around my area. We laugh when we see them pull out their cameras, but who’s laughing when we spend $14,000 on smashed avo every year, while they dine anywhere they want for free?

Of course, there are also the free trips overseas. But really, if someone offered you a trip to the Maldives, can you honestly say you’d turn it down because you don’t want to be a ‘sell-out’?

At the end of the day, Instagram is an amazing tool for self-promotion. Sure, maybe you are self-promoting your butt cheeks sitting on top of a bathroom sink, but for every butt cheek on Instagram, there are 10 small business owners, bloggers, musicians, jewellery designers, artists and boutique owners using it as a platform to be noticed. And it’s working. 

In the seven years most people have been complaining about the fake side of Instagram, there has been a small percentage of very clever people who saw the value in it, figured it out early, found a niche and stuck to it. Now, they’re in a free business class seat to New York to meet with Barney’s about designing their own shoe collection, which will definitely succeed because they have 3,000,000 followers worldwide that want whatever they have. 

I don’t know about you but I, for one, would embarrass myself on a thousand restaurant chairs for that story. Hashtag jealous. 

Illustration by Twylamae who also knows the value of a good Instagram.

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