The 5 Unspoken Instagram Commandments By Which All 'Grammers Abide

by Emma Golden

Instagram is a way of life. Upon its arrival a few years back, it scared us. We put little to no effort in it; we just posted to post because no one knew any better.

But, like a fine wine or Faith Hill, it has aged beautifully over time. It has taken the place of Facebook in that if you don't have it, do you even exist? Or, the more popular notion, "'gram it or it didn't happen."

For a generation full of short to non-existent attention spans and the need for constant, quick connection, Instagram is pretty much the perfect app.

It's like a streaming picture book of constant Monday morning coffee, #OOTDs and #nofilter sunsets. In short, it's a multi-orgasm for our eyes.

All that said, for the truly Instagram obsessed, there are rules. Unspoken ones, yes, but still rules. The top dogs — the 'grammers who really get it — possess a certain kind of etiquette.

And, because there are still so many naïve users who may be in need of a quick guide regarding these matters, allow me to impart some wisdom, on behalf of all the Instagram obsessed:

1. This isn't your personal photo album.

See if you can follow me here: it is and it isn't. Yes, your Instagram feed is yours to share whatever you deem shareable. However, it shouldn't be yours to post multiple, consecutive photos from the same exact night, one after the other.

Not only is this rude, but OMG is it annoying. The finest 'grammers pick and choose because they innately know that one post a night is the allotted amount for any event you attend, no matter how amazing it might be or how good you might look.

They understand that posting the same group picture from different angles is ludicrous behavior. Unfortunately, there's a group of 'grammers who don't understand this and post picture after picture after picture, taking over your entire Instagram feed, ruining your experience.

Unless you're an Instagram celebrity or a real-life celebrity with hundreds of thousands of followers and know that, no matter how many pictures you post in a row, each one will garner more than 100 likes easily, don't do it.

You either have been or will be unfollowed for it and no one wants that.

2. Instagram filters are sad and so "2011."

You still exclusively use the provided Instagram filters? *Sucks air in through teeth* Yikes. But, did you know there are tons of other photo apps with incomparably awesome filters? Literally, tons. Maybe hundreds.

The fact that you're still throwing "Rise" or "Lo-Fi" on your soon-to-be posted photo and calling it "good" is both blasphemous and unattractive. Look, it was nice of Instagram to initially arm us with the idea of filters, but things have advanced so much since then.

Your method to edit photos is like a stubborn grandma who refuses to upgrade from her flip phone. If you insist on staying true to the original gangsters of filters, you're just being stubborn.

Afterlight, VSCOcam (#vsco, #vscocam, #vscogood) and Snapseed are a few trusted photo apps that can make you look like you know what you're doing without being super obvious about it via "X-Pro II" or worse yet, "1977."

It's time to get with the times and step up your filter game.

3. Pictures of text or text over photos is only okay sometimes.

And, for very particular reasons. For example: you're promoting a new blog post, a pop-up shop sale or you had a truly screenshot-worthy text convo with one of your parents that couldn't not be shared publicly for likes.

But, even all of those are okay in incredibly small doses. I'm guilty of this, I'll admit it. Often, to fruitlessly promote my blog, I've taken a stark white or black background, written text over it with annoyingly loud fonts and colors and most likely, procured less than 11 likes.

Why? Because ew. We didn't pull up the Instagram app to be bombarded with your ugly text pictures. We want real pictures; we want pictures of your lunch, your increasingly irritating cute couple photos or your braggy overhead shot of your super fancy looking brunch.

Instagram is the childhood picture book of apps; the more text involved, the worse. Especially if that text is silly one-off phrases like "Ooh la la!" from apps like A Beautiful Mess. Again, once in a while is fine (I say that mainly to cover my own ass), but generally, I can't.

4. Speaking of text, there's a word limit on captions.

Yes, Instagram can be an incredibly rewarding way to promote or shoutout. However, OMG WHY ARE YOU WRITING A NOVEL WHERE YOUR CAPTION SHOULD GO?

If you truly have that much to say, it's my belief that you should probably hold the title to some website where you can type it all out and anyone who actively wants to read it CAN!

'Grammers who take advantage of the limitless room the app provides for captions are wrong on so many levels, namely how much it overwhelms your followers and forces them to scroll past your wordy post, ultimately ruining their Instagram scrolling vibes.

Bottom line: No one (and I mean no one) gets on Instagram to read novellas.

Either put that verbosity on a working website or find a shorter way to say it. The best of the best 'grammers know this and live by it.

5. The LPM (Likes Per Minute) phenomenon is very real.

For the Instagrammers who have tens of thousands of followers, you're safe. Rarely do you experience the downside of LPM. You're ensured at least 50 likes per picture, even if you know and they know it's nowhere near your best work.

The luckiest few may even be guaranteed 100 likes per picture even if said picture is one of those tired, #fromwhereistand, shoe shots.

And the celebrities? HA. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm almost positive a picture of their actual human feces freshly released into the toilet would get too many likes to count.

But for the everyday, average Instagram Joe, LPM is a real, anxiety-provoking, self-confidence crusher. The truly Instagram-obsessed know that if a post hasn't hit 11 likes within 10 minutes, it's a flop. It might get 20 likes total, but probably less.

And, if your world is Instagram, that's both day-ruining and unacceptable. Posts that don't excel re: LPM are usually deleted by the poster, in hopes that not too many followers saw it.

Of course, the poster knows they did and just accepts his or her fate as a psycho who deletes photos that don't get enough likes.

Other unspoken, honorable mentions:

-#overuse #of #hashtags

-Both poorly crafted or the overuse of Diptic and Pic Sitch collages.

-Feeling the need to @ the poster's name when commenting on his or her photo. No need, it automatically alerts us of your comment.

-A new mom literally only posting pictures of her baby whose face you could probably draw from memory by now.

-Being a completely inactive Instagrammer who posts twice a year. What are you doing on here? Your passive activity is not wanted.

-Keep these rules close to your fingertips as you move forward with your Instagram endeavors. And, remember, it didn't happen if you didn't 'gram it.