You may have found yourself reading the title of this article, rolling your eyes, and thinking, "It's just Instagram, who cares?" First of all, are you my dad? (Hey, Dad!) Second of all, I get it. Instagram is social media and social media should be inconsequential. (Unless you're Facebook in the 2016 election, cough.) But think for a moment: how many times have you checked Instagram in the past hour? Two hours? Since last night? It's definitely a first-world-in-2018 problem, but it's not an insane discussion to have: if your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't like Instagram, and you're pretty into it, what do you do? How do you not become world's most annoying partner?
Well, as with all things when it comes to couples, it's OK to have your own interests and hobbies. I personally enjoy Instagram. I use it to put up photos of me on vacation and Instagram stories of Tiki drinks in cool cups. Sometimes, I use it to stalk my exes. But if I'm really honest with myself, I mainly use Instagram so that other people think I'm having a great time. I mean, don't we all?
I'm amazed when I meet someone whose last Insta was in July 2016, who has never posted a story, or who simply never adopted the platform at all. I'm also very impressed. Do you not have FOMO?! Do you not love getting likes as validation?! Are you completely zenned out and at peace with your life? (Probably.)
I've dated men who regularly attained 150 likes, and I've dated men who have asked me to filter their photos for them, which I then did, but they never got around to posting them. More than one man has said to me, "Oops, I forgot!" Forgot?! I can't relax until I post that caption I've been thinking about all afternoon.
But in this post-Instagram Husband world (and believe me, I love a dude or lady who is willing to stretch their arms to the sky to snag that correct angle), beyond being a partner willing to help your SO get that perfect shot, is your partner responsible for getting on board with your love of Instagram? Are they required to take a photo with you when you go Instaficial? Are they supposed to look at your stories?
I spoke with my editor, Hannah, about her experiences with Instagram and relationships. She explains that she's pretty into Instagram. "I'm the girl who photographs her brunch and will take 100 selfies to get one that's perfect enough to post." I mean, Same. "I casually dated two guys who made me feel pretty bad about what I think is a very normal interest in social media," she adds. "They would make comments like, 'Ugh, people who care about Instagram are so crazy and dumb.'"
She never tried to get these duds in a photo on Instagram with her, because she's a super smart lady who knew they were a lost cause. When she started dating her current boyfriend, she had a dilemma. "Right before we went on our first vacation together to Miami, he told me he'd take 'max two' photos of me or of us," she says. "And he'd take just a handful — not dozens in different poses and locations."
Because she is a woman who owns her interests, Hannah used the power of speaking honestly to explain to him how this made her feel. "I was like, 'Look, I know you think Instagram is kind of stupid. And that's fine. But it would really make me happy if we could take one nice photo on the beach together,'" she says. "To drive the point home, I pointed out the things I do for him that I think are kind of ridiculous, too — like watch superhero movies, which he knows I'm not that into. We wound up taking a photo on the beach."
COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING! EVEN WHEN YOU ARE BICKERING ABOUT INSTA! And communication works. Hannah adds that she thinks the reason she ended up getting him to agree to the pic was because she framed it as something nice her boyfriend could do for her, instead of just taking a selfie. And let's be honest, that's always a great approach to getting what you want.
I also want to add that while it's OK for someone to be nervous or weary about first appearing on their partner's Instagram. It's a big step! But in a loving and trusting relationship, the right partner for you is going to take the picture with you, whether they want to or not. They like you, and they want you to be happy! Here's my response when I get the fourth eye roll from a dude I'm dating about the rum punch I'm so delicately photographing: "You know I'm Instagramming, leave me alone, this is your chance to go on ESPN.com." Except I say it nicer, I guess. Happy 'gramming.