Sunday, August 17, 2014


I posted a photo on Instagram yesterday at non-Instagram-primetime and actually felt like I was committing a crime...this thought led me to think more about what Instagram has become in our lives, to the extent that there is a sense of obligation (?) to post photos during a specific period of time each day.

For all the Instagram-hermits out there, here are a few unspoken "Instagram rules" that anyone seeking social security (not literally) should abide by, or else you pretty much are committing social suicide.

1. No posting more than two photos a day (two is already stretching the limit)
2. No using Instagram filters (VSCO or Afterlight is a safe choice)
3. No using hashtags such as #followme #likeforlike #followback because that only exposes your desperation
4. Post during Instagram peak hour (which depends on the demographic of your followers)
5. If you don't get at least eleven likes on a photo, it's time to delete it.

I can't really think of any more at the moment, but these are the more...pertinent ones I suppose.

Anyway, so with all these unspoken rules (which ultimately is the result of an obsession with the number of "likes" each post gets), Instagram is becoming less personal and more of a image of yourself that you want to project to others! Let's be honest, Instagram is more often than not our first line of contact with new people (for our generation, at least). You probably clicked on someone's Instagram profile (after intense creeping on friends of friends of friends of a friend) before you actually met the person in real life. Thus, there is a need to paint our reputation in a way that people who stumble upon our feeds will have the impression that we are pretty/handsome/cool/popular/whatever-you-want-people-to-think-of-you.

Remember the days when we literally posted whatever the heck we wanted on Instagram? Photos of the randomest objects like trees, layered with Hefe or Walden, posted within ten minutes of each other. When 30 likes could make us feel like Instagram celebrities/we can actually take good photographs. Well, those days are long gone, unless

So the other day, I was wondering out loud on Twitter whether or not I should start up a new private Instagram account to post all my #100wenderfuldays photos and also various photos that document my life, but didn't really want to share it on my main feed. Megan replied to my tweet and encouraged me to go for it, and that she was thinking of starting an private account as well! That's how @dodgynwen (I hope y'all get the play on words...) came about!


I felt a lot free-er, being able to post whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I only accepted follower requests from people I knew personally and trusted not to judge me, so it was safe. After a few months (which would be now), I realise a lot of my other friends and their friends have started dodgy accounts as well. I did feel a bit annoyed at first, because it was...I don't know, it felt like my thing I guess. I've gotten over that feeling now, though.

Anyway, my point is that, since so many people are starting up dodgy accounts, it only goes to show that many others also feel restricted and limited by the unspoken Instagram rules. It kind of defeats the purpose of Instagram, which is "To capture and share the world's moments". So what happens when the "world's moments" are all on dodgy accounts and the main accounts are basically heavily doctored and filtered images of such moments, calculatedly planned to "capture" (lol bad pun sorry) the most likes/comments?

I doubt I'll be deleting my main account (@jinwerm) nor my dodgy account (@dodgynwen) after this post (lol how hypocritical right? but that's how life works) but this is just my two cents worth, and I thought I would like to share this with you guys. :-)

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