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Abby Draper Headshot

To Filter or Not to Filter?

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I'm pretty sure, without checking, that my last five Instagram posts were some variation of: Los Angeles views, champagne or wine, SoulCycle, a "that's what she said" joke, or food. And that's because I'm also fairly certain that 92 percent of all of my Instagram photos are a variation of those same five things with a few random filtered pictures tossed in here and there.

That being said, it's likely that people often see what I share on social media and think "why?" and that's totally cool. The thing is, if you ask me why, I can tell you a reason.

Instagram is great, but there are five trends that are thoughtfully selected, filtered and shared on the app that just don't make sense.

#ManCrushMonday -- Are these actually men you have a crush on, with hopes of pursuing? If I were to post an actual man that I know, and have a crush on every Monday with some sort of silly anecdote or inside joke, there's no way he would enjoy that. Or want to date me, or talk to me, or sleep with me, or whatever it is this photo is supposed to inspire from him. If I were to post my fictional crush, then, every single Monday the Internet would see a filtered Google Image of Tim Riggins.

#ThrowbackThursday -- While I enjoy those that are humorous, like a picture of Miley Cyrus when she was Hannah Montana, a weekly photo from decades ago just seems bizarre. I was not an eye-catching adolescent. I was way too tall, pale, super skinny with no curves, with braces and an obsession with cutting my own hair, so it was rarely even or attractive. In college, I spent an absurd amount of money on spray tans, bronzer (because obviously a spray tan wasn't enough) and eyeliner. Why would I want to share this on the Internet where things never go away? Even with the option of an "Amaro" or "Nashville" adjustment.

Ultrasounds -- Listen, congratulations. Seriously, I mean that, but why put a filter on it and post it to Instagram? I read a great Tweet recently that said, "If the photo was taken by a medical device it doesn't need to be shared on your social channels." Hashtag, agree. Send it to your family and close friends, definitely, but if we haven't spoken in more than fifteen years, I don't want to see your uterus.

Incessant Selfies -- I really appreciate women (and men) who like the way they look, and yes, there are absolutely some times where I'd love to see a photo of you with something cool in the background. But, daily? Why? And the captions. Like, come on. You definitely didn't wake up like that. You absolutely are wearing makeup. And you've already posted seventeen other pictures of yourself with the exact same confused face/sunglasses/sad face/dreaming face -- you get the idea here. AND YOU'RE PUTTING A FILTER ON IT, SO IT'S ESSENTIALLY PHOTOSHOPPED. I revoke all of these questions if there is another person in the "selfie," although then it's not technically a selfie.

Daily inspirational quotes, that aren't actually from you. Unless your job is to inspire, because then it makes sense -- Enough said. Except, you're still filtering quotes.

In case you were wondering, after writing this I went to see what my last five Instagram photos were: Sunset over the beach in Santa Monica on my way to SoulCycle (because these things make me the happiest), this cool wine tasting dispenser at a restaurant in L.A. for happy hour on Friday (because just look at it and think about what's going on there...hello, it's amazing), s'mores cupcakes with graham cracker bottoms and marshmallow filling that a colleague made and brought to the office (no explanation needed), blue skies and palm trees in Beverly Hills (there was a joke there, after panic about horrendous L.A. rain) and a "that's what she said joke" (because they're hilarious).