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Steven Nereo

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Instagram: The Now-Written Rules

Posted: 02/ 3/2012 6:41 pm

Let's just face facts; Instagram rules. With all this talk of IPOs, Twitters, G-plusses and Pinterests -- whatever that is, sounds like a scrapbooking store in suburban New Hampshire -- the silent and underestimated killer is Instagram. Just show me a picture, that's all. Nothing more, nothing less. The perfect connection between friends and strangers alike. The problem is, with Instagram is you can really tell a lot about a person by what they post. I'd even go so far to say that if you think your BFs or Gfs pics are dumb, you might be onto something about how you feel about them. So you don't want to be dumb. Let me be the first to lay down what I've come up with as a few unwritten rules of da 'gramz.

Don't post too much! Me, I like to try and keep it to no more than four a day. I think that's fair. Maybe if I'm travelling or happen to come upon a dog, cat, and goat rolling together in a cute-orgy overload, I might push it a bit. But for the most part, it's nothin' but fours.

Don't photo blast! By this, I mean...you're on the toilet after a long day of pic snapping and it's looking like you might be there a while. So the phone is whipped out and you share-it-up with ten or twelve pictures in succession. You have to realize that somewhere out there, on another toilet, is the friend who has to scroll through all those pictures before getting a little variety into their experience. Ya dig? Don't do it. It's an act that elicits -- what we can from this moment forward refer to as -- many Instagroans.

Effin' coffee pics! How many pictures do we have to see of morning coffee? I don't know about you, but I don't need to see that many! For some reason, this is mostly a problem with my cycling friends. What the correlation is between riding bikes and the need to report the morning caffeine intake I have yet to recognize, but it's not for lack of trying. This also covers anything overdone; album covers, breakfast dishes (and other food), kids, DOGS!, and -- another cycling over-posted -- the ever-so-boring top-tube-while-riding pic. My personal vices tend to be sunsets and birds. I never said I was immune to breaking the rules myself on occasion.

Fill the space! C'mon, y'all. I know the square format is a little weird, but it's the canvas we've been given to paint. No letter-boxed landscape pics, please. That might make you feel filmy and intellectual on your TV, but on a tiny phone we need all the space we can get. While you're at it, get a profile pic too, n00b.

Easy on the yestergrams! We've all done it, had one of those visually slow days that inspired us to dig back in the archives for some skipped gem to post. Nothing wrong with it every once in a while, but this ain't no Blogspot, yo. We don't need to see your past year in two days. This one tends to be a rookie mistake, so watch those first steps. Also, it's totally OK to call anyone out on yestergramming. That's the chance you take, so take it wisely.

Boast stylistically! Let's be honest, Instagram is all about showing off. Where you've been, where you're going, what you're getting, what you're doing, where you're working, who you're boning, and so on. Every picture tells 1000 words, and most of them start with, "Let me show you (what, where, how, who, why) I'm...." When pressing the green check button really ask yourself, "Is this image pertinent for any other reason except to make me look rad?" If the answer is no, hit the X and move along. You've done yourself a huge favor. Get back to the pictures that are either content or visually interesting and your friends will talk less about your 'grammin' habits behind your back.

Have fun! Variety is the spice of life, right? Post some funnies every once in a while. We don't always need to see your brooding landscapes. The genius of mobile phone cameras is that they are always there for you, waiting to document every funny bathroom graffiti or weird sign you come across. So start documenting, that's the stuff our lulz are made of, we are depending on you. Don't bum us out.

The rest! 'Like' a lot of photos, it feels good. If you comment, you should definitely like the photo. Don't forget to tag people when talking to them, unless it's their picture. You can fancy-camera post if you must, but it shows you're trying hard and will likely spark a few Instagroans. Erasing comments is doable but confusing, so think before you speak! And lastly, ignore everything I just wrote and do whatever you like because rules really are made to be broken.

What'd we miss?

Gram it! @apehangers

 

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