“She Instagram herself like #BadBitchAlert/He Instagram his watch like #MadRichAlert”
In Yeezus’ “Blood on the Leaves,” Kanye West doesn’t mention the time said “#BadBitch” posted “An Open Letter To My Freshman Year Roommate.” He doesn’t rave about the video of the chocolate-covered, chocolate dessert drizzled in chocolate sauce (though it’s Kanye decedent.) And although they’re his favorite, he didn’t even shout out a petty subtweet. No, he chose Instagram over Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+. And that’s because, unlike the rest, Instagram is still sexy (in a very censored way – nipple-seekers try Twitter).
Undoubtedly, social media is changing. In the wake of mass shootings, police brutality and a tumultuous election, a Facebook post is a thought that would have never made it past dinner chatter when the last Clinton ran for office. Now, 674 Facebook friends can log on and see that Sarah’s mom is angry with a candidate. The next day she’ll follow up that rant by sharing a Washington Post article, the same one that four of her friends have already shared. Every article allows her to articulate herself without saying anything at all. Then she’ll lighten the mood with an obscure kitten story or perhaps an exciting new invention.
It’s no wonder Facebook has become jarring hodgepodge of rants, polarizing articles, Tasty tutorials and videos about unlikely animal friends. All are stacked inharmoniously in a never-ending stream of tragedy interspersed with uplifting. The roller coaster quickly becomes nauseating.
Facebook’s role in giving the everyday person a place to be heard is important, no doubt, but when was the last time that person posted about a museum they visited or an old friend they met. Facebook has morphed into a reposting site.
Instagram’s crown may be thanks to nothing more than the confines of the interface, but it retains the personal, fun nature of social media more than anything else (although Snapchat’s image focus makes it a close second.) Instagram invented the selfie, the Woman Crush Wednesday, the #nofilter and the outfit of the day. If you want the world to admire your good hair day forever, Instagram is the only place for that.
Twitter is Instagram’s partner when it comes to pop culture’s social media favorites. And it often beats IG when it comes to humor, but the news updates, ads and retweets that do not equal endorsements keep it just out of reach of Insta’s carefree vibe.
Even Instagram’s newest sidekick, Boomerang, which makes short, looping videos, is centered around fun (hello, it’s named after a children’s toy). When you travel to Europe, when you meet a celebrity, when you want everyone to know who’s in your bed, you slap on a filter and Insta that shit – it’s simple.
Likewise, when you want to know where they’ve been, who they’ve been with and the most impressive meal they ate in the last week, you scroll through picture after picture, silently judging try-hard captions. On IG, you can look beyond the seriousness, the articles and the superficial videos and see what people are actually up to. And unlike Snapchat, there’s a record. It’s genuinely refreshing to see pool pictures and new cars. And if you’re still not sure whether to celebrate Selfie Sunday, let the words of Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” guide you: “Shout out to them freshmen / On Instagram straight flexin'”