Insta-Obsession strikes Milken

Jake Davidson and Gabe Freeman


Move over Facebook, Silicon Valley has a new social media darling and it goes by the name of Instagram. Yes, the addictive photo-sharing application that has captured our hearts and given us yet another medium for which to procrastinate is currently in vogue. This new craze has spawned hundreds of new terms like Insta-Obsessed, Insta-Famous, Insta-Talented, and even Insta-Experienced. In this crazy Insta-World, you may feel scared and alone, but don’t worry. We (as self-appointed experts) have decided to give you the inside scoop on all things Insta, so eventually you can rise to Insta-Prominence.

If you have any burning questions eating away at you, we are here to answer them. Public or Private? We cover that. What type of Instagrammer are you? We’ll classify the groups. How do those people get all of those likes? We’ll expose the dirty little secrets of the Insta-Craft. Finally, the most pressing question of all: what should your ratio be?

Private vs. Public:

The minute you create a username and begin your treacherous journey through Insta-Land, you are faced with a confounding choice. Do you make your account private to avoid pesky cousins from accessing your pictures, or do you take a leap of faith and plunge into the mysterious yet alluring world of a public profile?

Going public means accepting Aunt Suzy’s embarrassing comments for a higher purpose: Insta-Fame. Truthfully, this life-changing decision boils down to your personality, what type of Insta-Grammer you are.

What type of Insta-Grammer are you?

The Instagram world consists of three major groups. You have the Insta-Obessed, the Wannabe Photographer, and the Casual User. There are obviously subsets of each group, but these expansive classifications combine to include everyone in the Insta-Stratosphere.

Let’s start out with the Obsessed. If you find yourself checking your feed during class, liking pictures while driving, or salivating over a new follower in the shower, we have diagnosed you with this terrible affliction.  This group isn’t just for people who are consumed by Instagram, but also encompasses individuals who crave the attention and validation provided by Instagram “likes.”

If you post heavily edited shots of yourself and fish for compliments, you have fallen victim to the vicious Insta-Underworld. While all obsessions are unhealthy, this type of fixation can be extremely detrimental. If you base your entire existence on reaching that 11th “like” in hopes of being deemed worthy by your Insta-Peers, you should reexamine your purpose in life. This 11th “like” which separates individual names from a communal approval of your photo is seen by some as a badge of honor, a confirmation of one’s Insta-Prowess.

This Instagrammer attempts to post a selfie.

Before we discuss the most disparaged group on Instagram, the Wannabe Photographers, we would like to pay homage to a revered group. True Insta-Artists are both respected and revered, especially those who reach the pinnacle of Insta-Success: the popular page.

With that being said, you are either a great photographer or you are not; filters and an 8 Megapixel camera aren’t going to simply transform you into Ansel Adams. We aren’t calling you out per se (yes we are), but we are giving you a wake up call. Also, don’t try to use mediocre food to pass yourself off as a gourmet food critic. McDonald’s poses enough digestive issues as it is. Don’t supersize your offense by clogging up our newsfeed.

This is simply Insta-Gross.

Finally, the casual user looks to become a victim of natural selection as more and more users are succumbing to the Insta-Addiction. Take advantage of these people while you still can because they are not concerned with their ratios.  So use them to boost yours. It may be harsh, but hey only the strong will survive.

Accumulating Likes:

The ultimate purpose of Instagram comes down to one simple thing: accumulating as many “likes” as humanly possible.  Instagram claims its app is designed to “share your life through photos.” We all know that is bogus, though. The only thing that matters is getting “likes.”  So, it is not surprising that every Instagrammer has employed different strategies to accomplish this ultimate goal.

The famous “like for a like” tactic is gaining momentum. This involves a secretive pact that two friends will like each other’s photos no matter what. This tactic is childish. Remember those kids in Kindergarten who teamed up on everyone in Freezetag? Well those kids are back, and they are destroying a much more sacred game than our cherished freeze tag.  Those kids may have gotten away with it back then, but the Insta-Gods have a way of exacting revenge, so play by the rules.

This conversation is evidence of what really goes on.

Another strategy for accumulating copious amounts of “likes” is hashtagging.  While one or two hashtags will get the job done, eighty is overboard.  If you see someone hashtag #likeforlike #100likes #bestagram #followforfollow #likeforlike #ifollowback #ihavenolife #instagrammers, know in your head that they are Insta-Cheaters.

The Revered Ratio:

While “likes” are crucial, your reputation is staked on your Insta-Ratio.

Your ratio refers to the number of people who follow you versus the number of people you so kindly choose to follow back.  While it looks better when more people follow you, we caution you against committing the cardinal sin of Instagram.

We have cleverly coined it the “follow and then un-follow tactic.”  The majority of us are Insta-Obsessed these days and we notice if someone un-follows us. The pain of losing a follower cuts so deep and lasts for so long that it is coldhearted to put someone through that unbearable, unspeakable anguish.  Deciding to follow someone is a binding agreement that you will forever be stuck with that person’s photos on your news feed.

The revered ratio and the not so revered ratio.

Sometimes the Instagram world is harsh, sometimes it is rewarding; but at the end of the day there is one universal truth regarding Instagram: once you get hooked there is no turning back.

Editor’s note: We plead guilty to all counts of Insta-Obsession, Insta-Addiction, Wannabe Photgraphers- there is no shame because this is the Insta-Reality.

Jake Davidson’s and Gabe Freeman’s Insta-Documentary: