Given that I allow Robyn Rihanna Fenty to rule every aspect of my life, it should come as no surprise that once again, I’ve allowed her to set the rules. Having deleted the ‘gram (once again) a month or so ago, I sense that perhaps Bad Gal Riri and I were on the same page this time around. You see, the singer turned actress turned female extraordinaire, explained that Instagram is the death of well… everything. Including my somewhat sanity, though she failed to mention that part. When asked by The Cut Magazine, “Are you seeing any trends on Instagram? Or have you seen anything on Instagram recently that’s inspired you?” The Bad Gal in question responded, “Instagram is the death of all trends. Once it gets there, it’s too late. It’s gone. I’m so over it. I can’t; I can’t deal.” Guess what? I wholeheartedly agree.
Though my reasoning for getting rid of the app differ slightly from Rih’s quote, the notion still stands, Instagram kind of really sucks. Sure, it may be great for taking amazing photos, making peers jealous and exes anxious, but it’s also a hub for insecurities and where, I personally feel, dreams go to die. But is such the case with the wizarding world of fashion? More and more recently – particularly before I erased my social footprint – I noticed that once a fashion trend floods the Instagram feed, it’s pretty much done to death.
For the past year or so, a number of magazines have informed me that the photography app is where it’s at and where all of the news breaks. The be-all and end-all of fashion once the runway shows come to a halt, so to speak. With regards to my work, I’m frequently asked to scope the ‘gram in the hopes of finding something revolutionary amongst a sea of influencers and bloggers wearing common and affordable garments. With a number of recruiters requiring that I draft an article on the ‘latest Instagram style trend,’ but why aren’t we setting the rules? Rihanna, in particular, is partial to setting new trends. Though this could be due to the fact that she’s regularly snapped wearing designer garms ‘Phresh Out The Runway’. Of course, Instagram trends would be tiresome to someone who literally sets the pace in fashion.
I suppose, among my many dislikes of the app and a majority of its users, the biggest problem I had was that it felt as though Instagram was constantly telling me who to be, what I should be wearing and in a sense, what my life is supposed to look like. You know, all colourful or coordinated, well travelled, constantly made up and full of life. When in reality I’m frequently drained, travel when I feel the need and wear makeup an average of once every two weeks.
I grew ever so tired of pretending to have it all, even though my captions routinely mocked my adult-esque living capabilities, I felt no-one ever took what I was saying as fact. In truth, my somewhat hilarious captions were a cry for help. Tired of pretending to make a mockery of my lack of achievements or even my inability to put a half decent outfit together each day, I deleted Instagram altogether. I figured why should an application on my phone make me feel less than I am? The first week without Instagram was indeed confusing, I felt so out of touch with the world and had no sense of what was going on. But it soon dawned on me that there was a way of finding new information, prior to Instagram’s debut in 2010 and it was the news. The real news. Once I’d trudged through the news, with all the newfound ‘free time’ on my hands, I quickly realised that I was better off without the app, or at the very least, for the time being.
So, I ask again, is such the case with the wizarding world of fashion? Instead of being the social hub showcasing the worlds best trends, could Instagram be simply hindering our individuality? Cubing us into the same being, clones of one another.
As an individual often plagued with the Instagram bug, I’ve since disconnected myself with the brand entirely. However, in a moment of weakness and so as not to lose my account altogether, I crept back briefly, to see what was going on in scroll city. Well, that and I wasn’t yet ready for my account to be (totally) deleted. It took me only five minutes to come to the realisation that the app remains a force on what’s cool, who’s trying to be cool and who’s seemingly pretending to be cool. In short, my own personal hell.
Still, I sit and wait for the day where a new app steals all of our focus and quickly becomes the new and revolutionary ‘thing’. Perhaps the newspaper will make a much-needed comeback and we’ll each throw out or expensive iPads and Kindles in place of physical paper-to-hand contact. Perhaps… perhaps. One thing remains to be seen, however, Instagram is still the application where dreams, trends and sanity go to die.
So, to wrap things up nice and neat, Rihanna was right and we are always wrong.