The Garbage Accounts of Instagram
• Stanley Idesis
One month ago I started to use Instagram in a serious manner: as a business person who meant business. I shied from Instagram for years because dedicating that much time to building your social presence is wasteful, anti-societal, and self-centered… But I have a brand to build, so forget all that crap! I disrobed my morality, slipped into a Coachella bikini, and dove butt-first into Instagram - eww?
After a month of insta-ing, grammin’, and sinking-to-new-lows-ing, I learned that Instagram is a disgusting place teeming with liars, ugliness, and scam artists. These are the garbage accounts of Instagram.
The biggest offenders on Instagram are fitness accounts like @fitness.r.us. Their profile claims they are, “[h]ere to motivate and inspire.” And they succeeded as soon as I saw their avatar, assuming their goal was to inspire boners.
Alright, they’re objectifying women to sell an account. That’s disgusting, but common in advertising, why should Instagram be any different? Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps this is how they get me to tap the icon before I see their excellent fitness feed. Or maybe the model in the avatar is doing a faced-down leg-curl crushing it hardcore with her glutes. Maybe they’re dedicated to health, fitness—
Alright, well, that wasn’t surprising, nor unexpected. But there’s still a chance that each of these photos provides a valuable tip on how to exercise, eat right, or own a butt. I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands to check every post; so needless to say, I checked every post. This one video in particular caught my eye, my other eye, my left hand, my lotion, my-
After watching this 15 second video for an hour and 38 minutes, I spotted this:
Fake fitness accounts can do harm. Following their advice about health is like getting gun safety tips from a Call of Duty player. But when your money and livelihood are at stake, then you’re probably browsing a lifestyle account. Accounts like @millionaire_certified_ and @fxlifestylemain present a version of life that looks incredibly appealing.
His account claims he’s a daytrader, which is a fancy word for internet gambler. There is no proof that he owns any of these things, he even puts a disclaimer in his description, “[m]ost pictures are of my things, some are not.” Gasp, you don’t say!? This is harmful because it creates a strong association between a lavish, rich lifestyle, and something as wildly risky as daytrading.
But it gets worse, much worse, when a business uses lifestyle to sell their bullshit. Look at this page, just take a good whif. If you have at least 10 brain cells, then you will smell rotting flesh as soon as you read the description. 5 figures a day? That’s at least $10,000, which begs the question, why teach their strategies, why teach anything when you’re earning at least 3.65 million dollars per year? Easy, they aren’t and you sure as hell won’t if you listen to them.
“New car shit every week?” Cars are one of the three worst investments you can make, and according to this post, he invests weekly. Sounds legit.
Last but not least, the brands. Don’t get me started on brands. Okay, clearly I’ve already started, we can’t go back. These are accounts that post inspirational quotes and pretend to be your friend when, in reality, just like the fitness and lifestyle accounts, they’re trying to sell you something. Look at this account for example:
Disgusting. On the surface, it’s a collection of beautiful quotes from famous people who gave wonderful advice; too good to be true. Let’s take a closer look:
If the unbearable self-promotion and shameless number of hashtags clawing desperately for attention doesn’t sicken you, then maybe you should download this app, my app, called Quotograph. Quotograph combines stupid beautiful stock photographs with dumb inspirational quotes to make motivational wallpapers for your Android phone; and I find my marketing tactics deplorable.
Stanley blogs, builds websites, acts, and makes Android applications, one of which is definitely Quotograph. Subscribe and never miss another adventure!