I haven't bought a copy of Vogue magazine in years. There was a time in my life when I used to like reading about fashion, although I don't think I've ever seen an outfit in Vogue I would actually consider wearing outside my house. I mean...sheer blouses that plunge to the navel and $3,000 burlap wrap dresses aren't exactly something I'd throw on for a Saturday trek to Target. Buying a copy of Vogue used to make me feel hip and trendy, like I was somehow just a little bit cooler by just walking through an airport with it tucked under my arm.
Things have changed.
My hip and trendy days are over, I'm afraid. Like most people nowadays, I read my magazines and newspapers online. I'm less interested in reading about fashion trends and more interested in reading articles about how to get my kids to just effing go to sleep or how to get Kool-aid stains out of the carpet. And, if I'm walking through the airport with anything tucked into my arm, it's probably a giant, unstylish handbag or a screaming kid.
But, my friend shared an article from Vogue online with me this week and I found it quite enlightening It wasn't about the latest crazy fashion trends but about a subject near and dear to my heart - social media.
My heart sank a little bit when I read this article. I learned I have been breaking the rules of my beloved Instagram.
(That's sarcasm, people.)
Now see here: I can usually recognize (and appreciate) good satire but I am 99 percent sure that writer Hayley Bloomingdale is serious...and that she's declared herself to be the Instagram police and head rule-maker. Oh, Hayley. We have a saying here in the South:
Bless your little heart, darlin'.
Here's what I think of your "good, bad and very boring Instagram rules."
"Unless you are a food blogger, pictures of food should be used sparingly...will this make someone hungry or will it make them want to throw up? If the answer is throw up, do not post the picture. We have all seen avocado toast...but unless yours comes with gold flakes...no need to share that picture."
Please forgive me.
"Pictures of cheesy quotes are absolutely forbidden."
Good to know. I don't recall every having posted a cheesy quote on Instagram, but you bet your ass I'm going to be on the hunt for a good one. Absolutely forbidden? Oh Hayleykins...come down from that high horse, m'kay? I'm afraid you will get a nosebleed and then not post pictures of it on Instagram so we can all see. Although you don't specifically cite nosebleeds as verboten on Instagram, I'm kind of thinking you have some sort of ridiculous rule against that, too.
"Coffee art should also be used sparingly. Facebook is a better platform...you'll get plenty of likes from the middle-aged mothers."
Bite me, Hayley.
"Never post more than three photos a day. There are a few circumstances where this rule can be broken: Fashion Week, on a particularly fantastic vacation or on your birthday."
Fashion week? Ummm...
A filter is not always needed, but is a good idea 80 percent of the time. Many girls adhere to the old adage: "I look amazing in Valencia." Note that the Kelvin filter is to be avoided at all costs. If it really does make a picture better, it is to be used sparingly and with extreme caution. Never, under any circumstances, may the Kelvin with border be used...
What the actual fuck, Hayley? This has got to be satire, right? Does anyone else have the urge to go in to their Instagram feed and change everything to Kelvin or is that just me?
And WTF is up with this "use sparingly" BS? There are things I use sparingly: perfume and real butter come to mind, not a flippin' Instagram filter. Good thing I don't know how to put borders in my photos, Hayley. Good thing indeed.
It is never appropriate to use more than four hashtags per picture...made-up hashtag is totally fine (example: #idontevenknowthisguy). But if it's completely random and clearly not a common hashtag (#LateLunchAfterSephoraTrip), then you are an idiot.
Oh yeah? You're not the boss of me:
#WTF #NoReallyWTF #NeverSayNever #FourthHashtag #FifthHashtag #Unoriginal
Hayley. Honey. I can't even try to be nice, here. You're an idiot. #YouReallyAre #SorryNotSorry
If your picture doesn't get more than eleven likes, you need to take it down because it sucks. Note: This applies to users with 100 followers or more. If you are new and have fewer than 100 followers, then hurry up and get cooler.
Hurry up, you Instagram losers out there. Go count the number of likes on your 'grams. If you can't meet the magic number (and by magic, I mean pulled out of Hayley's butt) then I think your Instagram feed might self-destruct. And hurry up and get cooler, people. Like Hayley. And no, I'm not typing with a straight face...in fact, I had to stop because I spit coffee through my nose.
A selfie is only acceptable on a few occasions: if you work in fashion and are showcasing an outfit or specific part of an outfit for work purposes, if you are somewhere awesome and there is no one to take your picture (e.g., a chairlift on Mount Kilimanjaro or jury duty with Oprah).
Oops. Hey Oprah...call me.
No-fun Hayley goes on to give guidance on posting "Throwback Thursday" pictures; the use of selfie sticks; and videos and diptics. There are rules, people. Lots and lots of rules. I will confess to not knowing what a diptic is, people. It sounds dirty.
I'm not sure about the rest of you who have managed to read this far, but I'm not exactly a card carrying member of the @hayleybloom fan club right now.
If you're still thinking something like "meh...she might have a few points" then I give you this last one:
People love puppies and all babies. Pictures of puppies and/or babies are a guaranteed golden 'gram. But limit yourself to one post per week. More than that and people will start to hate your puppies and babies. Do not Instagram cats. Please just spare us all.
I don't know about you but I feel like going out to find some cats to take pictures of and post several pictures - eight seems like a good number - and hashtag the ever-loving snot out of them, just for fun. I don't have a cat, but I just might get one now.
Hayley...I know you're probably an entitled twenty-something with a narrow world view and maybe I shouldn't pick on you for such utter bullshittery as posting the 10 commandments of Instagram and posting them on the Internets. #ButICouldNotResist
I've been abusing Instagram since 2012 and I've done just fine without your rules, although I'm sure you think I'm just a middle-aged woman who posts too many coffee memes and that I should just stay on Facebook with all the other lame-ass people who are getting less than 11 likes on their 'grams. Maybe one day, you will realize how ridiculous you sound.
To read Hayley Bloomingdale's full article on Vogue, go HERE.
If you're up for an Instagram feed that violates all of these rules and then some, come and follow my Instagram feed. I need a few more friends to like the picture I posted this morning of my peanut butter. It has a craptillion hashtags and since 11 people have not yet liked it, the rules say I have to take that shit down.
But, I think we all know I'm not a rule follower.