A screen full of selfish selfies below photos of broke dudes trying hard to look wealthy. She wants so badly to be a pin-up so she pins up her hair and puts on short shorts while her short stature poses standing carefully on top of unread novels hoping they don’t topple–followed by the hashtag #LifeOfAWorkingModel. Though it’s intended to look like a coincidence, his camera phone is perfectly positioned to capture the BMW emblem on the steering wheel of his father’s vehicle, and the caption reads, “What ballers do.” Rent is past due but you can’t tell by uninterrupted posts of all his shoes. Sadly, his social network represents all of him. I hope his landlord doesn’t follow him.
You just don’t understand…they do it for the ‘Gram!
Instagram is a fun and quirky way to stay connected through photos. It’s great for two things: Sharing moments of your life, brand or business or the life, brand or businesses of someone else. Most people front and do the latter. Either that, or their life is The Truman Show. They have no known notable achievements, but they just want to be known. They couldn’t get a reality TV contract, so they settled for an Instagram account.
Picture this: A beautiful lady walking down Madison & Fifth Avenue in New York City. Her iPhone camera obstructs her view as she shamelessly snaps selfies in front of flagship stores. I’m sure her caption said, “Shopping,” although she held no bags. Then there’s this: You enter a party that hasn’t started and notice a group of girls having an Instagram Moment. What’s an Instagram Moment, you ask? It’s when people instagram moments not having fun pretending like they’re having fun. I witnessed both of these moments last week.
Her photo says, “No filter” while I’m thinking, “No thank you.” Glamour shots in prom dresses with the hashtag #SoooTired #JustWakingUp. Yes, it’s your page and you can post what you want to, but your pictures are popping up on the popular page and I don’t even follow you. Profile says actress–15k followers, but she sleeps on an air mattress. She’s famous for nothing, cussing and sucking, living life always wanting something for nothing. Will someone please say something? This can’t be life. Oh, but it is. It’s what kids aspire to do. To them, success isn’t finishing school, but being flyer than you. People online bragging about getting higher than you, then getting arrested for incriminating themselves.
They do it for the gram. I do it because I can. But what you must understand is that I’m not a braggadocian man. I’m on online to inspire optimism, not envy. I’m not one to boast, but you should see the photos that I don’t post. I have most possessions your favorite rapper validates his existence with, but I won’t put them on display. They’re just not that important to me. My God, my family and my legacy are. My real life can’t be captured on Instagram. It doesn’t fit. It’s far too dynamic and way too beautiful to fall into the confines of a 612×612 pixel square box.
I didn’t write this to judge you. I selflessly wrote it so you can see yourself away from your selfies.
Live more. Post less.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola’s latest bestselling book, “GENTLEWOMAN: Etiquette for a Lady, from a Gentleman” has been met with critical acclaim. He’s also the author of another award-winning bestseller, “BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate.” Bereola is a celebrity ghostwriter, columnist, public speaker and etiquette impresario. Visit: Bereolaesque.com, Twitter & Facebook for more info and follow him on Instagram @bereolaesque.