Instagram originally rose to prominence as a digital meeting place for hipsters – an app where you could share pictures of yourself wearing your Urban Outfitters skinny jeans, sitting on your Urban Outfitters couch, and drinking out of your ironic “Who Farted?” Urban Outfitters mug. Sure, it’s since become pretty mainstream, but it hasn’t lost sight of its original themes. There’s still only eight types of photographs on Instagram – always has been, always will.
The "This is the First Time I've Ever Seen a Sunset Before" Photo
In the world of amateur photography, pictures of sunsets are as ubiquitous as dead air on college radio. People who upload pics to Instagram are the ultimate amateur photographers – so much so, they can’t even be bothered to buy a damn camera. That being said, the fact that Instagram is filled to the bursting with nondescript pictures of sunsets comes as a surprise to no one.
The "Does This Filter Make My Acne Look Small?" Photo
You know ‘em. You’ve seen ‘em. And if you’ve ever had a zit you were trying to cover up, you’ve taken ‘em. They’re photos that are so washed out, the person in ‘em looks like a ghost. A ghost with something to hide. And by “something,” I mean “a skin condition.”
The "It's Art Because It's Blurry" Photo
Basically anything on Instagram tagged as "art" falls into this category. Blurry, poorly shot close-ups of stupid crap like logos, knick-knacks, trees and dogs isn’t art, though. It’s blurry, poorly shot close-ups of stupid crap. With a sepia filters layered over them for no discernable reason.
The "Modified MySpace" Photo
About 35% of Instagram’s bandwidth is dedicated to self-shot, artfully cropped images of girls from their (ample) chests up, made to maximize their assets (the aforementioned chests) and minimize their liabilities (the rest of their bodies). Myspace may be dead, but these deceptive snaps will never kick the bucket.
The "You Can Never Escape Pictures of Food" Photo
Social media sites exist for two reasons: as a safe place to express one’s opinion on how stupid the Lifetime TV movie “Liz and Dick” was, and to show off pictures of edibles one finds “hella yummy.” Instagram’s photos of foodstuffs are exactly the same as those you’d find on Facebook, but smaller and blurrier. And, as is the case with Facebook, they’re mostly of cupcakes and desserts. In short, they do not encourage healthy eating habits.
The "Correct, I'm Cute" Photo
Pictures in which young, “fabulous” dummies show off what they're wearing that day, their awesome manicures, and their Louis Vuitton cutting boards are incredibly popular on Instagram. The posters of said photos always look smug, too, as if they’re uploading them solely to rub their fabulosity all up in the world’s collective face. They make my blood boil.
The "This Isn't Even a Photo at All, It's a Stupid 'Inspirational' Quote" Photo
Because god forbid someone use a photo sharing site to share, y’know, actual photos.
The "Check Out This Thing in My Hand" Photo
One time, I kid you not, I saw an Instagram photo of someone’s hand holding a Starbucks iced latte. It was quite a depressing moment for yours truly.
What’s your least favorite Instagram cliché? Let me know in the comments!