Guide to 'Gram

Staff Writer As self-confessed prey to almost every social networking trend and shameless devotee to the Instagram grind, I feel like it’s about time I call myself an expert. I do not have 5860 followers (in fact, I have a modest 73) nor am I addicted to the point where no meal I touch goes un ’grammed. However, I feel like I have some ethos on this subject, and I’d love to share that in the form of these instagram dos and don’ts.  

  1. DO Instagram your vacations to make everyone jealous. Snagged a spot at the AHA conference in New Orleans? Hiking with your dog? Scored a p-week at some exotic African location? You have my complete and utter permission to go wild. This is what instagram is for, right? I recommend a wild animal here or there, and the occasional scenic view but watch out: compulsive vacation-stagrams can make you come off as obnoxious and jet setting. You don’t want to give off the wrong image.
  2. DO #tbt. Hearken back to the days of your youth when times were so much simpler, or maybe just last week when you wore a really, really cool sweater. #Tbts are a worthy endeavor, because they’re sure to get at least seven likes and invoke sweet nostalgia in even the iciest of folks. Just be wary of getting too sentimental…there’s been one too many ultrasound-stagrams I can’t unsee.
  3. DO instagram your culinary creations. Show the world that you are the perfect 1950s housewife with instagrams that glorify your baked masterpieces with a subtle Walden filter. Reminiscent of vacation-stagrams, sure, they may make people jealous of your indisputable domesticity and calorie-laden treat, but they score an average of eleven likes so it’s totally worth it.
  4. DO take it easy on the hashtags. There’s a perfect balance somewhere in-between relevant and painfully unnecessary where ideal hashtags lie. Let me explain: perhaps you are instagramming a super cute picture of you and your dog in honor of his eighth birthday. Hashtagging “#cute” is dull, but relevant and sure to get you likes. “#swaggy” is completely irrelevant, clearly a ploy for a self esteem boost from instagram fans of Justin Bieber (a large and exploitable demographic). However, “#middleagedmutt” and “#happybirthdog” can be considered vaguely related to the post, but still unique hashtags. And there my friends, we have found our balance.
  5. DO indulge in the occasional selfie. Let’s face it; we all look really good in Earlybird. When instagramming a selfie, however, one is at constant risk of looking like a seventh grader/distant relative of Narcissus. My solution? Grab a nearby prop to make it seem like the focus of the post is really about the object (Spoiler alert: it’s not. It’s about you, because you are beautiful). My personal favorites include: parents, menorahs, dogs and articles of clothing.
  So, faithful ’grammers, I wish you luck in your battle against the rising tide of conformity. Keep instagram hipster. And follow me. @amyba1muth.]]>