We need to talk about Instagram Stories.
“Story of my life”? More like please don’t story your whole life, or at least do so tastefully.
Over the past few years, Instagram Stories have cannibalized Snapchat and emerged supreme as the premiere location to show off shaky cam concert footage and puppy-dog selfies. But with great power comes great misuse of a platform.
We’ve all succumb to the desire to constantly cherry pick the juiciest parts of our life and share them with anyone who cares to tune in. Sometimes, though, those juicy bits don’t taste, sound, or look very good to those of us consuming them.
It’s time for a crash course in Instaquette (Instagram etiquette, duh).
12. The ‘New Post’ Story
Don’t post your post to your story to your post to your story to your post…
If you post something, we’ll see it in due time.
Just like Bebe Rexha said in her hit song with that country singer: “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.” If we’re meant to see your post, we will. You mustn’t shove it down our throats by posting it on your story with a GIF or scribbles over it, concealing the very thing we just might have been interested in seeing. That’s called overkill, friends.
I wouldn’t have minded scrolling by and throwing you a like, organically. But now that I know you want me to see something, I will actively avoid looking at it, Birdbox style.
11. The Work Out Photos Story
We get it, you like to get your iPhone sweaty.
It’s 2019. We’re all for body positivity and going after your goals in a healthy way. Strive! A nice, strong gym post is cool. But to constantly barrage us with poorly lit semi-self conscious pics of you flexing is poor form. Leave it to Kim Kardashian. Do your squats and your pull ups and then barrage us with pics in those jeans that are beginning to fit like a second skin. Double negative if you’re forcing your significant other to participate in your sweaty social gains. They just want to meet their PR without feeling pressured to appear swol to your 539 followers.
10. The Filmed Without Consent Story
Let your friends do their thing without turning it into a production.
If your friend wants to be filmed, we guarantee they will do something to warrant a recording sesh. It’s just not cool to constantly be filming your friends’ every move. Soon, they’ll start to feel like they can’t do anything around you without feeling like Britney circa 2006.
There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than watching someone publicly squirm under the lens of their friend’s iPhone.
9. The Pointless Poll Story
They see me pollin’, they hatin’.
If you’re going to put a poll in your story, and yes there is a right and wrong time for a poll. Please adhere to poll etiquette.
For the love of all that is good, place your poll in the center of the screen so we don’t accidentally vote if we’re trying to move on to the next slide. OR conversely when we are aggressively trying to vote on your poll and you’ve placed it so far to the left that we end up clicking backwards. We don’t need to see your story twice.
Finally, the polls that read “yes” or “yes, but in red” need to die. It was never funny.
8. The Terrible Music Story
If you play a song through your speakers, you’re dead to us.
Instagram went out of their way for you, and you have shown no gratitude. We’re looking at you Kylie Jenner. That’s right, we’re talking about playing songs through your phone’s speakers instead of the music feature on the app. We would have listened to AM radio if we wanted our music reception to go in and out, so we sure as hell don’t want it coming from your iPhone.
7. The Facetune’d Child Story
We don’t want to see your baby smoother than a glazed doughnut, Rebecca.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. DON’T FACETUNE YOUR CHILDREN. Babies are naturally cute. There is no need to morph or transform their bodies, thus holding them to ridiculous beauty/cuteness standards, before they even know what ridiculous beauty standards are. We really thought this one should be an obvious don’t, but as per usual the internet has found a way to disappoint us.
6. The Never-ending Rant Story
Go 👏 off 👏 but 👏 respect 👏 the 👏 medium
Listen, sometimes you just gotta go TF off — whether that be about a topic of social injustice, or when you feel personally attacked by the vicious moms who fought you for dominance at the Bath and Body Works Candle Day Sale™.
Unfortunately, the time limit of Story clips don’t necessarily lend themselves to a 30 minute impassioned critique of the cisheteropatriarchy. And we guarantee that people would love to hear it — if only you weren’t getting cut off every 15 seconds. Next time a particular issue lights a fire within you, spark it up on YouTube instead.
5. The BFF Birthday Story
It’s my party, and I’ll post 9,000,000 clips if I want to.
I think my least favorite type of Instagram post is the ‘It’s my best friend’s birthday’ post
— Brian Koerber (@bkurbs) January 8, 2019
🎵 Happy Birthday dear [yourfriendthatidon’tknow], Happy Birthday to you! 🎵 It’s literally Birthday Law that you must spend the day hyping up your bestie on their birthday — but do we really care? Yes, we’re sure your friend’s #bdayLook is bomb. Yes, that party looks like it’s jumping. Yes, that cake looks delish. But are we there? No. BFF birthday stories are the epitome of JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) — watching people you don’t know have fun is boring, not glamorous.
4. The Boomerang Clipshow Story
Nothing but Boomerangs for days.
When the Boomerang first came to Instagram, having your own personal GIF machine was a fun, inventive way to liven up your feed. Now that the novelty has worn off, though, we’re begging you to stop. There’s so many more features available to you on Stories now: face filters, zooming in with music, uhh….other things! We don’t need a whiplash-inducing video of you chugging your third cocktail of the night.
3. The Tons of Unreadable Text Story
OH GOD MY EYES
You don’t need a degree in Color Theory to slap some aesthetically pleasing text onto your Story, but at the very least please try and make it readable. There’s nothing worse than attempting to speed-read 0.2 size cursive neon green font on a bright yellow border in less than 15 seconds before the Story switches. Crowding the screen with text also takes away from the actual photo itself, if you took one. This is not a comic book, so don’t fill your stories up with speech bubbles.
2. The Filming Your Drive Story
Yes, a video of the street you’re driving down is EXACTLY the content I was looking for.
Everyone knows you shouldn’t text and drive, or at least that’s what we thought. That includes Instagram, guys. Not only is it dangerous and could cause bodily harm to you or others, but we can guarantee that absolutely no one cares about you filming yourself talking or blasting the bass through your crappy car speakers.
No one asked for this content, in fact, we’re asking that it stop.
1. The Concert Story
If we wanted to see that concert, we would’ve bought a ticket.
We’re so glad you went to that concert. We really are. Live your joy. But watching said concert playback on a 5-inch glass screen with sound quality that makes it seem like it was recorded on a Nintendo DS was never part of our plan.
Unless you’re literally backstage with the artist, please refrain from recording back-to-back snippets of their concert. Your seats aren’t even that good so we can’t differentiate the artist from their backup dancers. This also applies to Storying in a loud club. Unless Jaden Smith is holding a sparkler while simultaneously pouring you a shot of Grey Goose, refrain. We will not have the FOMO you’re so desperately trying to induce if our ears are bleeding. If you must post, kill the sound.
The truth is that every Instagram story can easily be swiped away at a moment’s notice. You can speedrun through clips faster than your finger can graze glass (literally). None of these annoying stories will kill us, although we may claim they will — after all, we live for the drama.
But, like most people, we are genuinely interested in our friends’ lives. Just maybe not enough to put up with their Insta habits. As I’m sure legions of people throughout history would agree, some stories just aren’t meant to be told.