I am documenting my attempts to become online famous--one social media scheme at a time.
In my quest to become Internet famous, I decided to tackle Instagram, a platform that lets you post photos online that are visible both to your friends and to masturbators skulking about the Internet. Instagramming is probably easier for people who have visually stunning lives, but considering I drive a Honda, work in a warehouse, and have worn the same four T-shirts on repeat for the past six months, my days aren't exactly a feast for the senses. I made Crock Pot lamb last night, but I wouldn't say it looked good enough to pleasure yourself to. Still, I thought I'd give posting photos of my boring existence a crack.
I learned from opening a Facebook account in 2012 and then not telling anyone about it for four years that it is not enough to "build it" on the Internet with the expectation that "they will come." You have to drag people there, kicking and screaming. With these learnings, I decided I would promote my Instagram by debuting it on Baublebar, a website (and frequent target of my tantric shopping) that sells on-trend jewelry I like to buy and then feel embarrassed trying to pull off due to the aforementioned four-shirts thing. Instead of leaving product reviews, customers are encouraged to submit Instagrams that look like this:
How hard could this be to replicate?
So I took a picture of some earrings I bought recently, which looked like this:
Ew. This did not look like other Instagrams. For starters, there was way more neck hair, but also I was stupidly trying to take a picture of a thing, which isn't the point of Instagram at all. According to Jenn Herman, a social media manager, Instagram photos can be used to "convey emotions, ideas, sentiments, thoughts, and reality," which "are things that you lose through text." Herman also says Instagram is a great way to show off your personality, presumably because words fail in that regard as well. As a person who trades in words (the best words!), this is hardly good news.
If this first photo said things about my personality, it was that I have amazing taste in wallpaper but not much imagination when it comes to art direction. I decided I needed a locale more exciting, so I took my kids, Groucho and Harpo, to the zoo for my Exotic Background photo shoot.
Even though it's still a little beardy, I enjoy how this photo conveys so much about my personality, like how I'm a person who wears earrings to the zoo. Wild, right? Who knows what I'll do next?
Ultimately, I wasn't sure this was the right submission for Baublebar since the rhino is hero instead of the product. I also did not want The Photo that Conveys Me to the Internet to suggest I had neglected my children while I was taking it--even though I totally had. "Why are you doing this, mommy?" Groucho asked, climbing on the fence surrounding the giraffe enclosure while I was mid-selfie. (This is how Harambe got killed.)
So I came home, put the kids to bed, and went out for coffee wearing lipstick to what I considered to be my Basic Bitch photo shoot. In honor of fall (even though it was 85 degrees out), I wore a poncho and got my coffee in a to-go cup so I could pass it off as a pumpkin spice latte.
I don't usually approve of narcissistic photo shoots involving people doing nothing--and let me tell you, the dozens of pedestrians walking past me while I sweated in a blanket and pretended to look bored for my own camera didn't either. But one thing I can appreciate about a well-timed selfie is that it manifests the universal hope that we are good looking despite evidence to the contrary. How many of us have blamed our double chins on bad angles instead of bad life choices? One thing my Instagram journey has taught me is that my face has always been beautiful: it's just the lighting that's been wrong.
While my Basic Bitch photo is certainly Baublebar worthy, the problem is that it doesn't convey my personality at all. It's not nearly beardy enough, and also it suggests neither humor nor shame--the twin pillars upon which I have penned my book and built my entire life. Aside from the cognitive dissonance and moral shadiness of trying to catfish my audience with a fake Instagram photo, what's the point of luring all these beautiful, fashion-savvy people here if they're not the kind of beautiful, fashion-savvy people who would be interested in international dick jokes? Shouldn't I be showing my realest self, even if it's not the best? You know what Socrates says: To thine own brand be true.
Which is why I also took this photo:
Note my amazing taste in wallpaper, my tendency to wear unflattering T-shirts, my fondness for liquor, my disdain for cosmetics, how cleverly I buck the trends--and the fact that I'm wearing fantastic earrings. In this photo, I am satisfied that both the product and I are heroes.
In conclusion, I will not beg you to like me on Instagram because I probably won't be using it much. However, I do encourage you to vote for the photo you'd like me to submit as my product review to Baublebar. I'll announce the winner on September 16--though I'm pretty sure we already know the obvious answer. (Cool Rhino FTW!)
UPDATE: Within 24 hours, Baublebar started featuring Cool Rhino onsite. I didn't even submit it: they just found it on Instagram. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!