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I need to use Instagram

December 6, 2023

Instagram is by far the dominant social platform of my peer group. It’s the default way people connect, especially with people you don’t directly interact with often. Over the years, I’ve constantly been asked ‘what’s your insta’, with the same response every time - that I didn’t have one or that I had an account but didn’t use it.

I’ve never formed a habit of using Instagram. I’ve always maintained that it was unnecessary, that I wouldn’t derive any value from it that I wasn’t getting anywhere else. My primary social platform by far is Discord; I’ve met so many incredible people and gained so much knowledge and insight from it. The vast majority of my content consumption is on YouTube, where I’ve been introduced to so many new worlds in computing and beyond. I just didn’t see Instagram being better than what I already had for either socializing or consuming content.

After talking to several people in my friend circle, I’ve come to realize its value - if not for content or socializing, it’s still the one place where I can find everyone in my life - past, present or future. People you meet in college can greatly affect your life, and I don’t want to lose contact with everyone I’m not directly friends with simply because I didn’t add them on Instagram. It’s a universal way of keeping a line of communication open. tl;dr - preemptive networking.

For now, I intend on using it exclusively as a sort of directory of people I know in any capacity. I don’t plan on using it regularly; the idea of constantly seeing everyone’s life updates is part of what drove me away from it in the first place. There’s a sweet spot for how much information you have, and anything outside of it is detrimental to yourself.

This is the same story as the previous generation with Facebook. There’ll probably also be a time where people become fatigued with Instagram and stop using it, taking only the people closest to them to the next platform, slowly rendering years’ worth of contacts useless. We’ll see what the future holds…