As a social media addict, albeit of the type at whom a 11 -year-old child would roll their eyes and proclaim considerably out of date, I was pleased to gain a new favourite to add to Twitter and Facebook.
I joined Instagram approximately five years after everybody else. I had dismissed Snapchat (I’m too old) and Pinterest ( I don’t see the point) along the way.
On joining I immediately became the type of social media and indeed real-life bore who takes square photographs of their dinner, inane selfies using filters to make you look amazing and uses 7,000 hashtags because everyone knows they get you more likes.
I then started following a number of fitness, healthy eating, fashion and journalism accounts plus of course, the omnipresent Kardashians to make myself feel fat, poor, style-incompetent and over-clothed.
Meanwhile, my unfortunate legions of followers (OK, 50) have been treated to my idyllic holiday snaps, pictures of my yoga mat, every coffee I have every drunk and on one occasion a leaf, which got five likes.
This stuff is nonsense but it’s addictive and very clear that for many pseudo-celebrities it is a promotional dream, a career-driving opportunity and indeed a socially acceptable and business-savvy way of making you feel really, really popular and that you probably have an alternate career as a photographer or Instagram model.
In reality Instagram really does work on many levels.
It does sell stuff, it has certainly jettisoned the careers of many also-rans reality TV celebs and is a great opportunity to promote porno-lite in the guise of ‘fitness models’ wearing very little (I haven’t tried this myself, you understand, nobody wants that.)
Serious money can be made if you develop a cult-like following.
Followers equal cash for many.
But this is a not a channel for the intellectually-intense.
To illustrate, a picture of my green smoothie got 20 likes, a picture of a serious, compelling, newspaper front page, one.
In its very essence Instagram is life, but with a soft filter.
Maybe sometimes we need that.