5 Instagram Era Behaviors That Need to Die

5 Instagram Era Behaviors That Need to Die

We’ve all been spending a lot more time on social media lately. Whether Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or something else (that as a mid-thirty-something I’m not even aware of yet) is your preferred poison, I would like to respectfully submit that it’s time for us all to make some behavioral changes in how we socialize online. 

In my abundant surplus of free time (thank you, Coronavirus and the practical shutdown of the arts industry), I’ve lost countless hours to Instagram and Facebook scrolling. Well, actually, I’m a few sentences in, and it’s already time to correct myself. I say “countless hours”, but in actuality, I’ve counted thanks to my phone’s “Screen Time” analysis settings. So, here are the saddest of statistics of my life thus far: 


In the past week, I opened Instagram 231 times, with a total of 5 hours of use, for an average of about 45 minutes of Instagram perusal a day. 


In that same week, I disturbingly opened Facebook 409 times, with a total of 15.75 hours of use, with an average of about 2.25 hours per day (this data might be skewed by viewing links out of Facebook, as I’m not sure if those count toward the accrued time).

I may have a social media compulsion.

My phone doesn’t offer longitudinal data on Screen Time use. I can only judge myself for the past couple of weeks, but judge, I will, and extrapolate, I must. My collective social media time of about three hours a day means that in the past six months of quarantine, I’ve probably clocked over 500 hours on Instagram and Facebook. I would say a social media detox is in my future.

I tell you all of this because I want you to realize that for many of you, these statistics will be similar or potentially worse and I invite you to check up on yourself, and I want to firmly establish myself as a frequent user and therefore, a scrolling expert capable of pointing out what I view to be some of the worst offenders of social media behavior.

Ready? Here we go:

1) The Abbreviator of Words That Need Not Be Abbreviated

Examples: collab, gorg, fowsh, tog, preesh, etc.

This is the abbreviation I see the most and am therefore most irritated by. The English language is wide-ranging and nuanced. We have beautiful rolling words at our disposal like “mellifluous,” “serendipitous,” and “ineffable,” and yet, we end up with “collab,” “gorg,” “fowsh,” and "preesh." Must we really shorten every word to oblivion? I vote no.

No thank you, I’m not terribly interested in “collab-ing” with you.

2) The Incessant Re-share Bandit

Example: A photographer takes a gorgeous (not gorg, thank you) photo and shares it to their Instagram feed. They then re-share that post in their Instagram story, their Facebook personal page, their Facebook photography page, and every single photography group to which they belong. 

I don’t know about you, but when I see a photo come across my Facebook feed for the third time because a photographer’s marketing strategy is “more is more,” I get a little annoyed. That’s an immediate unfollow for sure. There are enough actual spam accounts out there; it's sad to see talented photographers spamming each other because they’re a little too click-happy with the re-share button. Keep in mind that many of the same people belong to multiple photography groups on Facebook (especially location-based groups), so you’re likely spamming the same folks with that eighth post of your photo.

3) The Meme Pirate

Example: Person A posts a funny photo with a caption that is relevant to them. Person B eventually sees it and recreates it as if it is their own. Persons C through Z never see the original post, only the plagiarized version. The Meme Pirate gets all of the laughs and re-shares. Person A, who had the original funny thought, is forgotten.

Who actually thinks this is a good idea? Some accounts were made an example of when they re-shared and profited off content without tagging the original creator. Many accounts seemingly solved the attribution problem by remaking the memes themselves. Don’t pretend like it’s yours because you changed the font and background color. Create your own funny meme. Boromir is waiting for you.

4) The Unsolicited Advisor

Example: Person A shares a photo to a photography group and does not ask for critique. Person B offers critique, or even worse, downloads the photo and re-edits it to show what they would have done differently. 

I have legitimately seen this happen. Multiple times. I know that we are all experts in our own minds and we have certain techniques that we love and styles that we strive for in our own work, but please, don’t re-edit someone else's photo without them asking you to. It’s just a dick move and seems like a no-brainer, and yet...

5) The Trojan Compliment Giver

Example: Instagram comments like “this is such a cool shot, you should really follow my friend @waycoolerthanyou76,” or “OMG LOVE THIS, can I get a follow? I know you’ll like my pics too,” or my personal favorite, “I would have cropped this differently but I see what you’re going for. Check out my photography tips on my feed @ilearnedphotographyoninstagramyesterday.”

The world is crashing and burning. We all need some positivity in our lives. If you like a photo and feel the need to comment, please make it valid and helpful. Don’t use comments as a means of self-promotion. If you really want more followers, you’ll get farther with genuine conversation and relationship-building than with veiled compliments.

Try a little harder to sound like a real human please.

What about you? Do any of these things get on your nerves? According to psychologists, we’re all at risk of being a little more irritable these days, so what’s been driving you up a wall? Get it off your chest in the comments! Thanks, togs! I fowsh can't wait to hear what you have to add. Preesh!

Lead image, "Device Love", by lukew, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Ryan Mense's picture

I’ll preface by saying it’s really not a big deal, and no one should ever be getting actually mad over how someone else uses Instagram... not to mention I’ve done this myself a few times. Buuut, this is the scenario that irks me: when photographers share to their stories someone else’s story that complimented them. And they do this multiple times per day. Photographer will post a photo to their feed, someone will share that photo to a story adding something like “woah this photo is gnarly,” then photographer reshares that story compliment on their own stories. I get the need to say thank you for the people who dig your work, but it seems so self-congratulating the way it’s being done. “Look at all these people saying how I’m awesome!” Just send a dm.

jim hughes's picture

I'll get back to you on my Facebook annoyances. But first: the world is not crashing and burning. There are big problems as always. But there's also a lot of progress happening benhind the media "scenes".

David Leøng's picture


Robert Nurse's picture

As I approach geezerdom, this is probably a generational peeve. But, I hate when words like "you're" are shortened to "ur", "thanks" to "tanx" and "see" to "c" which aren't even a words. On the upside, I make it a practice that if I'm not familiar with your IG handle and you give my work a like, I'll visit your profile and look around. If I like a lot of what I see there, I'll follow. If not, I give some likes to photos that I do enjoy.

Nic Kuvshinoff's picture

How old is "geezerdom"? Asking for a friend...

Lawrence S's picture

Number 5 is obviously almost always software or bot spamming. It's always a comment that gives a compliment, put stays generic enough so it is applicable on almost every photo. Someday people will realise how much automation and "cheating" is going on on a platform like Instagram. Posts are scheduled automatically. Software is running to give automated likes or comments on new followers, accounts follow you and if you don't follow back, unfollow you. All done by software running the account.
Sometimes they are just downright idiotic. Last week I started following someone and within 2minutes they liked all my latest photos. About 20 pieces. It took him or her 5s to scroll that fast and like all those photos. Obviously I unfollowed. I'm sure the bot was deeply hurt.

Charles J's picture

The others I know - had to make out "preesh" because I've never seen it before - but what does "fowsh" mean?

Charles J's picture

Okay... so.


Right. Where are you going online that people are using phrases from PubLIZity?

Ivan Lantsov's picture

not no inglish good peple not steal from me!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

FB is strong in photography/cinema groups. At least in my area. Tons of people use it for paid/TFP gigs. Even the younger crowd joins just to get shoots in. Also, for those setting up wildlife/landscape ventures.

Kirk Darling's picture

My target market is on Facebook.


Kurt Hummel's picture

I think Instagram and Youtubers need to stop saying the following three words. Epic,bro and fail.

Hunter Chan's picture

Also dope...For Peter McKinnon...

jim hughes's picture

In all seriousness... it seems to me that most photographers today have come to detest FB and IG, resent the obligation to deal with them, and would be very happy indeed to see some new alternatives appear.

Bruce Grant's picture

I rarely post to IG anymore but I'm not sure I'd like another alternative. IG was supposed to be for photos but it's definitely devolved from that. I'd imagine a new platform would eventually end up the same way.

Alex Herbert's picture

500px could be so much better than it currently is. But they're moving in a weird direction with the app.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

-- "and as usual, the nudes, lingerie or bikini pics get the most attention"

As usual, these types of assumptions about a site are pretty false.


Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Yep. There's something in it for everyone. It's not as one-sided and dominated by any one genre as you cried it out to be.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Am I mad? What are you, 12? You pull out the popularity card because you have nothing grown up to bring to the table. Given your history of acting like a little man-child, I guess I shouldn’t surprised.

And as for this site, here, let me help you, aaagain. There is none so blind…


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