The worst things you can do on Instagram
The Instagram game has moved on. A shot of your legs in front of a swimming pool (12 likes) is no longer enough to impress anyone - now you need to be levitating above the water with the body of an elite athlete, clinking mojitos with Leonardo DiCaprio and thanking the sea for always being there to hold you up.
But as the stakes have risen, so too has the tide of try-hard awfulness, with excruciating 'trends' spouting like mould all over your feed. Here, then, are the new crimes of Instagram: 2017's answer to '#thisone', poached egg flat-lays and shots of fucking airplane wings.
1. The "candid" selfie
The reputation of the traditional, arms-length selfie has nosedived in recent years as everyone caught on to the fact that uploading endless pictures you've taken of yourself was just a tiny bit vacuously awful.
Their solution? Getting someone else to take a photo of them caught in some candid moment of deep reflection, usually looking at a David Hockney painting or gazing over some bridge in Amsterdam, as though they've been randomly captured by passing art photographer rather then their harangued partner who just wants to go get some lunch somewhere.
2. Being a billboard
Whilst celebrities and other influencers are paid thousands of pounds for posting images of themselves bigging up vodka brands or trainers, their fans are now doing it for free. Hence your mate with 300 followers - mostly made of up of people from school - snapping themselves with a pair of trainers they've dropped two hundred quid on with the caption "Thanks @Nike".
No really: thank you.
3. The fake birthday tribute
Remember today is about MEEEEEEE
Is there any gift more shit than a collage? Not even a nice printed real collage you can touch mounted on a charming cork-board, but a digital collage. Yet still, on Instagram, even the vaguest of acquaintances are prime candidates for their own special mosaic tribute.
Their friend may be barely visible, slumped in the corner or look cross-eyed and flatulent, but this isn't about them: it's about what a great friend they have, the one who somehow looks great in every carefully chosen shot and captioned them with some gushing praise and a series of cloying hashtags. And maybe a 'happy birthday'. If there's space.
4. The workout brag
"Eat Clean Train Dirty", "The World Is My Gym", "Never Not Working Out". These are the mantras of our time, the pearls of protein-infused wisdom our children will smile at when looking back through the 4 million documented images of their parents lifting weights and throwing yoga poses in front of sunsets. Does anyone actually feel inspired by this? No: they want self-deprecating stories of embarrassing episodes and videos of men being terrorised by their children. You know: what the internet was made for.
5. The holiday throw back
That holiday: I remember it well. I know it was cloudy the morning they arrived. I remember the rose hue of their strawberry mojito on the beach. I recall how many bikinis they took to Miami, the day they ate tacos and how many walks they did on the beach. I'm not a stalker: I've just been subjected to two months of Throwback Thursday photographs where an entire museum archive has been siphoned out week by week.
"Take me back" they plead with a spunk of crying emojis. Just book a flight Becky. Go back. Really: no one is stopping you.