Why am I not active on Instagram? It would be one more thing I had to do
I don’t remember creating an account. There may have been drink involved
Sean Moncrieff on Instagram: A whole lot of nothing
I want to do nothing, but I keep getting emails from Instagram telling me about the exciting things happening on Instagram. There are details of people – some of whom I know – doing lots of posting or pitching or whatever it is one does there. These emails claim that I have an Instagram account, and that I have three followers.
I did try to log in to this alleged account, but found I couldn’t. I have no memory of setting one up, and with that, any memory of the login details. I suspect it was an impulsive decision, that I was egged on by others telling me that I was really missing out if I wasn’t instagramming my brains out. There may have been drink involved. There usually is.
I’m pretty content to miss out on the Instagram Universe for various reasons. One is that if I did manage to log in, all I would gain from the experience is that people I know and don’t know take pictures: of their holidays, their dinners, their pets. Apparently, one of the big Insta-things for 2019 is the shmile: a picture of a person smiling with their eyes closed.
Instagram would also be yet another thing I would have to do, when I have precious little time to do the things I want to do or are of more benefit to me. Like read more. (You know, books). Drink less. And do nothing. I’ve given out here before about our enslavement to busyness. Some of that is unavoidable, but what’s close to impossible is to get the chance to do nothing; even for a little bit.
Yet, yet: a small part of me worries about rejecting what’s new and strange. I’m not losing sleep over missing some some shmile-action or the chance to sneer at politicians trying to be down with the kids. But by not having an Insta account am I slightly reducing my ability to understand the world I live in? I don’t care about Instagram one jot, yet I am slightly interested in why others do. But I’m not really prepared to invest the time and effort to find out.
Uh oh. This could be aging. Where I gradually reject or ignore various facets of the modern world until I reach a point where I have a limited understanding of it; when I start using the phrase "when I was your age", as if my age was somehow better.
But it could also be unfortunate timing. I received my latest Insta-missive in the same week I went to the doctor: for one of those new year blood tests where they look for every terrifying disease they can think of. Because you’re bound to have something.
Luckily, death isn’t imminent. The cholesterol is a little high. Or so I was informed. By text. This relatively good news was tempered by the mode of delivery, and triggered my cranky-old-man response. Is this how all medical news is given these days? If it had been a terrifying disease, might I have got a text starting “Six months to live! Soz!”, along with the appropriate emoji?
All of this makes me want to do nothing even more. I don’t mean relax. I mean do nothing. Stare out a window. Get beyond the noise of Instagram and the world and work, and my own brain telling me to get up and do something. Get beyond the various day-to-day people I have to be. I know: it sounds like a load of New Age hippy crap, but there is some evidence from actual science that regular bouts of idleness are good for you. And in a world full of mental junk, it makes intuitive sense.
If you’re interested in something similar, I suggest you follow me on Instagram at sean.moncrieff. Absolutely nothing will happen. I guarantee it.