Instagram gets a lot of shit, often because it serves as a handy shorthand for “millennial.” Vacuous self-obsession, a complete inability to keep things to oneself, an unquenchable thirst for likes—all can be found in spades on the photo-sharing service. Another common criticism is the fact that it often feels like a lot of stuff on Instagram is exactly the same, especially when it comes to travel photos. To this point, a photographer named Oliver KMIA has compiled a video that shows, well, that’s actually true. It’s mesmerizing to see how many travel photos there are on Instagram that are basically identical.
On a certain level, some of the photos aren’t all that damning. For one, these photos are obviously cherry-picked from the most touristy places in the world. If you go all the way to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, damn right you’re gonna prop up that bad boy and then turn it into a big ice cream cone. If I fly to the Taj Mahal, you better believe that fucker’s getting crushed between my thumb and index finger. That’s just how it works.
In some sense we should actually be glad these things just get thrown online now. If you’re old enough, you might recall that people used to make you look at this shit in person and it sucked ass. Don Draper’s Carousel pitch never included anything about the horror of realizing, Oh Christ, they’ve got another rack of slides of Pamplona loaded and ready to go. Nowadays you can just click on a heart and move on with your life. Hell, there’s even a bot that’ll do it for you.
More likely to heat your blood to a nice rolling boil, however, are the photos that are almost certainly posted by people who use the phrase “my brand” without a healthy fear of immediately being thrown into jail. Seeing that many photos of women on hiking trails and in medieval town squares and at the edges of docks reaching back to hold an unseen photographer’s hand as they dreamily jaunt forward towards an infinite future or some shit is not good for one’s well-being. Furthermore, anyone who travels with an American flag (preferably vintage) for the purpose of draping themselves in it as they drive around the West should be forced to live on the moon. (It won’t be all bad, they’ve got an old-ass flag from the ‘60s up there.)
In the description for the video Oliver writes that he realizes he’s a part of the thing he’s making fun of, which is a necessary admission. The only thing more annoying than Instagram is complaining about Instagram.
[via The Verge]