Instagram Is Boring Now

The lockdown spells the death of FOMO

Zara Stone
OneZero
Published in
4 min readApr 24, 2020

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Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Let me give you a snapshot of my current Instagram feed: A heavily pregnant friend wearing a face mask. A picture of grocery market owners, with the caption: “Now is the time to support local businesses.” A Zoom screenshot of pixelated dancers. A mermaid taking glamour shots in her bathtub.

The last is the most interesting of the bunch, but even the mermaid’s post didn’t live up to her usual mermaid standards. Instead of majestically floating through a body of water, she was apparently at home, relying on a bath bomb to turn her water a lovely aquamarine.

In recent years, Instagram has become the place for people to perform their “best lives” — from travel influencers, to musicians, to fashion mavens. But in lockdown, there’s less to do, and less to flaunt. Images of the globetrotting hand-holding couple doing their laundry and snaps of van-lifers parked in their parents’ driveway are quickly going from endearing to stale.

“I don’t care about what my friends have made for lunch,” says Rebecca Williams, a full-time parent in Norfolk, Virginia. Pre-pandemic, Williams says, her feed was a fun mix of travel, cooking, and parenting posts. Sometimes they gave her FOMO. But now, everything has narrowed. Williams loves her friends, but says she finds their nonstop culinary posts monotonous. “We’re all cooking more now, I get it,” she says. “But I don’t want to see it on Instagram. I used to check the app every day… now I make up excuses not to go on it.”

Even celebrity and influencer accounts fail to deliver a satisfying dose of escapism.

Sixteen-year-old Emily Lacey from West Yorkshire, England, says she’s cut her…

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Zara Stone
OneZero

Tech+Culture f/lance journo. www.zarastone.net Bylines: OneZero, Marker, Atlantic, Forbes, etc. Author: The Future of Science Is Female https://bit.ly/stm202