In writing recently on ways not to screw up Instagram, I never could’ve dreamed of the reason why I just unfollowed someone the other day.
Instagram remains my favorite social media, and unlike on Facebook or Twitter, its feed is manageable enough that I see pretty much every post. Although I do follow a few people from real life and definitely some other bloggers, I also follow many sea glass hunters and other beachcomber types. I love seeing sunsets, lake/ocean/river pictures, and other beachy stuff that helps me get through to my next visit to the island writing cottage.
So there was this one guy I followed; I’ll omit his username even though it’s not set to private so his photos are on the Internet. I have no idea who the guy was, he followed me after seeing my sea glass finds, I followed him back because his stream seemed to consist of fishing, boating, beach-with-kids photos.
I did notice that he posted a lot of selfies. I’m not a fan of the selfies and hate it when people post multiple self-portraits a day; it’s a popular reason to unfollow someone. But he always liked and commented on my pictures, and he seemed generally harmless if a little on the “LOOK AT ME!” side, so I pretty much ignored him. Then, the other day, I opened my Instagram app and immediately upon swiping to scroll through the recent photos, his pic was first in my feed. It was kinda blurry and black and white looking, so at first I didn’t even know what it was until I began to scroll and the hashtag “#sex” caught my eye. I looked at the photo again, and then his other hashtags on the picture which included “#ceiling” and “#mirror” and after a second I realized I was looking at a photo of this guy having sex with his wife/girlfriend/hooker, who the hell knows. The photo (obviously taken of the mirror on the ceiling, and really, he has one, so need I say more?) showed his naked back, and her hands around his waist.
Don’t get me wrong. I am far from some blushing Victorian virgin and wasn’t offended, exactly, just completely creeped out. I couldn’t believe I was seeing it. Posting your douchey selfies is one thing, but an actual Instagram of live sex? You have to wonder if his sex partner, though only her hands are shown, knew it was taken (and posted onto the Internet!) while she was engaged in actual intercourse.
Then I got curious. How much sex is there on Instagram? I read Tech Crunch’s “Pornterest vs. Pornstagram” and Huffington Post’s “Instaporn” for background on how the social media sites were dealing with NSFW pictures. But those articles were written a year ago, and it seems now (this is what happens when you get bought by Facebook?) both Instagram and Pinterest have completely cleaned up their acts. There are zero sex-related hashtags allowed on Instagram: when I went back to see if the guy’s photo was still there so I could follow hashtags, at first it was but had been stripped of any suggestive hashtags, then someone (not me) must’ve complained because the photo is now gone.
Removal of tasteless photos is obviously appropriate for a website where the terms and conditions specifically state: “You may not post nude, partially nude, or sexually suggestive photos.” That simple. The kids are using Instagram for crying out loud. There’s enough porn on the Internet without us having to see it on non-porn-related social media.
So the lesson of the day is this: keep an eye on your douchey selfie-sharers out there, folks. Apparently once in awhile their oversharing can just become overbearing.
—Follow Mary at instagram.com/pajamasandcoffee.