Your mom is good at Instagram.
That isn’t an insult, it’s a fact. Properly primed by entry-level Pinterest, moms moved gracefully from pinning to Facebook posting to ‘grams. And once they got the basics down (why some people don’t use their real names; what the hell a meme is; that you don’t have to know the people you follow; that you don’t know why your friend always makes that face — “Such a sweet girl, though!”) moms quickly surpassed “good.” When it comes to Instagram, they’re great.
I’d go so far as to say they’re better at it than we are. Allow me to illustrate:
1) To begin with, moms have a much higher follower-to-like ratio than we do. Most of us come in at about ten percent and perpetuate the trend. We teen-to-thirty-somethings are shady users who will scroll right past something even if it made us smile. Moms, on the other hand, have an engaged community of loyal likers and supportive commenters made up of their friends, our friends — who don’t always like our pictures?? — and strangely, strangers.
2) Moms are wholly unfazed by the stranger component. Where we might block a “total weirdo,” moms remind us not to judge. The Internet is a scary place, but to them, Instagram doesn’t count. (Unclear if it doesn’t count as scary, or as the Internet.) On Friday, my mom checked the page of someone who frequently hearts her pics to return the favor, and note that this is someone she absolutely does not know. Lo-and-behold, a text from mom: “My new Instagram friend is currently at a restaurant right by your apartment; you should go say hi and tell her you’re my daughter!” She wrote this of a STRANGER’S geo-tagged photo. Mom, no.
3) Their photos don’t interrupt the moment. You can tell because they are often blurry — they click while on the go.
4) As for the shots that are posted: they’re a master at organizing group photos. They’ve been doing this for ages, if you’ll kindly recall their annual “what our family is up to” year-in-review holiday card.
5) Moms are consistent with their content (if not a bit at-risk of over-posting). Their followers can count on a steady stream of content that depicts the inner-workings of their free time.
6) If we’re talking about your garden-variety, stereotypical Mom, their lifestyles are what Instagram scrollers want to consume: when not at work they are hanging out with pets, going for (mom) walks, actually taking care of flowers (rather than letting them die and rot) and surrounded by home-cooked food.
7) Their difference in demographic and interests means that they, unlike everyone else you seem to follow, won’t post a monotonous slew of the same exact stuff.
8) They post photos of themselves, but not too often. They use Instagram to capture the world around them. When they do, their selfies are off-kilter, way too close to the face, with a pal, and beyond endearing.
9) If you’re strategic, you can get them to post and tag flattering photos of you — the kinds you’d really love to post yourself but never would (like of you looking off into the distance with some hair-wind). But if a mom does it… anyone checking your tagged pics can see these and you can just be like, “Oh my god, you know moms. So embarrassing.”
10) Moms love an inspirational quote and somehow, it actually inspires. They will post the wise words of Deepak Chopra in white font over a mountain but they will also make use of the caption area under a photo of a sunset they took and write their own.
“But Amelia,” you might be gearing up to write, “it’s a free country, and we can, too!”
False, my friends. Not without judgement. Not without the years to back it up. Moms get cart blanche on the cheesy posts because they are so damn earnest and have lived it. Their mothers had cross-stitch pillows that said things like, “There’s no place like home.” Ours have Instagram.
Photo by Noel Vasquez via Getty Images.