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What Your Instagram Feed Says About You

By Kate Mueller via Huffington Post on 12/05/14 **edited for briefness

Which Category Are You?

Our posts fall into more than one category, if not all. We all have our reasons for posting, but we all need to realize that Instagram does not define us. It is simply a tool to share our adventures and experiences with friends and family that aren't around as much.

If you're finding yourself posting more and more pictures just to get likes, take a step back and a take break from Instagram. Unfollow celebrities that edit their Instagram pictures with Photoshop. Stop following people that make you feel negative about yourself.

"Likes" on Instagram are not a true reflection of what people think about you.

The Selfie

It can take several minutes and several dozen unacceptable pictures to get the perfect selfie. From lighting to camera angle, there has become a science to taking selfies for Instagram. Some optional editing and filtering comes into play and then one of two things happen: people like it or they don't. How you react to that is what makes the difference.

Fishing for compliments, low self-esteem, the want to be liked, good looking and popular in real life: these are some of the reasons people post selfies on Instagram. You can normally spot those from a mile away if you actually know the person, just as you can easily spot the narcissistic selfie.

But just because you post a selfie doesn't mean you fall into the low self-esteem or egotistical categories. There's also a thing called self-confidence, which can sometimes easily be confused with bragging and being vain, but there is a difference.

Sometimes it's just because you had a good hair day (for once) or you really like that new lipstick or shirt or scarf you just bought. Maybe it's because you had a great day and want to post a selfie (along with an inspiring quote) to express how well it was.

Moral of the story - don't judge people on their selfies, or how many they take. People share what they think is interesting, appealing and meaningful - if you disagree, scroll by. Otherwise go ahead and give it those likes.

The Bicep Pic

It's all about dedication and progression. That early morning gym post tells the world that they're ready to tackle anything. Posting the picture is a way to show others and themselves how dedicated they are to fitness, but it also is set to inspire others to take on healthier lifestyles ... unless it's obnoxiously carried out by an excessive gym rat.

Narcissism can easily be found in this category as well, but don't knock someone just because they have a passion for something. Let's be real; usually gym enthusiasts all flock together so if you hate on a gym Instagram post you're more likely to still be in bed or eating chips on the couch.

Then there's the "let me post a pic in the gym so people THINK I'm into fitness" post. I'll admit it, I'm a little guilty of this, not intentionally. I empathize with those that can't find the time or energy to stay fully dedicated to the gym. It gets hard when you're taking 15 credits and working.

So, sometimes you get the motivation to go to the gym and document it, a way of saying "I'm getting back in the gym" and fully meaning that statement. Until life happens or laziness kicks in and by the next day you realize that was false advertisement because you're not going back.

However there is an even bigger fraud - the one that ONLY goes to the gym to take a picture ... then leaves. Yes, people do that. If you can spot them, keep it scrolling - but if you felt impressed or inspired by the fitness guru, don't be afraid to like what they're doing.

#TransformationTuesday, #TBT & #FlashbackFriday

We all think our baby picture was the cutest. And (while embarrassing) that Easter outfit your parents put you in was just adorable. So when people came up with these popular weekday hashtags for Instagram, it created a place to show off our cutest looks as a kid and growing up.

So what do these posts say about you? Several things - you were a cute kid then and you're still cute (if you're lucky) OR you were a cute kid and what happened OR you were probably teased A LOT and were obviously the ugly duckling that has since blossomed.

No matter which category you fall in, the post usually incites an "aww" reaction or a chuckle from how ridiculous the '90s were, which are usually enough to grab a few likes.


Not sure who started memes (let alone how to pronounce it), but that person should be applauded along with the people that post the funniest ones to Instagram. While some of the humor can be inappropriate, there are some great memes out there.

If you catch yourself reposting a meme, that means you have a good sense of humor and want to get others to LOL as much as you did.

This is also a great read.