Instagram and indiscretion are on the shame page

Instagram, Instagram, wherefore art thou, Instagram — and why?

I guess it must be good for something.

But not a day goes by that someone isn’t apologizing or being shamed, slammed or threatened because of something they posted on Instagram.

Is it worth it to put a comment or photo on Instagram?

People: People are mean. When are you going to learn?

It sounds like you can troll and run. Or leave your fingerprints and start a feud.


Who needs this? One billion is who.

As of May 2019, Instagram had 1 billion users.

I keep noticing celebrities and others apologizing for or pouting about something on their Instagram accounts.

No one is forced into social media, except, I suppose, by the urgency of peer pressure.

But by now it should be apparent that almost anything posted is likely to be subjected to ridicule, flak, and (a word that social media seemed to spawn) shaming.

Yahoo! must think informing us whenever a personality is shamed is a requisite of good journalism.

And it seems some personalities can’t win. I’d name them, but it would just be dogpiling, like ballplayers used to do after a walk-off home run. Now they simply gather and hop up and down near home plate.

I don’t have any evidence, but I am going to pretend I do and say many of us have taken to the internet as never before during the coronavirus as a source of entertainment as well as information.

There sits a celebrity wearing a mask or not wearing a mask, or scoffing at local no-gathering ordinances, hosting a bash.

Remember barbershops? Before appointments became routine, you’d wait your turn and look at magazines and newspapers that you’d never see anywhere else. It’s where I first saw the National Enquirer. The lurid headlines beckoned me.

“Dachshund abducted by aliens, becomes their leader.”

Who isn’t fascinated by the behavior of others?

The behavior of others is credited with the genesis of an expression.

“What was he thinking?”

Jay Leno famously asked Hugh Grant, “What were you thinking?”

If none of us made bad choices, we’d have no news, no documentaries, no films, no literature, and fewer attorneys.

Human behavior frequently exasperates me. But a person’s weight loss or gain or plastic surgery has never caused me to berate or belittle them online.

One study showed that graffiti is progressive. Someone tags a wall and it gives others permission to do the same.

Likewise, shaming.

There was a back-and-forth debate online about a photo posted by a woman you may know that showed her, fully clothed, with her husband, fully clothed. It was criticized because of the location of her husband’s hand on her body.

There are far racier hamburger commercials, but for certain conservatives it was highly inappropriate and deserving of backlash.

I am not on social media. Good thing. If I were I can only imagine.

“Don’t you own a comb?”

“Looks like you’ve discovered donuts.”

Kids (remember Art Linkletter) say the darndest things. So does everyone else. Some of us even do the darndest things.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at [email protected]

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