What’s the point of Instagram if you’re not using it to show off to strangers, humblebrag to mild acquaintances back home and flat out lie to your friends? Post about your real life and it will be a depressing procession of late nights in the office, stumbling around a supermarket looking for the brand of toilet roll you like and a frankly worrying number of takeaway cartons. Twist the truth a little to make your life seem more interesting than it is.
Under no circumstances should you reveal that you spent an hour wrestling with a printer’s paper jam. Don’t reveal the politics of your office tea round and never let it be known how tiring and stressful your seemingly glamorous job is. Much better to take a photo of your laptop in a cool café next to a suitably stylish coffee and pretend that you actually spend most of your time here chainstorming ideas for hashtags.
If you have any two of the following then you don’t have time to take a bath: full-time job/children/social life/gym membership. It can’t be done. A picture of an indulgent foaming bubble bath, however, tells your followers you are luxuriating and can manage both your time and your hygiene. The fix here is simple. Next time you have a mountain of washing up to do, put it all in the bath and do it there. Washing-up liquid foams up nicely so it can easily cover your pots and pans and you can con casual onlookers while you clean up.
Airports are brilliant places for faking extravagance. Our favourites are posts of departure screens showing the far-flung destinations or an arty snap of your boarding card. It doesn’t matter that you have a budget airline ticket to the nearest country and back in the same day to pick up the pen your boss left in the office there. Just be sure to be vague in your choice of accompanying message. Some drivel about goals, dreams and feeling at home at 30,000 feet usually does the trick.
We all buy too much food every time we go to the farmers’ market. The smart people, however, remember to take pictures of it and post it to social media to foodshame others before it all goes off and is thrown away. You are what you tweet, not what you eat.
A photograph of a rolled up yoga mat and a fruit smoothie is proof you own a mat and a blender, it is not proof that you have done yoga. Fish your mat out of the back of the cupboard, photograph it with your sneakers and workout gear and post “#flexinthecity”. Before leaving it all by the door as you embark on a Netflix and takeaway pizza marathon.