It may seem a small pleasure, but it's very gratifying to know that someone has enjoyed looking at one of my photos for 1.3 seconds.
However, my love of Instagram is not unqualified and there are a few themes (or should that be memes?) that I'm thoroughly fed up with.
Here are a few of my main irritants:
1. The Cup of Coffee
I've no idea, but there are thousands of pictures on Instagram that people have taken of their favourite beverage (very rarely tea, for some reason). I know that coffee comes in many varieties, but you wouldn't know that from looking at the endless shots of frothy hearts in white cups.
I appreciate that people are sharing something that has made them happy and yes, it's lovely that the barista has done a little squiggly design in the froth to distract customers from the exorbitant price. But are the identikit coffees of global corporations sufficiently interesting to warrant photographing?
I never ceased to be amazed at the number of 'foot selfies' on Instagram and wish that there was a shoe button I could press to filter them out.
3. The 'Inspirational' Quote.
Let's just hang that one up on the wall of an oncology ward. They'll love it.
And to "Be who you are, not what the world wants you to be" is just self-centred nonsense. In the real world, who we are is a necessary compromise between our own desires and the needs of others. It's called civilisation.
Those are my top three. I'd also rather not see so many pictures of cats, Big Ben, poppies, white balloons, tattoos and Amsterdam, but I won't even try to justify those prejudices (and of course, it's quite likely that someone is looking at my photos and tutting at their predictability and narrow range of themes, along with the paucity of uplifting thoughts and feet).
But even clichés can be good in the right hands. Look at what this photographer has done with a hackneyed, familiar scene:
I'd like to see what he could do with a cup of coffee.