Opinion

The 17 most clichéd Instagram photos you're not allowed to post any more

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Gary Ogden
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X clichéd Instagram photos you're not allowed to post anymore, please

Want to be ‘good’ on Instagram? Pay heed to everything below, then

A daily scroll through Instagram will bring with it a multitude of fluctuating emotions, this is the risk you run when you first download the app - it’s not all smiles, mate, it is not all smiles. You see, some of it is absolutely ‘nice’, it truly is, but some of it is absolutely ‘not’.

Like, for every lovely picture of your sister graduating, or hilarious snap of your mate covered in mud at a festival, there is King Unoriginal, grimly smugging his big kisser from inside your phone, each post more clichéd and desperate than the last.

They are so easy to spot, the Insta-bores, and it would be wise that you don’t become one of them. To ensure that you don’t, here is a nice big list of things that you’re not allowed to post on Instagram anymore:

1. “Cheers!”

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I LITERALLY REMEMBER MY FIRST BEER

I might be going out on a limb here, but I reckon that 99% of your followers have ‘cheersed’ before. I would bet a large amount of money that they have clinked a pint glass into another pint glass at some point in their lives. You are not doing anything special by banging your drink into your mate’s one - this happens all the time, every day, all around the world.

It’s even worse if the other person’s face isn’t even in the picture - if it’s simply a photo of two glasses touching each other, what you are doing is saying “This is what a beer looks like”, or “I am having a beer” and hey, mate, I know what a beer looks like, and I’ve sodding well had one before and all.

Exceptions: The glasses are smashing; you are drinking out of a skull or something; you are literally an astronaut and you are doing it in space and all the beer is floating everywhere

2. Press For Champagne

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PRESS IT THEN YOU LITTLE PANTYWAIST

Quite novel, this, ain’t it? A button at popular restaurant Bob Bob Ricard, that you can press, for champagne. Press it, and champagne comes. A quirky bit of fun. A quirky bit of PISS OFF I’VE SEEN IT A THOUSAND TIMES. I, you, and everyone you know has seen the “Press for Champagne” button - meaning your picture of the “Press for Champagne” button is old before it’s even been posted. The thought you had when you decided to take the picture was old, too. All of this nonsense: old.

And you’re not even pressing it! Hovering your creepy finger over the button and taking a picture of the button, but not actually pressing it or drinking any champagne - that’s a lie, what you’ve done, there. You’re lying on Instagram again, you phony braggart!

Exceptions: You are pressing it with your actual eyeball - the metal actually touching your pupil, that would be good

3. The Dreaded Circle Of Feet

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WARNING! WARNING! ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH BEING TAKEN! POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO DANGEROUS LEVELS OF ORIGINALITY! WARNING! WARNING!

What are you doing? What are you and your mates doing? Why are you standing so close to each other in a circle? That’s weird, why are you doing it? Why are you photographing this peculiar, unnatural display? What is actually happening here? Is it not awkward having your face so close to six other people? Can you not smell their breath? WHAT IS LITERALLY TAKING PLACE HERE?

Exceptions: You are sky-diving; all of you are wearing Crocs; you are standing on the recently-felled body of a giant ogre

4. That infernal neon “Peep Show” sign in Soho

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GET IN FRONT OF THAT, QUICKLY! TAKE A PHOTO IMMEDIATELY SO THAT YOU ARE THE FIRST PERSON TO DO IT! PSYCHE! YOU’RE THE MILLIONTH! YOU SHOPWORN OAF

Nice sign, sure - love a big bright neon sign, me. Seen it though. So have you. I’ve seen it real life, and hoooo boy I’ve seen it on Instagram. Next.

Exceptions: I don’t know, you’ve got Crocs on again

5. Any picture where you are raising one or both of your eyebrows

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CHECK ME OUT, KING HOTSHOT, MY EYEBROWS ARE FROM HELL

Is there anything more smug than raising your eyebrows in a photo? Pair it with a diagonal, no-lipped half-smile and the conceit reaches boiling point. Put them down.

“What, this? Oh, it’s just me. Simple old moi, your everyday dude, juuuuust hanging out, being myself, loving life, can’t complain! Oh these? They’re just my eyebrows, right up there on my forehead, God it hurts how much I absolutely love myself.”

*electric shaver revs in background*

Exceptions: A cat jumped out of a hedge at you and the exact moment you were startled, the wind changed and that’s your actual face now

6. A wedding name card with your name on it

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THIS INFORMATION IS IN YOUR BIO

If I’m following you, and you are the type of person to post a photo like this, then I already know your name. I know what your name is, and you are posting a picture that is solely of your name. Just a photo of your name, that I know. What is that? Think about what you’re doing here, putting up a photo of your name, that everyone knows, and raise the question: would anybody find this interesting? Would anybody think “Wow, their name, on a bit of card, I love it”? The answer is, I’m afraid to have to reveal: no.

Exceptions: It’s carved into a pig’s head; they’ve put a silly nickname like “Simon ‘Billy Big Bollocks’ Smith” on it

7. A workout smoothie

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LOOKS GROSS, MAKES ME SICK

Much like, if you were to post any sort of status about the fact that you have been on a run, or have gone to the gym, or done any hint of physical exercise, nobody gives a single whiff of shit that you’ve bought, or made, a goddamn workout smoothie. They all look gross, most of them are pointless and if you’ve actually bought one you’re a mug because they’re a screeching rip-off. The only ‘run’ that anybody could possibly care about or react positively to, would be if you run ‘away’.

Exceptions: You’ve spilled it, because spilling anything is extremely funny and satisfying to me

***HOLIDAY SPECIAL***

8. Your stupid passport

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OH WOW OH WOW OH WOW OH WOW *has heart attack*

All passports from the same country look the same, so unless you are the friend that has a different one, I’d posit that it is absolutely not interesting to anyone what your passport looks like. Why are you taking a picture of it? It’s because you’re going on holiday, isn’t it? The sole point of this post is to show off, and to incite ire from your followers - how sociopathic is that? This photo is of no purpose but to wind people up - it’s worrying that you would think this was a worthwhile thing to do. You are terrifying.

Exceptions: Well, obviously if it’s open at the photo page, then it is fully worth posting, because everyone 100% looks like an idiot in their passport photo

9. A picture looking out the plane window

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BLUE. JUST BLUE. AND A BIT OF GREY. WHAT A SHOCKING REVELATION. WHAT AN ESSENTIAL ADDITION TO YOUR FEED

Look at that photo up there, and really drink it in for a second. Properly look at it, and think about how interesting it is - look at the composition, closely analyse it - is there anything remotely stand-out about it? Or is it just this:

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It is, isn’t it? That’s what you’ve put on your Insta account. Imagine if everybody did it:

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Mind-numbing. Your brain would shit itself to death like your Tamagotchi did in Year 6.

Exceptions: There’s…SOMEONE ON THE WING, SOME… THING!

10. You disturbing an elephant in any way

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“EXCUSE ME, I AM TRYING TO HAVE A BATH”

I don’t know for sure, but I reckon the elephant thinks you’re an arsehole.

Exceptions: There are none, an elephant never forgets

11. “Touching” the top of anything tall, you cretin

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WHO DO YOU LITERALLY THINK YOU ARE FOOLING, YOU MILQUETOAST BORE

The first person to do this was a funny person. They worked out what perspective was, and then used it to create a light-hearted optical illusion that made it look like they were touching the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was a good idea. It was also an idea from the 1800s, probably. Since then, millions of people have done it - so, so, so many people have done this now.

You pretending to touch the top of something tall is now - and it pains me to slight an original idea - not funny anymore. There are more examples of this photo than there are ants in the universe. Good luck trying to find a photo of the Eiffel Tower without some placid drip gurning in front of it like an absolute milksop.

Related, and also prohibited: Any strongman display in front of the Leaning Tower Of Piza; any sort of wacky parade on the Salt Flats in Bolivia

Exceptions: You are literally touching the top of The Eiffel Tower

12. Any sort of famous landmark without you in front of it

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WHAT THE HELL IS THAT????

Very famous things like the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal - everyone knows what they look like. A simple Google search will gift you a thousand brilliantly taken photographs of these magnificent marvels - beautifully shot compositions featuring gob-smacking feats of construction. As such, your photo of them is a waste of time and space. If you are in front of it, fair enough - there are not thousands of those photos - but if you are simply taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower and putting it on Instagram, you are fully prising the precious time I have left on this earth from my hands.

Like, why did you even take a photo of it in the first place? That single photo does not constitute a memory, for it is no different (in fact, it is worse) than any photo you will find on the internet of said landmark. Get in front of it, pull your pants down - now that’s a memory.

Exceptions: It is, in that very moment, being destroyed by a big blue laser beam like the White House was in Independence Day

13. Your big, unwieldy mitten pinching the sun

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I KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO DO, I’M GOING TO GET A STENCIL KIT SO THAT I CAN WRITE “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE” ON MY LIVING ROOM WALL

Stop it! Don’t do this anymore. The people that follow you, that will see this photo - do you think this is first time they have seen someone doing a heart around the sun? You are copying thousands of other people - they’ve all done it before, and your picture is exactly the same. 

You know like, when a meme catches on, and everyone does their own version? Have you noticed, that at the very least, each new version of the meme is different in some way? Your picture of hands around the sun, is exactly the same as all the ones done before, you are adding nothing new to the dialogue, originality has escaped you. 

Sunsets in general, actually, can fuck off, while I’m here.

Exceptions: You are swearing at the sun; you have talons; the sun is exploding and the end of the world has finally come

14. Jumping on a beach

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“HELP, WE ARE BEING ABDUCTED BY ALIENS”

What is it about a beach, that makes people want to jump on it, in unison? Like, people also jump in fields and in front of the Amsterdam sign, but beaches, man, people really have to jump on beaches. I shouldn’t really hate this type of photo, because I think anything with you and your mates/family in is generally worth it, but Christ, jumping on a beach makes me hate you. 

It’s like the sand holds an electric current that only affects basic people. Once they step foot on the beach, it begins to charge their leg muscles and then after about fifteen minutes, everyone’s muscles tense up and cause a collective spasm, forcing them into the air, their limbs flailing uncontrollably under the electricity. 

Also, notice how the photo is stable - this is because the camera-operator, the one who has opted out of the photo, is not affected by the basic current. It all makes sense, doesn’t it.

Exceptions: You are all naked; there are crabs everywhere and the jump is a survival mechanism; you are literally hovering due to magic, and it is a video

***END OF HOLIDAY SPECIAL***

15. You, in front of any wings painted on a wall

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DONE THIS WRONG, HASN’T SHE? THE WINGS ARE COMING OUT OF HER HEAD. AMATEUR

Why do you think those wings were painted there? Those ones out the front of Redemption in Shoreditch? It’s so that you’ll stand in front of them, isn’t it? It’s so that you’ll tag in Redemption and hey, free advertising! You fell for it hook, line and sinker! “Oooh, get a picture of me in front of those wings! So pure, so real! Not at all a cynical and invisible marketing ploy! I am an angel!”

YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

Exceptions: It is a sponsored post and you are getting paid

16. A blurred photo, what are you thinking

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“HAHA! PHOTOGRAPHY’S NOT MY STRONG POINT!” LEAVE INSTAGRAM THEN

Yeah, not a cliché, but take another one mate.

Exceptions: You are moving extremely fast and this is very obvious; only one of you is blurred, because they watched the videotape from The Ring

17. Holding up a polaroid in front of the place it was taken

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QUESTION IS, DID YOU ACTUALLY BUY A POLAROID CAMERA SO YOU COULD TAKE THIS PHOTO? A LOT OF EFFORT FOR NOTHING, I RATE

Again, I feel it necessary to give appropriate props to whoever did this first - it’s a fun little quirk and made for an interesting photo. Thing is, there’s this law, right, which is all about diminishing returns, and it absolutely applies here. Each time someone “has” this idea, it gets a little less “good”, and whoever posts it becomes a bit more of a “cretin”. Stop it “.”

Exceptions: The person in the Polaroid is your ex and the photo is on fire - sometimes it is very cathartic to say goodbye to the past in public. Also it will well piss them off, the dickhead

***Honourable mentions***

Any sort of photo in the pink staircase at Frank’s
The Selarón steps in any form
Hot dog legs, anywhere, ever
A big circle of smug faces taken from below

That’s enough to be getting on with, I think. I’ll add to this list and repost it probably about five times a day for the next three years to really drill it home, but as it stands, the ones above should all be immediately quelled from your feed. 

Or, alternatively, do what you want. Why should you listen to me? Can you imagine actually getting that annoyed about this type of stuff, so annoyed that you’d spend ages putting together an article about it, criticising people that are just having a bit of fun online? What a loser, what a boring, self-important fun-sponge. Seriously, ignore the article, post whatever makes you happy.

HAPPY IF YOU’RE AN ABSOLUTE CU [Gary Ogden has been sacked from Shortlist]

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the screaming thing though. @garyblogden

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