With so many fun filters and editing tools, it's easy to get carried away on Instagram. And while most of our "gramming" habits are harmless, too many of these may end up costing you friends.
We're probably all guilty of staging a photo once in a while to be a more interesting depiction of what actually happened. But if you're going out of your way to lie about what you're doing on a daily basis, there may be a problem.
After all, there's only so much of your perfectly curated life that people can stand to look at, especially if your entire feed is too good to be true.
2. Selfie overload
Nothing wrong with a flattering selfie once in a while, or a group-shot selfie when there's no one around to take it. But if your feed has become an ode to your face, it may be time to rethink your strategy.
Also, be aware of your surroundings when taking a selfie. Bathroom selfies with the toilet in the background are not appealing.
3. Post before every meal
There are some culinary experiences that genuinely warrant a post, but save it for the ones that resemble art or homemade dishes that truly make your mouth water. Most meals are not worthy of the "food porn" hashtag and are probably best savored in private.
4. Load up on #Hashtags
Hashtags are incredibly useful tools to crowdsource pictures from specific places or events, and a pretty well known tactic to get more followers. But use them wisely and in moderation. Excessive hashtagging can seem desperate and often won't add value to a post. Also, never comment with more hashtags. Caption limits are there for a reason.
5. Retouch until unrecognizable
Smartphones have made it possible for anyone to have celebrity-worthy photoshopping features at their fingertips.
Most new Android phones come with a "beauty" feature on the front camera allowing you to even out skin, slim the jawline or even make your eyes appear wider on the fly. Or you can retouch after the shot with apps like Facetune and CreamCam. But just because they're out there doesn't mean you should abuse them.
Minor tweaks are fine, but a heavy finger on the smoothing feature may leave you looking like a wax figure. And it won't be long until your followers catch on.
6. Excessive use of filters
Filters are what brought us to Instagram in the first place. The ability to make a landscape look like a scene from an old western film, or a page right out of a storybook.
But you can have too much of a good thing. And if your landscapes start to look psychedelic from oversaturation, you may want to dial it back.
One picture is great, two is fine, but more than that can start to get tricky. Posting 20 images of the same birthday party back to back will saturate your friends' feeds and likely garner some animosity. If you have 100 amazing shots of your birthday bash, spread them out over a couple of posts, create a collage, or post an album on Facebook. Instagram "purists" will argue that you only need a few good ones per event.