All Of The Instagram Trends That Drove Us Nuts In 2019

Anyone who uses Instagram understands the Instagram “aesthetic.” There’s a certain look that people aim to achieve with their photos, an aura of beauty and coherence, and even though everyone has a relatively unique approach to their social media pages, there’s a common sense of what is and is not “Instagrammable.” Of course, this unspoken (yet universally understood) rule is dictated by certain trends, many of which become super obvious when you follow people who travel.

Through the medium of carefully curated photography, one can craft a very specific narrative about what their life is like—and for literally millions of people, Instagram is an ideal way to convey a life full of adventure and exploration. It’s one of the most powerful tools of persuasion (think about it: professional “Instagrammers” are called “Influencers”), and a single exceptional Instagram photo can inspire a whole generation to visit even the most obscure places.

In a recent WeSwap survey of 2,000 18-34-year-olds, 37% of respondents said their vacation destinations are influenced by social media, and 31% said that posting vacation photos online is just as important as the vacation itself.

In addition to impacting how we choose our destinations, Instagram even affects how these destinations look to begin with. Hotel designers are now taught how to create Insta-friendly layouts, going so far as to choose lighting based on how it would translate to a photo. Cavo Tagoo, a luxury boutique hotel in Mykonos, Greece, became the most followed hotel on Instagram this year due to its adherence to this trend—with its elegant, minimalist design and beautiful beachside aesthetic, it fits the Instagram vibe perfectly.

The problem with this is that certain Instagram travel pictures can draw immensely large crowds to otherwise unknown places (or, even worse, attract even larger crowds to already-bustling tourist sites around the world). Imagine a twee hillside in Florence being flooded with people all vying to replicate a photo they saw online. Or think about literal fights breaking out at the Eiffel Tower as tourists compete for the perfect selfie spot.

With all of this context in mind, here are some of the most typical Instagram #travel trends, which you’re sure to have seen at least a dozen times during your last scrolling session.

Holding The Hand Of A Loved One In A Beautiful New Place

We all remember Murad Osmann—back in 2015, Osmann’s photos went viral, culminating in a years-long photo series in which his wife leads him by the hand around the world. With the wild popularity of these photos, people have started recreating their own versions. It’s a quintessentially Instagrammable idea.

Coffee and Coffee Shops

There’s something so cool about coffee shop vibes, and when it comes down to it, coffee is one of the most Instagram-friendly things imaginable. Not only does it evoke a sense of coziness and comfort, but it’s a staple of the travel lifestyle—it’s the fuel that keeps the adventure going.

Capturing the Sun or a Holding up a Building

We all know it’s just an optical illusion, but it sure does make for a cute shot.

Celebratory Cheers on the Beach

Well, cheers-ing delicious beverages doesn’t just happen on the beach, but there is something so inviting about a tropical cocktail with the ocean in the background.

Doing Yoga Postures in Pretty Places

If you practice yoga, it only makes sense that you would do so in the most far-reaching corners of the world. This trend will probably exist on Instagram forever: pretty yogis doing pretty poses in pretty places.

Posing With Exotic Animals

When traveling to the jungle or the savannah or the rainforest, what better evidence of your excursion than a selfie with a wild beast? Well, the truth is that taking selfies with wildlife can actually be super harmful to them—the desire to take these photos has also led to an unethical form of tourism that draws these creatures out of their natural habitat and places them in distressing situations. Fortunately, Instagram has taken action to draw attention to this phenomenon when users search for hashtags like #slothselfie or #koalaselfie, ultimately encouraging its users to take wildlife photos that are cruelty-free.

Skylines and Sunsets

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful sunset, nor a stunning skyline. And when the two collide, a perfect photo is born.

Instagram’s influence will likely continue to spread its reach around the world over the next few years. When you’re on the hunt for that perfect travel photo, make sure to pause and enjoy the real world around you, too. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the real thing might just leave you speechless.

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This Instagram Page Is Doing The Work To Identify And Expose The People Who Stormed The Capitol

Things That Matter

This Instagram Page Is Doing The Work To Identify And Expose The People Who Stormed The Capitol

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck


Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

MixMedia / Getty Images

For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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