Lower your hashtags and hold fire on the flame emojis. It's time to withdraw from Instagram.
Admit it: you've hated it for a while now. But, like my late-night runs to the servo to buy Magnums, it's a hard thing to quit.
I don't even post on Instagram. I'm a lurker. Lurk, lurk, lurk. Always lurking, always judging. My lurking reached such creepy heights that I even stopped following people's profiles so they wouldn't know I was lurking. Instead, I'd manually search for their handles and then lurk.
Did we go to high school together? Maybe we both worked casual shifts at a suburban Sunglass Hut in uni. Are you the weird aunt of a friend of a friend? I'm lurking on all your profiles. Well, I'm lurking until my RSI flares up – and then I usually go to the servo and buy a Magnum and then come home and start lurking again.
The more I lurk, the more annoyed I get. At everything.
Mainly the hot people who are always out drinking while still maintaining 1 per cent body fat. And Phoebe Burgess' parents' farm. And the people on yachts. So many yachts. Apparently, everyone owns a yacht these days.
To be clear, I do not want to be on a yacht. I have a strict rule to never attend any event on a boat because I like being able to make a quick escape. There's really nothing quite like the kind of anxiety attack that sets in when you realise you're trapped at sea with people you don't like.
None of these blah feelings that come with Instagram are necessarily to do with FOMO. FOMO implies you actually wanna be doing the stuff you're seeing in your feed. It's more just a nagging feeling that you should be living your life better – instead of, say, being at home eating Magnums (PSA: Magnums now also come in tubs. This is not a paid advertisement – just public service reporting).
Australia's KIIS radio's Jackie O Henderson blew off steam about it on-air this week.
"I've stopped using Instagram because I get off it and feel not good about myself. I actually feel worse than before I went on it," The Kyle & Jackie O Show host said.
"I just think it's not real, everything is so Photoshopped.
"Everyone just looks like they're having a better life than I am. It's like they're getting out more and they're doing things.
"I don't want to know what everyone is doing. I think I'm going to delete the app."
A few weeks ago, I got so fed up I went and bought a Nokia flip phone. It gets used one day a week as a digital detox. No apps are accessible. DMs and emails are not received. And because you have to type on an old-timey keypad, no text messages are responded to, either.
Yes, the flip phone catches people off guard when they see it. They look at you like you're Encino Man.
The toxic suck of Instagram affects everyone. This week, it was reported Michael Clarke and Pip Edwards unfollowed each other. It comes after their recent split. The fact that two successful parents in their 40s are getting tangled up in silly online behaviour says plenty.
The controversial gossip account Celeb Spellcheck has also been swept up in the tumultuous seas of Instagram. A quick recap: Celeb Spellcheck became popular for mocking the typos of influencers – and shot to global fame with Elyse Knowles's now iconic Wallahgate.
The anonymous creator of the page has kept their 160,000 followers on their toes by flip-flopping between quitting and reactivating the account in recent weeks after irate influencers sharpened their hashtags and protested.
The latest movements came in recent days, when it was rebooted and some old celebrity tabloid photos from the early '00s were posted, sans captions. The cryptic posts have generated news articles and confused fans. The account once wielded such power and now it has succumbed to the anxiety that Instagram induces. It's an Instagram identity crisis.
When the account's creator first quit the platform, they issued a statement saying the pressure had become too much. They hinted that maybe they'd try monetising the profile … almost like the influencers they'd become famous for mocking.
As it says in the Bible: "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Ah, wait. I think Batman said that. Yep. Definitely Batman.