Here’s Every Instagram Post You’re Going to See This Summer
Summer is here, and so are 20 consecutive group photos of some boys drinking lager.
(Photo via, umm, 'Hotlanta Voyeur')
Instagram is a special website (or app??????? I honestly don't know, can someone check) that people use to post photos of their food, their pub-trip group shots and outfits they tried on in Urban Outfitters but did not ultimately buy. It has 700 million monthly active users.
Summer is a season between spring and autumn in which everyone has a really sweaty bit on the top of their chest and there is a 1,000 percent uptick in lager top consumption. Summer is that season in which daylight stretches long, long into the night; nights taking on that unquantifiable summer-y quality – the air just feels thicker, like you can rub your fingers together and take dust off it, and everything is gauzy and hot and red, pregnant with sweat, and 3AM comes around so much faster over summer, and it's too hot to sleep, especially as you keep telling yourself you're going to buy a big metal fan off Amazon but never get actually round to buying a big metal fan off Amazon, so you just have another ice-bucket Corona and have some frankly disgustingly viscous sex with someone, sweat all down your back, sweat all down your front, and when you've both finished you have to peel away from each other like slices of brown bread that have been margerined together in a lunchbox for six hours, and then immediately shower and sleep in separate rooms. Instagram has 7.3 billion annual users.
So there's overlap there, and now it's summer you are going to see some old familiar tropes crop up on Instagram again. You know this. I know this. Let's just get on with it, god. It's too hot for this bullshit.
PICTURE OF A NOVELTY PASSPORT COVER, A TICKET WITH THE NAME OBSCURED BUT THE DESTINATION IN CLEAR VIEW, AND WITH THE CAPTION 'SEE YA LATER, ENGLAND'
In many ways the passport boast picture – the passport is always in a novelty passport cover, by the way, pink with rose-gold swirly writing saying "BON VOYAGE" or "HOLIBOBS" or "BRB", the whole red passport–blue passport argument rendered moot by the £8 novelty ASOS passport slipcover industry – is the greatest lie, because they are always taken from the airport, and so the aspirational vibes of standing by a window for good lighting and holding your passport up with the boarding pass and saying see ya later, England obscures entirely the fact that you are in an airport – often Stansted, an airport the Lord gave to us as a brief preview clip of Hell Itself; I don't think it's hyperbole to say God gave us Stansted to warn us not to sin – and so the person in question is probably not wearing a bikini and sunnies and enjoying the holiday vibe, but instead has been up on the airport run since 4AM, has a fat neck pillow on and a pair of glasses because their eyes hurt and their most laundered and cuddly hoodie, and they have just paid £25 for two plates of scrambled eggs and an airport prosecco (at 9AM! Cheeky!), as well as dropping 20 percent of their holiday money on duty-free on some perfume they can't even collect until they come back through, and overall they feel like garbage, hot garbage. But yeah, see ya later England. Enjoy your six days in Lanzarote, hun, it's not that fucking deep.
A SINGLE CORNETTO, HALF EATEN AND GUMMY IN THE HAND
"Social media is just the highlights reel" you whisper to yourself, snapping a one-take photo of the Cornetto you started three minutes ago and forgot to document, 90 minutes into your 60-minute lunch hour, because your boss stopped checking at your desk months ago, didn't they, your boss just literally doesn't care if you are present at your desk or not any more, all you do is answer emails anyway, literally your job could be done for less and more effectively by an auto-reply function, and so you are wandering around outside, alone, like you spend so much of your time now, and you think, 'Heh, hey, for a treat: why not.' And get a Cornetto, strawberry flavour, and you get fully stuck into it before you remember, 'Oh yeah, Instagram,' and take a photo of it slowly growing dewy and gummy in your hot little hand, the wafer melting and contorting, the ice cream pooling in drips, running onto your hand, and– it's not really working out, life, is it, the way you thought it would? Have a good one, mate. Have a good ice cream.
PICNIC YOU WERE INVITED TO THAT LOOKS LAME
Ah, you've already got three notifications hovering there on Facebook: those vile people with their summer birthdays, who always have to annex a park or something, put down some blankets – "Everyone bring something!", only nobody does obviously, and so everyone goes to the exact same Sainsbury's directly next to the park, and spends somehow £35 on the same Scotch egg bites, sausage rolls, big-bag crisps and a case of tins – and you are on Hampstead Heath trying to find three of your mates and the eight people they know really well who you half met once, and you are on the phone like, "Where are you? I can't see you?" and they're like, "We are waving. We are waving. We are yelling," and yes, but everyone is yelling and waving, and when you get there all the blanket space is taken so you sit on the grass and start to lowkey have an allergic reaction to it, and the sun makes you sleepy and nobody bought any games apart from, inexplicably, some Tory lad bought a cricket set, so now 15 people who don't know the rules of cricket are playing this cobbled together game of cricket, and Toryboy insists he bats first, and every time someone throws a softball he just absolutely cunts it out of view, everyone out in the long grass looking for a tennis ball while Toryboy shouts "SIX!" and holds his bat aloft, and no, no, you can't be arsed with all that this year, so you let the invites slowly lapse without RSVPing, and then you see it all unfold on Instagram and you go: I am glad. I am glad I did not go to that thing.
PICNIC YOU WEREN'T INVITED TO THAT LOOKS ABSOLUTELY POPPING
Some cool people you sort of know but you are not actually friend-friends with all got together, the cool people, to have a big attractive picnic that you are absolutely certainly not invited to, and it looks, frankly, amazing: cool Magners, everyone is at least 8/10 fit, somehow there is a paddling pool there, it's someone's birthday and someone else made a delicious-looking cake, and all you can do is turn red in your room with the curtains closed, slathered in aftersun from taking the sun too hard on your lunch break yesterday, four hours into an eight-hour Netflix sesh, hot and alone, while they frolic in grassy-smelling surroundings, and kiss and drink and eat finger food and, later, when the mood is right, dab some ecstasy and have a big lovely orgy.
INSTA STORIES BONUS ROUND:
Just a six second clip of the blue Iberia sky through the rushing sound of an airport taxi window.
PHOTO OF SOMEONE ELSE'S DOG YOU CAME ACROSS IN THE PARK WITH THE CAPTION 'BUDDY AND I ARE VERY MUCH IN LOVE'
Bonus points if your boyfriend is in frame playing w/ the animal in his inimitably clumsy way.
ONE BOY, TWO PINTS
FOR IT IS BEER GARDEN SEASON, MY BROTHERS, AND I SHALL MARCH BACKWARDS INTO HELL ITSELF RATHER THAN QUEUE TWICE AT THE BAR FOR MY FROTHY LAGERS, PLEASE AND THANK YOU
PHOTO OF A GIRL W/ LONG HAIR WHO HAS ARRANGED IT NEATLY ON THE GRASS, RARE SELFIE ANGLE OF LYING PRONE ON THE GROUND WITH BOTH ARMS IN THE AIR, STRANGLING THE PHONE INTO CLICKING THE SHUTTER
Bonus points if daisies are threaded carefully through it, the entire composition taking ten or more minutes to assemble to disguise that you, alone in a park, spend your life this way.
ATTEMPT AT SUNGLASSES LENS REFLECTION PHOTOGRAPHY BUT YOUR IPHONE 5 CAMERA ISN'T REALLY GOOD ENOUGH NOW IS IT
We've all tried it – the thumbs-up-in-the-reflective-lens-of-someone-else's-sunglasses is the perfect turn-of-the-millennium-indie-album-cover dream photo-opp – but honestly, man, your iPhone just isn't going to let you get away with it, and you've had your big hot dirty hands up taking photos right by your girlfriend's face for like ten minutes now, and one time you fully did her with the flash on so she's fuming, so it's best to just give up on this one now. Quit while you're ahead.
LADS POSING FOR A TEAM PHOTO AFTER WINNING A PICK-UP GAME OF FIVE-A-SIDE
Three crouched at the front, three standing firm behind the back, arms on shoulders, defeated opponents littered in the background changing out of socks and shinpads, hire-by-hour astro-court slowly dimming as the sun dips, everyone assembled neatly in a squad pose before standing outside the nearest pub in their full kits – ironically chosen continental third shirts paired w/ international shorts from a different kit supplier, never matching the kit suppliers, that is not the code – standing there, smelling of sweat while real people in real clothes just try to enjoy their nights. Lads, you were three down until someone called "next goal wins"; don't milk it.
INSTA STORIES BONUS ROUND:
Boomerang of three people on a beach doing a star-jump.
SW4 SPECIAL: SIX MIDDLE CLASS BOYS IN PROMOTIONAL BRANDED WAYFARERS AND FUCKED UP TOMS, THROWING UP GANG SIGNS THEY ABSOLUTELY DO NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF WHILE LEGITIMATELY KNOWING THE NAMES OF ALL THE COLLEGES AT BOTH OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE
"Tommo got us all in VIP so we've been blowing through the free #vino and telling all the DJs to play more dancehall. Shabooiiiiiii!!!!"
SW4 SPECIAL: SIX LADS IN TANK TOPS THAT SAY 'COCAINE & CAVIAR', ALL PROPPING UP THE FESTIVAL BAR, THREE YEAR OLD FILTER OVER THE TOP OF IT, EVERY ONE OF THEM POSTING THE EXACT SAME GROUP SHOT SO IF YOU FOLLOW THEM ALL ON INSTA YOU'LL SEE IT SIX TIMES IN A ROW, IN INCREASINGLY REDUCED FILE QUALITY
East London Tinder is going to see a lot of this photo over the coming months, from six different accounts all trying to take you to STK.
FEATURELESS SHOT OF A ROOFTOP SWIMMING POOL AT A MEMBER'S ONLY CLUB
'We're all hot… but I'm hot and I've just done gear with someone who used to be in Razorlight!"
THE 'IT'S TOO HOT FOR CLOTHES' VEST-AND-PANTIES THIRST TRAP
It's 11PM, a thunderstorm is due, and 300 dudes you half-remember from secondary school are going hog wild on the like button. Happy summer.
THE MALE VERSION, WHICH IS THE GREY DICKPRINT GYM SELFIE WITH THE HORNY EMOJI AND THE CAPTION 'GETTING SUMMER READY' FOLLOWED BY A SERIES OF 100 HASHTAGS THAT ALL CONTAIN MUTATIONS OF THE WORD 'GRIND'
There is probably an entire scientific research paper to be written on the month-by-month upsurge in gym selfies as the year goes on and the temperatures escalate, as well as tracking the number of '[EYES EMOJI]' DM slides that go with it, but honestly I haven't the time nor budget to really get the work done. Free PhD idea, there, if anyone wants it.
PHOTO OF A LOAD OF OFFICE WORKERS ON THEIR LUNCH SITTING IN A PARK
And the caption is always "wow" or "look how busy" or something else that suggests that you are some sort of park OG, and that these Johnny-come-latelies – with their crumpled shirts and untucked waistbands, fanning themselves coolly in the heat, tentatively tanning in one perfect long slice of sunlight that crosses through the high-rise buildings around them and into the park below, feeding pigeons, overloading the bin – that these people are somehow park mayflies, and that only you have any real claim to the park. Mate, it's a park. There are only three days a year in this country where it is preferable to eat your Meal Deal outside instead of stoically at your desk (*1). Just let people enjoy it.
INSTA STORIES BONUS ROUND: SLOW MOTION VIDEO OF A LAD CALLED GAVIN DIVEBOMBING INTO A FRENCH SWIMMING POOL WHILE NOBODY CHEERS
SINGLE PHOTO OF THE THAMES AT HOMETIME OFF THE EDGE OF LONDON BRIDGE WITH THE CAPTION 'BLOODY LOVE THIS CITY #LONDON <3'
A decent smoggy sunset from a third-floor building anywhere south of Borough always does #numbers, too.
DAY OFF WORK SELFIE FROM AN INNER-CITY TROPICAL GARDEN
Ah, no better way to spend a random Wednesday of annual leave than dressing in muted greys and a black leather jacket, and taking the £600 SLR you made your parents buy for Christmas two years ago and never actually used to look round Sky Garden for an afternoon. You must have been here all day by n— hold on, you've only been here 40 minutes? It's 11.55AM. What the fuck are you meant to do for the rest of the day? Jesus, you might as well be at work
INSTA STORIES BONUS ROUND:
Long droning sound of an aeroplane going overhead followed by a frisbee just edging out of shot
GLASTONBURY PICS THAT ARE ONLY UPLOADED THREE DAYS AFTER THE ACTUAL EVENT ONCE THE GLASTONBURY ATTENDEE IN QUESTION CAN SHOWER FOUR TIMES THEN GET BACK ON THE WIFI
Mate, it's July 1st, I really don't need a four-day old picture of you in wellies, hotpants, green-yellow stripes of facepaint and a men's size L raincoat, holding the empty remnants of a £12 Pimms in a soft fruit-filled plastic pint glass. Ah, what's this? A 12-second clip of Bono, almost a full kilometre in the distance, singing while you yell? Why, Glastonbury Attendee: you shouldn't have.
CASUAL PHOTO OF TWO GIRLS IN BIKINIS HUGGING CHASTELY BY A POOL THAT HAD TO BE RE-SHOT – AND THIS IS A CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE – 25 TIMES BEFORE IT HAD APPROVAL FROM BOTH CLIENTS AND HAD BEEN SUITABLY FACETUNED
You can tell it's been retaken a few times because the original facial expressions of "careful smile w/ well-practised head tilt" has descended to a sort of grim, concrete facsimile of the same, both subjects hating each other now, each of them tagging the other when they upload – "Besties! x" – but retiring separately later to drink one entire bottle of wine, cry and call the other a "bitch" in private.
2AM PHOTO OF THREE PEOPLE BLURRILY DOING BALLOONS BY THE ONE PRICK IN THE GROUP WHO DOESN'T DO BALLOONS AND CAPTIONED SIMPLY WITH THE BALLOON EMOJI
Mate, what you putting that online for! You don't even do drugs! That one time you did coke you freaked out and had a this-cubicle's-too-small panic attack and threw up! We had to get you an Uber to your mum's house! Not even your house! Your mum's house!
AN EXTREMELY INSIPID-LOOKING FUCKING SHIT PINK BARBEQUE
Every time you go to a BBQ run by 20-somethings, you think of your dad, who made BBQing look easy when you were a kid; made it look enjoyable and good. Only, where your dad had his special Kiss The Chef apron and his gas-powered BBQ and went to like five different local butchers for all the meat, your mate whose flatmate is in Berlin and has a balcony is rocking three packets of Tesco Finest sausages, two tinfoil-base BBQ disposables, a ketchup so on-the-dregs that the bottle has to be stored upside down and one thing of Kingsmill burger buns. This is just six people with student debt drinking Fosters out of a recycling bin repurposed as an ice bucket. This is not aspirational. Please don't post this.
QUICKFIRE HOLIDAY PHOTO ROUND!
– Holding your girlfriend's hand as she pulls you facelessly along the beach;
– A coconut with a drink in it;
– That red mark you get from a snorkelling mask;
– A big fish tank;
– A cliff w/ sea view that you didn't have the minerals to jump off;
– Picture of your buffet breakfast, which according to Instagram says you just have a bowl of fruit but if you seriously just sat and ate fruit for breakfast when I know full well there's a muffin basket sat eight-to-ten feet behind you and this resort is all-inclusive then I'm calling the police;
– Photo of a sign in a foreign language that almost looks like a swear word in English;
– Extremely wonky dinnertime couple photo taken by a waiter who absolutely does not know how flash works;
– Girl on holiday w/ boyfriend but isn't quite sure about him enough to put him on Instagram yet so just uploads an eerie photo of her standing alone in a swimming pool holding a glass of prosecco;
– A picture of a foreign cat;
READING A BOOK IN THE PARK
No actual park selfie, here, because people in parks alone are normally a state – you're either flabbily topless and waiting for that summer tan to come in or you are, tits aplenty, falling out of like three separate vests at once, and you are sweating up a storm and your big sunglasses keep falling down your nose, which is now a small ridge made of oil, but – but you want to still prove you're in a park, so you take a book pic. You know the one: peering over two glossy white pages, a vista of yellow-green leading into trees, a swathe of perfect blue sky, perhaps, there in the distance, a sprinkling of faraway city skyline. You make it through three pages of the same copy of House of Leaves you've been trying to read since 2015 before pausing and just scrolling through Snapchat a lot then having a big red nap.
INSTA STORIES BONUS ROUND:
Two extremely gnarly-looking feet gently paddling in aquamarine swimming pool water.
EXTREMELY HIGH SATURATION PHOTOS OF ITALIAN GIRLS IN FRONT OF STREET ART
Don't know if this one is exclusive to east London, or maybe even to the immediate block-sized area around the VICE offices, but there are a lot of Italian girls in groups of two or three all yelling and taking photos of each other in front of that graffiti that says "THIS IS NOT A BANKSY", and it's hard to know how Instagram servers have any space left for anything else, quantity-wise.
COUPLE STANDING STIFFLY NEXT TO EACH OTHER AT A WEDDING WHILE EACH HOLDING A SINGULAR GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE W/ THE CAPTION 'SCRUB UP WELL, DON'T WE?'
Yeah you scrub up well because there's this curious thing where literally everyone alive scrubs up well, that's the entire concept of scrubbing up, like if you wear a suit and comb your hair and spend anything more than 20 minutes getting ready you fundamentally look better than every day you go to work in a fading Family Guy T-shirt. There is no way a girl who has been up since 6AM cautiously curling her hair and doing full-face doesn't look better than most days. Anyway, yeah. The two of you look really nice. If your boyfriend is under-25 I know for a fact you had an argument about whether he was allowed to wear Converse with his suit or not. He is not.
NOTHING, POSTING NOTHING, BECAUSE THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE HAS HAMSTRUNG YOU NOW, THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN POST A SINGLE PHOTO TO INSTAGRAM WITHOUT IT BEING CRUELLY PIERCED WITH A JOUST OF IRONY HERE, AND ALL YOU WERE TRYING TO DO WAS LIVE YOUR LIFE AND ENJOY YOUR SUMMER AND POST A FEW PHOTOS NOW AND AGAIN, GET A FEW LIKES HERE AND THERE, IT'S NOT THAT DEEP MATE, I DIDN'T KNOW I WAS BEING WATCHED SO EAGLE-EYED BY THE ULTIMATE IRONY BOY, I DIDN'T KNOW I WAS OFFENDING YOU MINE LORD, I'LL JUST NEVER POST TO INSTAGRAM AGAIN SHALL I?: ALSO, I MEAN IT'S NOT LIKE I'M NOT SPECTACULARLY GUILTY OF MOST OF THE ABOVE, I MEAN A LOT OF THIS IS JUST A PARTICULARLY BARBED SUBTWEET AIMED SOLELY AT MYSELF, THIS IS THE PINNACLE OF SELF-BODYING TO BE FULLY HONEST WITH YOU, MAKING MYSELF THE ULTIMATE AND FUNDAMENTAL LOSER IN ALL THIS; I DON'T KNOW, MAN, I'M TIRED. I JUST. LISTEN I'M SORRY OKAY. I'M SORRY. ENJOY YOUR SUMMER. I LOVE YOU, WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE FALLEN OUT OVER THIS. FRIENDS DON'T FALL OUT OVER LISTICLES, DO THEY! HA HA. HA HA. HA. NO YOU'RE SOUND WITH ME MATE. YOU'RE ALRIGHT. COME HERE
Nah I've gone mad in the sun here I need to go have a big long four-month lie down.
(*1) I personally subscribe to the notion that eating work lunch outside is Extremely Fucking Overrated, but then maybe I am a creature of habit and messing with my strict routine of eating a calorie-controlled salad while reading the same three articles about exciting European midfielders Arsenal might sign this year (they might!) is about the closest thing I have to stability in my life, and that as a result I may be biased, but I also think there is a really huge unseeable amount of peer pressure that comes with park lunch-taking, especially if you are the kind of pale boy like me who goes tomato-red at the first blush of sun and can't actually, physically endure an hour outside in it at the peak of the day. I have mixed feelings about it all, it's quite safe to say.