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Social media junkies got a taste of what the old days were like when Instagram and Facebook glitched this week. People were so lost without their respective timelines, “IG and FB down” trended for the better part of Wednesday. It got us thinking about what life was like before social media fully infiltrated our lives, specifically Instagram, and come to think of it…the olden days were an entirely different world. Then, going viral became a major measure of success and things haven’t been the same since.

So, what all do we do differently now? Pretty much everything…

People used to just eat their food, for instance. Now it’s all about taking photos to let people know how good you’re eating—and even food pics need perfect lighting.

You weren’t able to watch your significant other “like” a surplus amount of *ss or eggplant pics in real-time prior to IG. Social media definitely exposed the overall flimsiness of present-day relationships.

There’s a lack of real-life presence. We do EVERYTHING with our phones these days…being able to walk and check Instagram at the same time is actually a life-skill.

Whereas before, people actually lived real life…instead of taking pictures of life to flex for the Gram.

Then there’s the added pressure to appear just as picture perfect when people see you out and about. Let’s just say kids don’t look like they used to…

Instagram provided people the ability to share content with the world instantly. With a way to immediately let your key market know that your product/service/talent is available, owning your own business and being your own boss is a lot less intimidating these days. Everyone’s an entrepreneur now. And in many cases, these folks are also mini-celebrities with super powerful brands thanks to all those “likes.”

Speaking of which… Fashion Nova and online boutiques like FN changed the game by getting Instagram influencers and celebrities to wear and endorse their products in IG photos. A relatively new company, FN was the most searched fashion brand of 2018, beating out ALL the top dawgs with a simple but innovative marketing strategy. Checkmate.

Speaking of marketing, if you expect your film to be hailed as a blockbuster movie these days, you’d better have an Instagram-ready rollout! Remember when that new joint was announced primarily via television (or posters on the train)?

Remember when a guy used to have to work up the nerve to ask you for your number IN PERSONNNN??! Now there are what they young people call “DMs.”

Celebrities talk directly to their fans now…no interviews necessary to set any rumor straight.

And that access works both ways. You’re just one click away from seeing what your fave has been up to recently, provided they have an active IG account—but most of them do. Unheard of prior to IG.

We used to get cards and flowers, but now if you forget to do an Instagram shoutout for your friend on his/her birthday, you’re as good as dead.

Made up a cool new dance? Music videos aren’t the primary way of spreading your moves to the world anymore. Just dance for Instagram and if it’s cool enough, it’ll get around by way of a dance challenge.

Remember newspapers? Well today if you’re not up on the latest scoop, no need to read…search the hashtag on IG and get filled in instantaneously with lots of photo evidence and MEMES.

Speaking of which, does anyone remember what life was like before we got the tea from The Shade Room and Baller Alert? Since celebs are online, accounts like these make it their business to be all up in your fave’s beeswax…this much tea was also unheard of. We had to mind our business back in the day.

Thinking of the perfect Instagram caption? Anecessary life skill now.

And last, but certainly not least, remember when you could breakup with your boy/girlfriend without having to breakup with them online too?

Yep, life was definitely different. Do you think it’s better or worse now?


For Better Or For Worse: Remembering What Life Was Like Before Instagram And Like-Based Culture  was originally published on