Qualms about #nofilter

We have messed this one up good, fellow Instagrammers.

You know how, like, errrrbody uses hashtags these days? Yeah, that’s fine. But you know how, like, some people use errrrrry hashtag on the planet in one picture? That’s kinda annoying sometimes. But still, whatevs.

What we rly messed up lately is #nofilter. I am certainly not a fan of misusing hashtags, obviously. And I am absolutely positive that people use popular hashtags on purpose so that other people will look at their pictures, WHICH IS FINE, but not really when the hashtag has NOTHING to do with the picture, or perhaps, is basically a lie.

Exhibit A


This particular hashtag is closing in on 100 million posts. And I really don’t think people understand the intention behind this one. Maybe I’m the one out of the loop here. So let me clarify. A #nofilter photo should meet these requirements:

1) There is, indeed, no Instagram filter on the picture, and
2) The picture is true to being straight from a lens, without editing OR is very minimally edited, but still true to what the subject of the photo looks like in real life.

I think most people only follow rule 1, and some just don’t pay no mind.

You see in Exhibit A, basically all the pictures are edited in some way. Pictures 3, 4, 7 and 12 are the only ones that look like they didn’t use a filter or edit, but the rest of them look at least a little edited. #1 for example. No filter? Really? They must live in a very high exposure, low contrast, warm-colored environment. Pictures 5 & 6 have a vignette, which I doubt is pure luck, pictures 9 & 10 have clearly used Instagram filters (or a comparable editing program), and picture 11 is BLACK & WHITE, which would be impressive if it weren’t edited, but it is.

I used #nofilter once. I took an impressive picture of the Angel Oak that required zero editing. I thought, “I should put #nofilter on this so people can enjoy it along with the other impressive photos that are hard to believe haven’t been edited.”

Exhibit B


This is that picture. After I put it up, I thought, “Actually, I might enjoy looking at cool pictures.” I was disappointed. Because I saw something like Exhibit A. And because it’s so popular, all the cool pictures that do end up there, like mine, get pushed down by the others almost instantly.

Now, I certainly have misused hashtags. I’ve broken my own guidelines, and perhaps I have done so once or twice intentionally. And really, I’m not even so sure that my rule of 3 or 4 hashtags per post matters that much. I look at some businesses reaping benefits from using a TON of them, and that’s cool with me!

What I don’t get is why, if people aren’t going to follow both rules of #nofilter, it makes any difference at all. Sure, you can follow the first rule and edit the original picture into oblivion, but why? Why would anyone care?

I suggest that people start putting, like, 5 filters on their pictures and using #mofilter! Save the other one for stuff you might actually like to see without a filter.

Goodness me, I feel like I should have a whole category for my comments on social media etiquette!


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