Parlor Talk: Instagram Culture: Marketable Conceit

Luke van Zyl

Luke van Zyl

Instagram has set the internet ablaze with the laurels of vainglory as people everywhere seek to brand themselves as fashionistas or upstart artisans of catchy vantages captured on digital celluloid. There is profanity in this obsession to clamber among the upstarts for voguish acclaim. For many, people jostling through the rumpus of fame-seekers feel disempowered about how some seedy manqué people can strive beyond their viewership because of the interconnected cobweb of intricate design that elevates people and demotes others. If your struggling to entertain your 450 followers and seek the riches of arrivistes, you might be playing a game rigged against you. My advice is to forget your viewership and start focusing on the few people that appreciate your personal brand, because the people that overpower with a pullulating audience are often distraught by the fragmentary picture of life they are granted because they fret too often about unconditional acclaim rather than the intended purpose of the website: To unite people behind a common barnstorm. The dangers of upward comparison are wiredrawn to see their brand as a lagging commodity in a world too focused on marketing gambits and hollow ploys of the people who earn their pedigree by dishonest means. You should still feel empowered to share your story captured on digital celluloid in order to maintain a coherent identity, but sometimes the upstaged life is not the proper angle to envision your profitable talents and curated scintillation. We are tethered to online personas in a manner that is parlous to our self-esteem potentially, but in other scenarios these effigies become our lasting legacy and our interface with the human condition. Because of that scenario, many people find it harder to unplug than to ventilate their sublimated desires in depicted scenes that amount to a fraction of who we really are. There is great sacrifice in that endeavor because it leaves a perdurable trace so that people can better manipulate you at a distance or know you less intimately because of the arbitrage of conceit is a clutter best left to the devices of people belonging to the tribe of desperation and desolation.

As someone only marginally acquainted with the platform out of personal choice, I see it preferable to avoid the potential sting of marginalization created by the comparative thrust of every inclement endeavor wagered on personal self-worth. We are better than a collage or even a panoply of images. If we chose to comport ourselves with that proffered dignity, we might sacrifice ourselves to the threshing floor of the iniquitous charlatans that carp about decency or indecency much at our expense. The problem is many see a quick gambit to ascendancy on the platform the scandalous gambits of skullduggery. This is a tempting fix-all solution to gain popularity, but at what scantily-clad atrocity is worth the growth of an effigy of a person leveraged to gain in popularity but loose moral virtue at a pittance for the bypassed route to fame, or in worse cases, femicide? We live in an age characterized by marketable conceit that finesses its way into habitation within our cultural psyche as it gains traction as a new way to make everything about you a fashionable gewgaw of the pedestrian imagination rather than a regal glory of singularity. The scalding leitmotif from this Instagram age is that we should rebuke this charlatan motive to bullyrag or harp on other people or vaunt into a minor stardom by manners of iniquity rather than dignity. Lamentably, we see epigones of flashy accord vault into the spotlight because of their ill-mannered friction against the sacrosanct tenets of our age to temporary plaudits but also a widespread disdain that percolates into impressionable mindsets to subvert them with a hobbled gait of notoriety without distinction. The problem is that the virtues of the many reputable people on Instagram that relish their lavish prosperity is also the humdinger that sings the requiems for the dreams of people that cannot match their peerless laurels of credential. My advice: Never measure your sense of worth based on how some hotshots cavort themselves in their curated realities that aggrandize their worth beyond their true stature. Many people use dishonest skullduggery to seem like they are more luxurious and commodious than they really are while others are experts at picking the right perch to capture something that will sizzle among the imaginations of the curious. You don’t have to have the wiseacres of the geniuses to stand out, and in the same manner, even if your sportsmanship is subpar compared to professional athletes, all that really matters is your coterie of connections and how they value your honesty in comportment.

We should avoid the baragnosis of false measures and weights because they tip the internet in a very warped direction that barnstorms for marketable aspects of supercilious people that earn their keep by hobnobbing with the most notable figures in the game. We should abide by different standards as we search in a quest decisively tethered to an online presence to verify our identity without double-handed duplicity our janiform contortions of individuality. We should bear true witnesses to the lives we live with either largesse or with strenuous exertion but simultaneously truckle to the overriding impetus to try and scintillate among your crew without endangering yourself as an impostor. Although people might be despondent at the currency of marketable conceit, it is a ubiquitous presence among the online claques and coteries that congregate around spurious ideals for counterfeit validation that seems like a veracity only in the cloister of one’s personal ego. Eventually, this spells doom for the very enterprise of self-maintenance, but the prodromes of regret that mark the occasion should be a sockdolager to awaken people to the brittle reality that most of what is apprised as fact is actually a misrepresented variety of partial-fiction that damages the mentalities of many people who want the enviable distinctions they lack. The overall leitmotif of this phenomenon is simple: Be an authentic person who uses tactful forms of portrayal to scintillate among the people that actually care about you and not your size of viewership. If we all adapt that mantra, the Instagram monster becomes tamed by the reckoning of honesty over the farce of glistening tinsel that escorts us into a precipice of ego endangered by trolls but always met with the solemn gravity of a universal karma.