It's the end of the world.
When the Mayan calendar predicted that it would all hit the fan in 2012, they were talking about 30 June 2012. The end of the financial year for 2011-12 would also coincide with a freak storm in the US of A causing Instagram to, wait for it, crash.
As I pen this diatribe, millions of hipsters (and wannabe hipsters) worldwide are still left staring at their lattes without being able to take a photo of it beforehand, and out of sheer panic and suffering from "Instagram withdrawal", are being forced to upload photos on Twitter as a painful substitute to abate their unexplainable compulsion to share their lives visually. This is the "Instagramageddon".
I am no exception. Before it all went to sh*t, I was having a casual brunch at one of those pretentious and overpriced brunch places that wannabe hipsters like myself venture to on a lazy Saturday morning. And as you do, I started checking my Instagram account inbetween conversation lulls with my brunch buddy. "Couldn't refresh feed", it read. "Damn server is down," I thought. Give it a minute.
Two lattes later, and I still couldn't upload a picture of my Eggs Benedict that I styled with my knife and fork, and as a balancing touch, my cup of water positioned just to catch the morning sunlight. The eggs were starting to get cold. My brunch mate (who isn't on Instagram! I was starting to question what we had in common) suggested to start eating and Instagram later: "After all," she reasoned, "the image of my your eggs are saved on the phone right?" I was hesistant; would it taste the same? But it sounded logical, and I was starving, so I acquiesced.
Then the tweets started streaming in from Paris to Berlin:
"#Instagram is making me so aggressive! Like why isn't it working?!?!"
"Service Unavailable? But how am I supposed to understand life?"
"Not being able to post pics on #Instagram leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Angers leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
Then our greatest fears became reality:
"All of my #Instagram photos from my profile are gone now."
There is widespread panic on Facebook (which is suddenly awash with activity like how I'd imagine a bookstore to look like if books were no longer available online) and propositions of the future that once seemed far-fetched and fanciful are gaining traction. "What if all the 'likes' on my pictures are gone?" Or, what is immeasurably worse, "What if all my followers are gone?" Everybody is #Instatrippin.
With all this extra time on my hands, I even caught myself staring at a pile of books in my room and thinking, "Maybe I should pick one up and read it. I used to read books." But you'll be pleased to know that I brushed that ridiculous idea aside as quickly as it had entered my mind. I mean, there is still the Internet. Yes, there's still YouTube. Acoustic guitar covers by unsigned bands and blonde-haired girls shall be my vice.
But I'll have to be honest. I thought that Facebook (who recently bought Instagram for a cool million buckeroonies) would have solved the problem come Sunday morning. I thought that 1 July 2012 would be a new day. Equilibrium would be restored and the social fabric of my life would no longer be ruffled, stretched, torn and just generally messed with. I watched The Social Network, and to my astute judgment, Mark Zuckerberg (although played by a rather pensive-looking and annoying Jesse Eisenberg) is an unscrupulous man who said, I quote, "Okay, let me tell you the difference between Facebook and everyone else, we don't crash EVER!"
What happened Zuckerberg? You bought Instagram and then this happened. And as I type this on a socially-disconnected Sunday with Instagram still experiencing technical difficulties (I tried to post a picture of my morning run at least 15 times already) let me share some of the sentiment flying around cyberspace: "So #Instagram is down again. Funny how this only happened after Facebook purchased it. Pretty safe to say Facebook ruins lives. Too far?" As you can see, #Instarage is real, and it's going to get people hurt.
But true to my hipster self, I've chosen a path less travelled. Instead of posting my backlog of weekend photos intended for Instagram on Facebook or Twitter, I'm going to share them with you right here. Aren't you lucky?
I've already invested the usual half an hour an image trying to decide "Which filter is better?" and then coming up with an accompanying witty caption (half the fun really) so it might as well get some air time. Enjoy. Oh, and if you feel inclined, a follow and a "like" wouldn't hurt either if this Instagram machine ever gets back on its feet again.
It is the end of the world as we know it ... but unlike R.E.M's song by the same title, I don't feel fine.*
*Which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I haven't eaten much since Instagram when MIA. How can I eat when I can't show the world what I'm eating? Seriously.
Cover photo courtesy of www.tuhinkumar.com