Instagram is a waste of time…and really entertaining


Clara Laino

I’ve been staring at the ceiling for a while now. I can’t fall asleep. Finally I reach the floor with my arm and I grab my phone. I click on Instagram’s icon. The next thing I know it’s 2am and I have the incredible knowledge that quokkas are the happiest animals in the world.

   Instagram manages to suck away a big chunk of my time every day. I tried many times to break the habit: setting a timer for how long I was allowed to access Instagram every day; deleting the app from my phone; not accessing social media after 9 o’clock at night. In 9th grade I even tried to not use my phone for two weeks. 

   But still to this day, I spend an average of 40 minutes on Instagram every day. During Covid and remote learning, my average was much higher. 

   I suggest right now open Instagram on your phone, go on your profile, then select the three lines in the top right corner. Then “your activity” and “time spent”. If you have never checked before, it might surprise you. It might embarrass you.

   You’ll probably ask yourself how it seems like you never have time, but you managed to spend two hours on Instagram on Friday. You start to go through your day and feel super guilty about how normally and quickly you open every notification and proceed to spend the next 30 minutes looking at videos of cakes, people building pools, lions and weird animals in an Australian grocery store. 

   During seminar, I’ve been asking students their daily average on Instagram. Nobody had less than 30 minutes (46, 53, 31, 59 minutes), and most of them were above an hour (1:46, 1:57, 1:12, 1:18, 1:32). But I found out that TikTok was much worse: some people would spend 7 hours a day just on TikTok. If you’re wondering about how long the average for their phone was overall, well–you don’t want to know.

   Instructor Ken Strobel’s average is 12 minutes: “I thought it would be much worse; I spent a lot of time on Instagram lately,” he said, justifying the 38 minutes spend on Instagram last Saturday. Other people in my journalism class had an average of 45, 31, 1 hour and 3 minutes, and 20 minutes. 

   Nonetheless, Instagram can be pretty awesome. I mean, what about those guys jumping from building to building? Or those crazy makeup tutorials? 

   One of my favorite things is reading Twitter jokes. It is kind of silly watching the content of other social media on Instagram, but that’s actually pretty common. 

   I’m guilty of being one of the people that refuses to download TikTok but spends an average of 40 minutes a day watching reels of stuff that was popular on TikTok two weeks before. When I send my friends reels that I think are super funny they never fail to let me know that they already saw that trend on TikTok (like a month before) and that it’s not funny anymore. But I still refuse to have TikTok. 

   Also edits from movies and tv series can be kind of great. Or awkward videos of people falling. And then there are compilations of babies’ laughs, and kittens. Kittens. Actually, any kind of puppy sucks most people into an adorable world of fun and cuteness, where they will end up spending the next 20 minutes of the day.

   There are a lot of videos and pictures of famous people doing stuff, like Queen Elizabeth cutting a cake extra slowly, or Grammy’s crazy outfits. And Instagram always accomplishes keeping us all updated on the latest drama of the Kardashians.

   It is a waste of time. I’m not arguing the opposite. But anyway, there are some cool contents on Instagram. It is quick and easy entertainment–especially in class or whenever you should be sleeping.