I was lucky enough to head to one of the most picturesque places in the world this year for my holidays - sunny Seville in southern Spain. But, as we all know, in today's language, 'picturesque' means 'Instagrammable'. The stunning palaces, the lush gardens, the beautiful streets - all overrun with budding influencer-types getting their downtrodden partners to snap approximately 40 billion photos of them in slightly different poses. I felt like running up to them and screaming: "the market is full! Influencer-dom is officially saturated!", but I know it would have been to no avail.
Instagram, and on a daily basis, Instagram stories, are absolutely full to bursting with the social media famous, whose job it is to make their lives Instagram-friendly. It's a tough job, and one I wouldn't like to have, but with so many similar influencers taking over my feed, I've started to notice some patterns. It can be hard to tap into what followers want, so when an influencer finds something that works, they stick at it. Which, unfortunately, develops into a series of (a little annoying) habits fairly quickly.
After much discussion, we've come up with our ultimate Insta-story pet peeves - a list of small habits that influencers have fallen into en masse, which we, the viewers, always pick up on. If you are an influencer and recognise yourself in this list, rest assured - we're only poking fun, and many of you are brilliant at what you do. But that doesn't mean we can't laugh a little.
Is this the universal influencer greeting? Is this the (not so) secret passcode to the world of Insta-famous? Every single story begins with these two words. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate being spoken to like a friend - until I realise that I don't actually know this person, and they're just speaking into the void, not actually to me. The opening line is so overly used, it's actually become a bit of a cliché online.
"Loads of you have been asking..."
Used in relation to something the influencer has featured in a previous story. More often than not, it's an item of clothing or a brand of make up - whatever it is, the key similarity is that probably one, if not zero, people have actually asked the influencer about it. "SO many of you have been asking where I got my dress". No. No they haven't. Just tell me where it's from and go.
Homecooked food. Restaurant food. Food being made. Food being decorated. Tables full of food. Influencers. Love. Food. This isn't actually such a big pet-peeve for me, because I love food too - I just think it's funny that it's such a massive theme of Insta-stories.
Shop via the link in my bio
This is my ultimate pet-peeve. The blogger will be wearing something gorgeous, but they won't just tag where it's from. Oh no. They have a link in their bio, which links to an affiliate site, which then links to the item of clothing. We are absolutely spoiled in this digital, one-click world and I am too damn lazy to click something three times to find out where it's from.
White marble and rose gold
The universal decor of every influencer's home. If you have either of these aesthetics in abundance in your house, you know you've made it.
Taking a picture of the Liffey/ Stephen's Green/ the Forty Foot and captioning it with "Dublin you ride"
Or alternatively "Dublin, you're ok sometimes". Guys, we all live here. We know what it looks like.
Always showing off their nails - either unboxing something or putting their hands on their face
If there's one trend that influencers have really made a mainstream staple, it's long, pointed acrylics. They look great, don't get me wrong, but I don't need to see a different set of them in every single Insta-story. Bloggers really love to show them off. The way they unbox something or show off an item of clothing, they always place their hand just so, so that the nails are in perfect view. Like, guys, we get it. You get your nails done.
"I'm working on something really exciting, watch this space!"
"I'm just out of a really important meeting! Can't say any more, but keep an eye out!"And then you never hear about this very exciting venture ever again.