1. “No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience” — John Locke
Content is king and you need to invest in your content. No one wants to see you wandering around Sephora using the samples to do your makeup for free, but maybe they want to see your cosmetics laid flat on marble contact paper. Upgrade your props and splurge to get the aspirational aesthetic. Balance this with being approachable (nothing too over the top) for peak Instagram bliss.
2. “Happiness is the highest good” — Aristotle
Show people your glorious pearly whites. Studies show smiling makes you appear more friendly and likeable.
3. “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it” — Karl Marx
Why are you on Instagram? Marx in this quote is pointing towards curation. What do you want to be known for? Fitness? Travel? Crushing capitalism? Followers come when you have that one thing that they can rally behind.
4. “The life of man (in a state of nature) is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” — Thomas Hobbes
Life can kind of suck. Why not pretend it’s great and share that aspect with friends? Only share the pics of your free flow brunch champagne glasses clinking together, not the behind-the-scenes after shot of you vomiting into a toilet, with tears of a clown mascara streaming down your face. Make your Instagram the land of make believe.
5. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” — unknown
This should be your thinking around hashtags. If you don’t add 30 hashtags to every picture of you holding a cocktail next to your face, you don’t exist socially.
6. “The unexamined life is not worth living” — Socrates
Instagram stalking is great. Guy on Tinder, new coworker, friend’s new boyfriend—no harm in checking if they’re a serial killer. Just remember they’ll probably do the same (so only one pic of you fanning out at a celeb crush).
7. “To be is to be perceived” (“Esse est percipi”) — Bishop George Berkeley
Do you exist? Perception is everything. On Instagram, make sure you have a consistent feel by sticking to one or two filters and using them regularly.
8. “Leisure is the mother of philosophy” — Thomas Hobbes
No need to have every pic including your laptop. Yes, you love your job and what you do, but mix in some fun travel pics. Show the multitude of your life.
9. “Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward ” — Søren Kierkegaard
#tbt. Throwback Thursday is thing and don’t ignore it. Yes, its 2017, but I’m sure you have a backlog of curatable photos to share from before you had a good camera on your phone. Use #tbt shamelessly—to remind friends of a good time, relive past adventures, and never let die the fact that lace ruffle socks were a thing in the 90s.
10. “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” — Plato
Mix in some videos. Videos captures the sensation of a moment, revealing more than a standalone image.
11. “The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it” — Epicurus
This is why people die when trying to take selfies (feel like Freud also might have some good quotes for this phenomenon). Show pictures of your #wanderlust #adventure, climbing to high peaks or riding a camel. But please, no tigers (they’re all drugged, this is sad, and every guy on Tinder has already #beentheredonethat).
12. “Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Create boundaries. Yes, you could spend your whole vacation taking Instagrammable pics, but then you aren’t fully cherishing the moment. Life is a chain of moments, don’t spend them all behind a screen.