How an adult can learn to Instagram like a teen

Instagram is my favorite social media app.

This was not always the case. I’ve long been comfortable writing Facebook

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and Twitter posts, usually attempting pithy and witty in my posts. But Facebook and Twitter

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can sometimes feel like a barrage of anger and injustice, and it feeds into stress. Instagram, on the other hand, with its pretty pictures and wit and whimsy-via-image usually relaxes and inspires me these days. I check and post to Instagram far more often than the other social media outlets these days. How did it come to this?

In a previous life of working in digital strategy and academia, I spent a lot of time trying to understand what young people were doing with social media, and Instagram was (and continues to be) one of the top apps for them. I loved seeing the secret visual language they used — the inside jokes, the fun selfies, the clothes, the emojis — and I guess you could say that I not only picked up a few tips and tricks, but I also went native. Believe it or not, teens can teach us a lot about how to use Instagram.

First, the Instagram basics

First things first: Download the Instagram app (you can download it at the App store or go to the Instagram site for more information) to start an account and to follow some other people’s accounts. If you have a Facebook account, you can say that you’d like to “Connect to Your Facebook account” when you first set up Instagram, and then you’ll get suggestions of Facebook friends who have Instagram accounts. (This isn’t just a nice service, by the way. It’s a business strategy; Facebook owns Instagram.)

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