As soon as I woke up this morning, I instinctively reached for my phone conveniently placed near my head (no, this is not good for your health). Immediately I checked Instagram to see how many pictures were uploaded within the span that I had fallen asleep and woken up. Not surprisingly, there were not many new posts, but one had caught my eye before I routinely moved onto the next social media app. It was a selfie of my friend who was wearing a stoic expression with the slightest hint of puckered duck lips and a devious glare in her eyes. However, my problem was not the actual picture itself, but the caption that accompanied it:
Now- you and I have probably come to the agreement that the caption has absolutely nothing to do with the picture and vice versa. Although this is definitely not the first time you and I have come across such face palm worthy material on social media, we cannot help but to shake our heads (not physically).
Whenever I come across a mismatched caption and picture, I question the user’s reason for this, which leads me to explain my social media pet peeve: pictures that are unrelated to quotes or captions.
Thus, I have come to the conclusion that there are 3 types of cases in which a picture is irrelevant to the quote or caption that accompanies it and vice versa.
1. The Inspirational Quote
When it comes to photoshopping a deep and meaningful quote onto a seemingly deep and meaningful picture, the only thing I can say is “you tried.” Nowadays, certain quotes have been so overused to the point where they have become cliche and even cheesy. At a certain point during the adolescent years of my life, I, too, would favorably look upon such posts on Tumblr and Facebook. But fast forward a few years in real time and now one is helplessly flooded by the influx of cheesy and unoriginal posts. The sarcastic captions that other social media users have been photoshopping in lately certainly do not help with the situation either.
2. The Overused Song Lyrics
I am perfectly fine with listening to a new hit song for the first 3 times on the radio. Even when it plays on the radio for the umpteenth time, I remain patient, reminding myself that the song will eventually fade away from the mainstream scene. However, once people start using the overplayed song’s lyrics as captions or quotes for pictures, that is when I draw the line. Are such pictures with the use of overplayed song lyrics meant to stir some kind of human reaction from social media users? According to Ellison and Boyd in “Sociality Through Social Network Sites,”
Profiles are a space for self-representation.
Thus, I can understand why Tumblr users upload and reblog such pictures because they have particular interests for their individual blogs. However, can the same be said for Facebook users? What relevance does an overused song lyric have to a bathroom mirror picture?
3. The Background that Makes No Sense
Occasionally I, and very much you as well, come across that repetitive picture of a girl running into a field of dead grass while the sun sets in the distance. And it is also very possible that there comes a photoshopped quote with it, such as “Gone with the Wind,” “Free at Last” and whatnot. However, the only few times that I actually get flustered are when I stumble across pictures that seem to, at first glance, have somewhat meaningful quotes pasted on what you realize is a completely irrelevant background. Not only do I internally laugh to myself, I once again find myself questioning the purpose of such pictures.
Nowadays, social media has come to a point where there is no fine line between authenticity and unoriginality, but it is definitely not impossible to distinguish between posts that are meant to be taken seriously and those that are not. But once pictures and captions do not match up with one another, that is when I decide that I have had enough Internet for the day.
I guess all that is now left for me to say now is this: