On Instagram’s fifth anniversary, a renewing of vows

Dearest Instagram-

My, oh, my, where does the time go? Why, it seems just yesterday that I was putting gratuitous borders on photos and Hefe on every latte that came my way. And now we have tools, and filters like Crema, and Layout for sleek collages. Times have, indeed, changed, but my love for you remains.

I’ll admit, we had a rocky start.

Impressive CD collection

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Spelling @brooklyncharm

A photo posted by Marisa Kabas (@marisakabas) on

I didn’t know how to treat you right. I posted whatever I felt like posting, without using a critical eye. I was reckless. But I’ll spend the rest of my Amaro mornings and Lo-fi nights trying to make it up to you.

We’ve had some great times, though. Haven’t we? We’ve traveled to the Middle East and Europe, Mexico and all around the United States. And what I love most about you is that you allow me to have all of my favorite memories right in the palm of my hand. How many great loves provide you with such a service? None, Instagram. None.

First evening in #santorini with @danibrooktops! #greece #firststop

A photo posted by Marisa Kabas (@marisakabas) on


A photo posted by Marisa Kabas (@marisakabas) on

Perhaps most important of all is the way you’ve redefined Thursdays. It used to be the penultimate day of the work week, the night that Friends used to air, and an excuse to get hammered in college because the weekend was imminent. 

But now—oh, but now—it is Throwback Thursday. It is a weekly celebration of our past, a chance to show how cute we all used to be, and a chance to see who was too lazy to take an old photo out of a frame before snapping a pic with a smartphone. #TBT has changed my life. You, Instagram, have changed my life.

Mullet and the Beast. #tbt

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been five whole years since you appeared in the technological abyss. You swooped in and filled the camera-shaped hole in my heart, and made me see that a professional-grade camera and an MFA was not necessary for creating art. All I need is a quick snapping finger, the desire to alter people and landscapes alike, and an imagination larger than your lock screen.

Who can say what the next five years will bring? There will be newer, younger apps to play with, and others trying so hard to be you. But I will never stray, Instagram. I will never leave you. To you, I devote all my most darling photos.

That is why I am here today, to reaffirm my commitment to you. To declare that you’re the app-le of my eye. To show you that you’re an X-Pro at love, and that it’s not Mayfair how much I adore thee.

I vow, here and now, to never use Kelvin. I vow to never use the shitty filters on my iPhone. I vow to never abuse the saturation button. And, most important, I vow to never use you as a dumping ground for endless miscellany at a friend’s birthday picnic. 

Forever yours,


Photo via James Thompson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

Marisa Kabas

Marisa Kabas

Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.