"I'm a recovering Grade A Instagram-addicted wanker".

Hello. My name is @gavinfernando, and I am a recovering Gram-a-holic.

Instagram is like a disease.

A vile virus that causes chaos and destruction, leaving naught but a misleading self-portrait, aesthetically-pleasing brunch salad and $3000 Prada bag in its relentless path.

It’s the same as any fateful addiction. First you oppose it out of self-elevating moral righteousness. You know it’s bad for you, you know this stuff seriously messes with people, and you willfully remind yourself you’re that promising young honour student from a suburban Christian background with a promising future.

But then… but then something seduces you. You want to live dangerously. Someone else – that close friend – that friend you trusted – offers you that sweet first hit in the form of a sexily brightened-and-contrasted-and-Valencia’d-and-slightly-desaturated-and-maybe-mildly-LoFi’d-but-definitely-never-ever-Kelvin’d photo of you, and boom! You’re the suddenly-stunning love-child of Miranda Kerr and Ricky Martin.

And so you give in.

Just a photo of my smoothie, you say with naivety, as everybody else in your ironically-nameless inner-city café either follows suit or judges you viciously. Oh look! I’m at a party with attractive people! This will make me look social and upbeat and lively! Who doesn’t love people who are social and upbeat and lively!

I’m having a good hair day for the first time in six months. Surely this deserves a tiny little selfie? I owe it to the people. I owe it to my hairdressers and their miraculous work on my weave. I’m stimulating small businesses. I’m basically a business executive. I’m doing my part for the economy. My selfie is saving the world. I have to do this. World hunger needs me.

Hello. My name is @gavinfernando, and I am a recovering grade-A wanker.

Suddenly, life wasn’t life unless it was documented on social media. For every social gathering, Instagram was constantly at the back of my mind. I became that person. That person who was talking and laughing and having fun on the outside, but on the inside was secretly working himself into a flustered frenzy, wondering which angle-filter-lighting-filter-adjustment-filter-filter combo could make this little gathering or situation appear that extra bit hip. Observe:

Caption: ‘Birthday weekend. It got gloriously messy.’
Reality: I just want to be in bed with Season 5 of Friends and a big bag of Red Rock Deli chips.



Caption: #breakfast
Reality: Will something like this reach the 11-likes transition, or am I setting myself up for a lifetime of eternal waiting and suffering? Would scrambled eggs have been an aesthetically wiser option?


Caption: “I get home from a date last night and my housemate is standing there with the proudest look on his face.”
Reality: Fresh bedside tissues and a steady arm movement are a lot more efficient than spending $200 on drinks.

EXHIBIT D: “Art exhibition at the Marly.”
Reality: Left within five minutes. Art and I go together like Rachel and Joey. They really, really don’t.

Here’s the thing: there’s @you. @You that parties non-stop with your perfectly-filtered t0p b1tCh3zzzz because #youonlyliveonce, @you that has never had a bad hair day or pimple in your life, @you whose default facial expression is Lana Del Rey, @you who evidently makes a living drinking pina coladas in Bali, flushes little nuggets of gold down the toilet and then thrusts near-naked in the bathroom mirror because you just got back from the gym and have a cute haircut and everybody must know lest the global news cycle deteriorate into an abyss of nothingness.

But then there’s you. The real you.

You that goes to work every morning, has terrible hair days, sweats oceans because you overdressed for Australia’s dodgy temperamental weather, skulls three coffees, takes a kilo-heavy mid-morning poo whilst the toilet fumes and extra-shot lattes befoul your breath, grows a pimple on the tip of your nose, struggles in vain to remove that lone hard booger with your finger, struggles in vain over where to finally wipe aforementioned booger, eats greasy takeout after a long day and concedes to unleashing gallons of rectal gas in your sleep with satisfaction.

I’m the latter. I know I’m the latter. And playing up the former has gotten borderline exhausting.

That’s why we’ve gotta part ways, Instagram. You’re just too fabulous for me. And I can’t keep up with you anymore.

Truth of the matter is: when it comes to social media – no matter how vehemently we try to deny it – most of us are #batshit #fucking #crazy.

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