'I need to talk about the number of hours I have wasted in 2020 watching prediction filters on Instagram.'


I’ve just realised something.

I have spent approximately 2345 hours in 2020 watching friends/celebrities/basically anyone that attempts it, play with those prediction filter things on Instagram Stories.

But when I say watching, I mean intently. 

This is what I am talking about. Post continues after video.

Video via Ariana Grande

I will sit and patiently wait through the few seconds of flicking to see which Kardashian the real-life Kylie Jenner actually is thanks to the Kardashian Instagram filter.

I’ve watched every single influencer on my feed react to being labelled Homer/Marge/Maggie Simpson AND I’VE LAUGHED ALONG WITH THEIR REACTIONS.

I’ve even sat through my cousin’s 20 versions with her goddamn dog.

But let me repeat.

I am…waiting for the answers. Really intently consuming the content.

I only realised this late last night, while watching people predicting “what Disney character are you” while lying in bed.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING GEMMA?!” I thought as I, again, patiently waited for my old high school peer to react to being told she was Simba.

Curious to see how much time I’ve spent down this rabbit hole, I asked around the office for the different versions my Mamamia colleagues had seen doing the rounds.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • What Pokemon are you
  • What Harry Potter character are you
  • What Aussie snack are you
  • In 2020 I will be
  • What your 2020 will be like
  • What Kardashian are you
  • What Disney character are you
  • What cat are you
  • WHAT RANDOM OBJECT ARE YOU (sorry, but that one really needed to be highlighted. Wot?!)
  • What Friends character are you
  • What NRL player are you
  • What star sign will you marry
  • Never have I ever
  • What musical are you
  • Where should I vacation next


It is with this realisation that I must kindly ask myself (and the rest of the social media-obsessed world), what the hell is going on?

Why am I/we doing this to ourselves?

Do I have nothing else to do with my time as we enter a new decade/year?

I get why we might find it funny to try the filter out on ourselves, but why am I happily watching on while OTHER people try it?

I am almost positive I am not the only one whipping out my phone on public transport, while watching TV, in the work kitchen, on the toilet (sorry, but it’s true, you do it too), and everywhere else I get a few seconds of peace.

I am also almost positive I am not the only one (predominately) spending that time sifting through Instagram Stories.


In this social media age, it’s just what you… do.

But as I consumed the excited reaction of my old school mate chuffed with her newfound Simba-dom – while I was supposed to be sleeping – I realised two things.

One, I am feeling really anxious about the world right now and I am using social media more than ever as my escape, and two, perhaps I need to consider some of the more old-school ways to relax.

Let me explain. Right now, Australia is going into its fifth month of unprecedented bushfires. I am by no means in danger, I live in inner Sydney. But I’ve felt the smoke in my lungs for months, I’ve been consuming (and writing about) every terrifying and devastating story about the tragedies that have unfolded, and I have been feeling increasingly worried about the effects of climate change on our earth. As have a lot of us.

australian bushfires severity
Here in Australia, our minds and hearts have been with the bushfires. It's been a horrific start to the year for so many fellow Aussies. We've needed...distractions. Image: Getty.

Throw in Donald Trump trying (well, it was feared for a hot second) to start World War Three, and that's a hell of a way to start 2020.

These silly Instagram filters are the most innocent, trivial and mindless of fun.

They're an escape. A distraction.

They're harmless of course. But in my state of enlightenment last night, I realised that I am probably definitely spending too much time indulging in this particular distraction.

I used to love drawing. I haven't read a whole book for a good few months now. I keep procrastinating getting into this whole meditation game. I really need to book my holidays for the year and give myself something exciting to put in the calendar.

These are all the things that perhaps I should be doing with (I'm going to say at least half, because #balance) the time I spend mindlessly scrolling on social media.

Not watching Ariana Grande's disappointment at being "Gigglypuff."

(I just needed to watch her attempt said Pokemon filter another three times to really let that realisation sink in.)