Instagram can be addictive. Processing apps can lighten, sharpen and dramatise everyday objects and activities and make them see that little bit more aspirational, while those little orange hearts remind you that you are loved. The more orange hearts, the more love. And then one day you wake up to find that your world only comes to life when you’ve put it through a filter. And perhaps an Instgram Alarm Bell should be ringing in your head
This morning her bedroom is in need of a filter.
Off kilter. Off white. Not quite feeling like home.
Rubbing her eyes, she roots for her phone.
Her life line and night light. Her eyes on the world.
Never more than an arm’s length away.
She needs a quick fix. Now! To kick start the day.
Stomach muscles tense like past times in the gym.
(crunches and lunges her daily regime
before she began all this living the dream.)
She holds her breath tight and swipes with her thumb.
Multiple comments but no brand new friends.
In more than 12 hours? She can’t comprehend
because only last night she followed a load.
She flicks forward quickly, then goes scrolling back
for head and shoulder icons; bright orange crack.
Stabbing and jabbing, her arm aches again;
the annoying symptom of addiction to hits
but a reassuring sign that she still exists;
some say self harming, but no – self affirming!
She’s irritated now and wants to lash out
at those who don’t value what she’s all about.
Memories of Cluedo flick through her brain,
tipping the board when she couldn’t do the clues
even in childhood not able to lose.
A real player now, she’s not losing her fans.
She kicks at the covers in a similar way
on a bed that’s barely more than display.
She needs a good selfie. To put her on track.
She snaps. Then she Snapseeds.
Highlighting hair and blurring her pale cheeks.
Selecting some clothes from a wardrobe of freebies,
she vignettes with a filter the unruffled sheets,
of a social world that never sleeps.
She posts, and is immensely relieved
to see a new follower, an instant like
of her much copied style and award winning life.
She rewards the new faithful with emoticon smile
while she drops her sheets onto new sponsored floor
happier now she’s beloved once more.
Is her bedroom sharper than it was before?
She looks around and then picks up her phone
to delete any signs she’s been sleeping alone.