Ten cliche Instagram photos to avoid in 2013

Despite its friendly approach to photo-sharing, Instagram has brought out the true photographer in all of us -- and might have scared that photographer away with its updated terms of use. As if Twitter and Facebook weren't enough to keep us entertained between thumb-swiping refresh rates, Instagram gave us one more thing to focus on; ourselves. With cheesy retro filters and the ability to control the point of focus, Insagram users can transform into Ansel Adams overnight. But some people have used it for evil -- to update everyone on what they are eating, wearing, looking at, waking up to, or petting. Let's get it right next year. Here are the ten most cliche pictures to avoid in 2013 -- and the hashtags that go with them.

See also: - Say "goodbye" to Instagram -- and six other Internet goals for 2013 - Wanna keep track of your Catholic Lenten guilt? There's an app for that. - Five toys for girls that need a gender makeover

10. #WIWT - What I Wore Today

Oh, you managed to match your Burberry scarf with your Scottish tartan-print rain boots, a mini-skirt with paisley leggings, and that cute khaki rain coat you bought from Target? How wonderful. Sadly, you look like an idiot holding your best model pose in front of your closet mirror, which is reflecting the crumpled heap of department-store purchases you tried on before picking this magical little number to show your 137 followers. If you want more likes, just post a naked picture. If you are too insecure to post a naked picture, garnering eleven likes on your outfit won't do any wonders for your half-sunken battleship of self-esteem.

9. #OfficeForTheDay - Where you plant your laptop/derriere for the work day

The occupation that can claim the most guilt for this one is probably professional photographers. They are always on location somewhere, snapping a quick photo of the camera and the subject so that everyone knows exactly where they are, what they are doing, and how much better it is than you sitting in your office for the day. Also, bloggers, writers and fresh-out-of-college-but-still-unemployed early adults are pathetically guilty of this.

8. #autocorrect - Screen shots of your text message threads The reason you text people is because you want a private conversation void of actual talking and full of emojis, emoticons, abbreviations and other childish inside jokes. Sometimes, though, your smartphone makes a mistake in correcting a word that might have been deliberately typed, leaving you with a nonsensical sentence that's already been sent. This can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on the auto-correction, and more often than not, it doesn't make sense. Sorry to break it to you, but the only person that thinks your auto correction is funny, is you. Leave it on your phone, and stop wasting our Instagram feeds.
7. #vacation - Where you woke up today

Since your followers on Instagram are more than likely just friends from Facebook, they already know by the 47 status updates that you have "stepped off the plane," "just watched some lady grab the wrong bag at baggage claim," "tried to hail a cab - French cabbies suck," "OMG loving my hotel suite," "beach life - I could get used to this!" and whatever other pointless updates you left. There is no reason to take a picture of yourself on vacation, or better yet, have someone take a picture with your phone while you act like you didn't know it was being taken, then post it to Instagram using the hashtag "#vacation." The reason you are on vacation is to relax and get away from everyday life. That includes Instagram.

6. #meme - Reposting a meme from Facebook/Twitter/Chive/etc

The point of Instagram is to share your life with others in the form of pictures. One day, though, someone thought it would be funny to take the picture of your drunk/unconscious best friend with text laid over it that said "Keystone Light? Turn off the light!" (Notice how that wasn't funny?) You're sorority girlfriend who posts esteem-building things like "Don't ever let anyone tell you aren't good enough -- you are perfect just the way you are" is just trying to let people know that she isn't a selfish jerk. She is a selfish jerk, and that is called "being fake."

5. #(enter corporation) - Reposting a corporate emblem in hopes of winning a prize Guess what! No corporation will give you anything for free simply because you post their emblem on your timeline. Sure, it happened one time on Facebook and you won some tickets to a local concert/event, but Southwest, Delta, American Express, Chick-Fil-A and any other @(companytitle+giveaway) will never reward you for anything. It is an impostor who will change his/her title later down the road after acquiring 400,000 followers. Don't be stupid.
4. #CatsOfInstagram - Pictures of your cat

If we follow you on Instagram, chances are we already know you have a cat. Chances are we probably know exactly what that cat's name is, where it sleeps, what it eats, when it eats, how it lays on your bed/couch/lap/toilet seat, if it brings home dead birds, if it looks confused when you point a phone at it, if it likes to play with laser pointers, what it looks like on a window sill with sunlight falling on its feline features, how many whiskers it has, how small its paws are, and whether or not you are desperately single and in search of a significant other. We shouldn't know any of this, but we all do.

3. #foodporn -- Pictures of what you are eating

Congratulations! You are partaking in a venture almost every single person in the world does every single day. The only difference is you are taking time away from your meal to snap a picture, add a retro filter that really makes the teriyaki salmon glisten in the dim light of whatever restaurant you are being rude in, and then type a few words of text so that everyone knows what you are eating, when you are eating it, and where you are getting it from. We didn't have smart phones when I was a child learning table manners, but I'm pretty sure my momma would have slapped the drool right off my mouth if I tried to take a picture of her food instead of eating it.

2. #instagood - Anything that you took a picture of

Utilizing what might be the most useless hashtag known to man, it is inherently obvious that you think Instagram is a popularity contest when you add this to your photos. Why? You think people will scroll through all 93 million photos to find your picture of the sun peeking through a tree with a half-full, light beer sitting in the foreground while your confused dog stares at aforementioned beer? No, they won't. They don't care. We don't care. You are the only one who cares. Stop caring.

1. #duckface - Kissing at the camera

The only positive thing to come out of this hashtag -- and the picture for that matter --(though its origins can be traced back as far as MySpace days, its spirit lives on in Instagram land) is the rebuttal hashtag, #bang. Anytime you see a guy/girl post a picture of his/her pouty lips, wide-eyed and bushy-haired, simply add #bang to the comments section so that they know they were hunted and shot. That's what he/she wanted, right? You don't post a self-portrait kissing at the camera for your own personal amusement. Also, your forearm does look fat, in case you were wondering.

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Britt Chester is a writer and video producer living in Denver, Colorado. He's covered breaking news, music, arts and cannabis for Westword since 2010. His work has appeared in GQ Magazine, Village Voice, YES! Weekly, Inman News and the Winston-Salem Journal. He likes running, cycling, and interviewing people.
Contact: Britt Chester