“A new study has alarming findings. . . . 1 in 3 U.S. high school seniors did not read a book for pleasure in 2016. In the same time period, 82 percent of 12th-graders visited sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day.” —Washington Post.
“No one reads books anymore. Everyone is too busy on their phones looking at that Instagram.” —My mom.
Dear Ladies and Rick, Maybel’s husband,
This month’s Instagram club is right around the corner! Our last meeting, at which we took on @iamcardib, had a lot of positives, but I do want to remind everyone to please, pleeease come prepared. I know you all think of Instagram clubs as just an excuse for us gals to drink red wine and gossip (there will be wine!), but this club is really about in-depth and stimulating conversation, expanding our minds, etc. So, yes, it is actually a requirement that, before we meet, you scroll through the Instagram account we’re discussing. No just glancing at the top picture and pretending you saw the whole account, O.K.? We’re better than that.
Without further ado, this month’s Instagram pick is @GiveEmHelen, the wife of the married guy at work I have a crush on. Some of you may have already heard me talking about this one at the office—I’m kinda obsessed. I stumbled upon it the other week and literally could not put my phone down. Seriously, I stayed up past 3 A.M. devouring it, and it is not a short account. She’s been posting since 2013! (But, really, it goes fast.) To help focus our conversation, I jotted down some discussion questions for you all to keep in mind as you’re going through @GiveEmHelen:
• Do you think Helen looked better as a blonde or as a redhead? Do you
think I look better as a blonde or as a redhead? Who do you think is
prettier—me or Helen? Why?
• What do you make of the gradual decrease in posts featuring Helen’s
husband, Marcus? Does it indicate trouble in paradise? Also, is
Rehoboth Beach actually paradise? Or is Helen stupid for having used
that as her geotag?
• How much do you think Helen weighs? Do you think her preference for
baggy dresses is indicative of body insecurity? Why is Helen so
• What do you think of Helen’s homemade paella? Would you eat it? Or is
it cultural appropriation?
• Helen’s captions are usually devoid of humor and instead rely on
earnestness. Does this mean that she’s boring in bed? Probably,
right? She also frequently hashtags photos of her children with
“#lovethem.” Is Helen suggesting that mothers who don’t use
“#lovethem” don’t love their children as much as Helen loves hers? Is
Helen a bad feminist? Yes, but why?
• How old do you think Helen is? There’s that one photo of her in an
A.M.U. sweatshirt at what appears to be a college reunion—but is it
her five-year, ten-year, her fifteen-year reunion? A subsequent
Facebook search yielded no answers. This is very important.
• Is it just me, or is Helen’s youngest child a little strange-looking?
• Marcus never smiles in pictures with Helen. Discuss.
• Do you consider @GiveEmHelen a comedy or a tragedy? In other words,
is it funny because Helen doesn’t know how loveless her marriage is
or is it tragic because she does know and is trying to hide behind
smiling family photos?
• Do you think Helen and Marcus will get divorced? Who will get custody
of the strange-looking kid? Will Marcus be ready to jump back into
the dating pool right away? Why or why not?
• Do you think an Instagram post of me holding a glass of wine and
laughing in the low-cut shirt I’m wearing will get a like from
Marcus? Will someone take the picture? Ooh, that’s not a good angle.
Here, I’ll sit and lean forward. Will someone try again?
Can’t wait to see you all on Thursday!