The Instagram Rapture Threw Us Into Existential Crisis

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Photo: Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images

In the week since Instagram announced its plan to delete inactive accounts and spam-bots, users have been anxiously wondering when the axe would drop and how bad the carnage would be. Well, Thursday that axe fell with a resounding “everything you know is a lie.” Justin Bieber lost 3 million followers; Harry Styles, over 700,000; Bryan Boy, 255,000; Jen Selter, the Belfie Queen, 100,000 precious pieces of her identity. Kim Kardashian lost a cool million followers.

Photo: Instagram.com

And Nicki Minaj? Well, Nicki just wants to return to the comfort that comes with ignorance. Someone give her back her fake followers, please.

Almost nobody was safe — we at the the Cut lost 33,000 fake followers today. Go on without us; leave us here to die.

From Twitter reactions (many tagged #lostfollowers), it seems that what once was the bedrock of validation has crumbled away into the ocean. Today, we realize we are mere specks in the cosmos, dust in the wind, lint in the belly button of the universe. We don’t matter, says this purge. We’re not ready to accept this, we say back.

Whether you lost 29 followers or 29 million, the existential crisis looked the same.

At first, anger:

And then, a moment of self-reckoning in which you were forced to ask yourself the following questions:

 What does it mean?

Does it matter?

Like realizing the calories you burn on an elliptical are inflated by 30 percent, realizing this number allows you to be free. We are all just on an elliptical of life, climbing to nowhere.  

Do I even matter?

Does anything even matter?

Probably not. Especially not this.

Do I even exist anymore? Do you?

Supposing I do exist, should I even exist?

Learn from Mase. After losing 1.5 million followers in mere seconds, Mase looked at himself in the mirror and asked the question into the void. The void told him "get off Instagram," and he did. He went into the deep and never returned.

Does Nietzsche address this?

Does he? Doesn't he? Fight Club does, though, close enough.

Should we begin again?


We can begin again. We should begin again. Even you, Mase.