I work hard to be progressive. I work hard to be forward-thinking. I work hard to find joy and worth in as much of life’s silliness as possible. That is the end of my commentary on this subject.
One might expect poets, given their interest in words, to prefer a social network that permits text-based posts, as Twitter and Facebook do.2 Instagram requires every post to be a picture or video. The Insta-poets’ counterintuitive choice of venue equips them to conjure feelings of intimacy with their many followers. Instagram encourages a visual rhetoric of personal authenticity. The most popular Insta-poets intersperse their poetry with conventional Instagram fodder: selfies, artsy nature shots, exotic travel pictures. Through the distanced intimacy of a social network, these images help us see the Insta-poets as authentic people. At the same time, these nonliterary posts can seem like confections of personality, too tidy to feel authentic.