In most cases, Instagram is not real. By that I mean, at this point, it’s pretty widely understood that most people show only the most attractive versions of themselves and the best parts of their lives on Instagram. It’s a bit shallow and borderline sad but, everyone does it!
The key here is that your life doesn’t actually have to be improved in a real way—it just has to look like it. Here are some gifts that convey the message: Your life is pretty cool, but it could definitely look better.
The Bouqs Monthly Subscription
Pictures of flowers are nice. With a subscription to The Bouqs you can go crazy with that sentiment. Pictures of flowers also make it seem like you’re one of those people who has their shit together enough to regularly populate their home with fresh flowers. Alternatively, someone may think you have a significant other who loves to brings you flowers. Either way, your life looks pretty good. (Monthly The Bouqs subscription, starting at $40/month)
Sunsets are nice. Instagramming sunsets is a bit trite, but also mostly nice. With this helpful Almanac, you can look up the exact time of every sunrise and sunset probably for as long as Instagram is relevant. Could you just use an app for this? Probably. But gifting someone an app is lame. (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2016, $13.25)
Chevron is still popular among lifestyle bloggers right? Let’s go with yes. You can use your beautiful new chevron wallpaper to artfully hold your morning cup of coffee—or any extreme temperature beverages really—against an interesting background. In addition, when people see your chevron wall, they’ll think, “Wow, what a bold decorator he or she is,” but in reality, you literally just stuck an enormous sticker on your wall. (The Wall Sticker Company Chevron Wallpaper, $64.04)
On the more practical end of things, this handy tripod will help you take well-framed pictures of yourself when you’re by yourself. Not only will this look like you have friends who are willing to snap countless shots from slightly different angles until your hair stops doing that weird thing, but it’s certainly less embarrassing than a selfie stick—I’m pretty sure. (GripTight GorillaPod Stand, $29.95)
Avocado toast is big on Instagram. It just screams: I’m healthy, but I’m also kiiiind of a foodie and I have the disposable funds to drop $10 on a dish I could make many times over for the same price. This is a great option if you’re a lazy gift-giver. Just offer to take the recipient out to brunch, order the toast, and let them snap away. (Cafe Gitane Avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, chili flakes on seven grain toast, $7.25)
I’m pretty sure that many of the photos posted by Instagram savants like Rihanna are taken by a real photographer or at least with a fancy, expensive camera. Just because you don’t have that option doesn’t mean you can’t front like you do. A 4-in-1 lens for your smartphone can easily solve this problem. (Olloclip 4-In-1 Lens, $69.99)
A nice rug
If you’re going to show off your shoes everyday, a la important fashion person with a great Instagram life, Eva Chen, it’s good to have an aesthetically pleasing backdrop to showcase them. Eva Chen uses the backseat of a fancy car for her background. I’m going to assume that’s not an option for everyone, so a nice rug seems like the next best thing. However, rugs are expensive as hell and Instagram isn’t real life. We’re going for maximum effect with minimum effort. All you really need is something big enough to fit your shoes. People will think you dropped like $1500 on a big piece of cloth while they admire your footwear. (West Elm 2x3 Phoenix Wool Dhurrie Rug, $59)
Shit always looks better in a mason jar, right? Cocktails look cuter and more artisanal. Makeup brushes seem more organized. A regular-ass salad looks layered and interesting. Plus, Mason jars make you look crafty even if you have absolutely no crafting skills.Throw just about anything in a mason jar and suddenly you have justification for an Instagram post. (Ball Jar Mouth Pint Jars, $16.04 for case of 12)
You can’t claim to have a remotely decent life in the world of Instagram if you don’t have some solid #foodporn shots. I would argue that you get bonus #foodporn points when you actually made the food yourself, because you look like a competent person who has the time and skills to make great food. Display your culinary triumphs, or carefully plated takeout, on fine china to maximize your “like” potential. Nobody has to know that you only have one set. (Waterford Lismore Diamond Lapis Dinnerware, $140)
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Images via the respective vendors, Illustration by the Gawker Media art team