The Categories of People I Follow on Instagram, Explained


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Of course I follow my friends. I want to see what they’re doing and what they decide to share in picture form. It’s a nice visual way to check in with people I care about that don’t live near me.

College Acquaintances

There’s no ‘mute’ button on Instagram and I would feel bad if I unfollowed them.


I only have two. This is a non-intrusive category.

My Mother

Just the one.


I love every picture of an open laptop with a cup of coffee next to it. This is the life I want. The writers I follow are basically my vision board. If I believe hard enough, I can join their ranks.


Work-in-progress pictures are very inspirational. Art doesn’t just happen all at once. It’s not fully formed as soon as pencil touches paper. Seeing artists draw storyboards or mockups make me feel like I’m making art the right way.


Tour pictures are always fantastic. The bands I love end up in corners of the United States I have no reason to ever visit. It’s even better when they go on European tours and I get to see inside gnarly German venues.


Sometimes I just like to indulge in Hollywood fame, beauty and glory. I’m not proud.

An Olive Oil Store

I’ve bought so much olive oil from this place that I got a free bottle of olive oil from them.


Just keeping tabs.

National Parks

Canyons! Forests! Bears sometimes! This is a highly recommended category.

Skylines Across the Globe


Long-Distance Crushes

This is a bad category. It should not exist.

Pittsburgh Burnouts

I may fantasize about living the life of a Pittsburgh barista too often. I would definitely hate it, but these burnouts seem so relaxed all the time. It could be because they’re never not high. But I feel like they’ve got something figured out that I don’t. Maybe I should be smoking in more graveyards.

NYC Burnouts

Their lives are very similar to mine, except I wear more button down shirts and pay less for rent. It’s like looking into an alternate reality where I moved to Brooklyn immediately after graduation.

Austin Burnouts

I just think it’s funny when people smoke while wearing shorts.

A Dog Who Poses in Front of Art

What a good boy!

Attractive People Originally Discovered on Tumblr

A migration of pretty people occurred when I decided to leave that terrible website forever.

Stick-n-Poke Tattoo Artists

I don’t think I want a stick-n-poke tattoo but they’re pretty cool to look at.

Beautiful Virginian Hairdresser Guy with Huge Dog

The best place on the web for pictures of an Alaskan malamute in graveyards.

Weirdly Beautiful Teens

They look like cherubic aliens. All of them.

Astoundingly Cool NYC Dancer Teens

All they do is be ridiculously flexible and wander around Manhattan taking glamorous pictures of each other. I’ve had enough! But I always come back for more.

Photographers Who Exclusively Photograph the Sea and Churches

My brand.

Food Artists in Tokyo

I get exhausted just thinking about the effort going into these meals. And half the time it’s breakfast food! Who has this kind of time in the morning?

A Perfect Gay Couple onto Whom I Project All of My Future Relationship Hopes and Dreams Who Do Not Know That I Exist and Who Will Never Know That I Exist or How Much They Truly Mean to Me

Everyone has one of these; I shouldn’t have to explain it. It’s very normal. This is standard for all people using Instagram. One day, you find a cute guy on Instagram and add him to your list of long-distance crushes. Then one day, another guy starts showing up in his pictures. Then they’re holding hands on the beach. And then they move in together and get a dog. And you stare at them late into the night, almost trying to suck the happiness out of these fucking pictures. Super common and normal.

A Cat

He’s so fuzzy-looking! What a sweet kitty.




Kyle Amato is a writer. He lives in Somerville, MA with his three beautiful cacti.

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