Instagram Can Be a Refuge From Politics Online

By Reagan Knopp

Last week, I decided to attempt a small experiment. I decided to completely de-politicize one of my social networks. I chose Instagram.

I chose Instagram for several reasons. First, it was already one of the least political social networks. Second, even when it did occasionally get political, it still promoted artful photographs of politics that are (or at least feel) less staged than what I see on Facebook and Twitter.

So I unfollowed all the professional politicians and political groups (except for the ones I work on). As a result, Instagram is now a utopia of puppies and pancakes. Even when the occasional political post does appear, it’s still a nice photograph of a location or people involved in politics. That is still a significant improvement over the keyboard streetfights that often break out from even the most well-meaning people on Facebook and Twitter.

I think social media has been a net gain to politics but it certainly has its issues. Creating a happy place on one social network is a good way to help survive our new public square. I highly recommend it.