I had a hard time getting into Instagram when it launched 5 years ago. I didn’t see how it fit into my social media landscape. In part it was because I found I would look for people I already knew versus exploring other users sharing their moments in time. In doing this, I was missing out on discovering new places, new pieces of art and new angles seen through the perspectives of others. Sure I loved the pictures from the people I knew, but 9 times out of 10 I had already seen the same image on Facebook. There was something intriguing about getting glances of what inspired strangers. So soon I found myself following Disney enthusiasts, local foodies, moms around the world and everyday artists.
Just as everything has pros and cons, Instagram has one main downfall for me. It serves as the biggest temptation to make every day a “cheat day”. As I scroll through my feed, I am met with image after image of ridiculously delicious looking food items. As far as food goes, I believe in balancing your diet with a mix of food that is good for you (and ideally tastes good!) with food that simply just tastes good. Some weeks I do a better job of this than others, but I believe it always balances out eventually. Instagram wouldn’t serve as any threat to this balance if I only saw yummy food that was available in LA or Chicago or Texas. The odds of me picking up and traveling to these places just to eat at these delicious establishments are slim to none. But as Foodbabyny , moodyfoodyadventures and HungryGrls post drool worthy food just a quick trip up Route 3, it is all too easy to be seduced.
I found myself starting a list of “must try” places to hit up while I was in the city. Soon, this list was massive! By the sheer length of the list, it became clear that there would be more indulgent days than healthy days. I decided I needed to come up with a way to narrow down my ever-growing list of eats. I came up with these questions: Is it unique enough to make the list? Is it unique enough to lessen the guilt I might feel blowing through an entire daily calorie allotment in one meal? Sure I would keep in mind the great places for pizza and ice cream and sushi. But I make it a point to visit places that served up food like Filipino Chicken & Ube Waffles and categorize it as a culinary adventure versus simply a “cheat day”. “Cheat” goes hand in hand with guilt and consuming something new and exciting would make me feel satisfied, not guilty.
So unless I start to solely follow food Instagrammers who live at least 200 miles away from me, I will continue to build a food bucket list based on the unique factor. Unless of course airfare is basically free to San Jose. Then I have a date with Dead Elvis (custard-flled doughnut with PB, Bananas, Bacon and swirl of Jelly) at Psycho Donuts.