Instagram is my little curated slice of the Internet. It is filled with post after post of people living and recreating in the mountains. It is essentially the life I would like to lead if I did not have things like a mortgage, children, and a general sense of long term fiscal responsibility. Yes, I am so basic in that respect but basic pays the bills.
Instagram is also a cesspool of shills. It seems like everyone is shilling for someone or something. I find Mikaela Shiffrin to be an amazing athlete and my nine-year-old daughter is infatuated with her skiing exploits, but I know that she is shilling for Barila or Vail Resorts when she posts on Instagram.
Loki the Wolf Dog is shilling for Toyota or whoever else is sponsoring the latest adventure.
All is not lost because we can peer through the marketing noise for the message we truly care about. I am genuinely curious about the results from World Cup ski races and my daughter hangs on every post Mikaela Shiffrin makes but the occasional Barila blast is not going to change my pasta buying habits. I enjoy watching Loki the Wolf Dog tear down some backcountry slopes in the San Juan Mountains but I am not going to test drive a new Tacoma.
Once we recognize that everyone online is shilling for someone or something we take the power away from the marketers.