I’ve never seen a room light up in flames faster than the one wherein an entire dinner table found itself divided over the best time to post on Instagram.
Picture a political debate between family members at Thanksgiving. Then amplify it, grab a helmet and take cover. Remind yourself that there are only so many sides to align with in politics (versus the Insta time-post debate, where there are hundreds). Factor in an endless supply of facts, propaganda and statistics, plus the entire history of America as a reference for argument-backing precedence, whatever the topic at hand. Let us not forget there is also Anderson Cooper.
Instagram timing is a bit more complicated. The numbers are there if you search for them: companies analyze this data to determine best practices whether they’re the advertiser, the publisher or the personality. But we the average Insta-using civilians? With our dog pics and skinny arms and group shots? We’re going on a feeling.
And it’s not only hard — it’s extremely loud — to argue against opinions backed by heart.
I learned the hard way. It was 12:00 am on a Saturday and my friends and I had finally gotten a non-blurry photo of our outfits. “Should I post this now or wait until the morning,” I asked. Their various POVs (unfounded in fact, disregarding that fact, basing their declarations on nothing other than a outliers of success) were as follows:
Post it now (Saturday night, but technically Sunday, 12 – 3 am)
“People are drunk and giving out free likes — especially people who would normally not.”
“This is a good time for exes to remember that you look great while they’re in a cab going home.”
“You don’t stress over captions and filters.”
Absolutely not (Same time, Saturday but actually Sunday, 12 – 3 am)
“You will look fucking weird. Why would you be looking at your phone at this time? Who is looking at their phone at this time??”
Dead zone (Sunday, 3 – 6 am)
Universally agreed upon. “Sketchy.”
Pics out for the farmers (Sunday, 6 – 8 am)
“You catch those ‘I can’t sleep in when I drink people’ (and the sketchy west coast crowd). People are more giving with comments at this time because they’re bored.”
Dead zone (Same time, Sunday, 6 – 8 am)
“No way. People are sleeping. Wait an hour or it’s a missed opp.”
Sneaker committee (Sunday, 9 am – 12 pm )
“You catch everyone running errands or working out before brunch.”
Peanut allergy gallery (Same time, Sunday 9 am – 12 pm)
“No way. People up at this time are running errands, they’re distracted and busy, so they scroll but don’t like. They definitely don’t comment.”
Zombie status, Sunday afternoon, 12 – 2 pm
“Everyone’s at peak hangover exhaustion, still too dead to watch TV but too bored to sleep. Anything before this and people are still knocked out.”
Don’t bother, Sunday afternoon, 3 – 6 pm
“People are day drinking and not looking at their phones.”
In between commercials, Sunday night, 6 – 11 pm
“Great for alleviating Sunday Scaries.”
“Everyone is scrolling on Insta to cope with the Terrors.”
“For anyone with Sunday Blues.”
“That end-of-weekend denial.”
Monday morning, 8:30 – 10 am, “def not 7.”
“The weekend’s officially over so everyone’s depressed. It’s when everyone checks. Gotta be at the top of their feed.”
Then a whole work week time table begins…
So, pyros, the next time conversation between friends feels a little too amicable, pose the question, “When’s the best time to post an Instagram?” and watch the fire start.
Consider this the spark: Which side of the table are you on?