Rich Kids of Instagram: Millennials and the 1 Percent
A new website has been making its way across the blogosphere, and isn't based on music or animals, like so many other amusing blogs that have captured millennials' attention. It's called Rich Kids of Instagram and is exactly what it sounds like - a blog of Instagrammed pictures of teenagers and twenty-somethings drinking champagne, flying in helicopters and private jets, and lounging by the pools of mansions.
One of the ironic things about the blog is that Instagram is an app that has been an equalizer for the millennial generation. Forty-threepercent of iPhone users and 50% of Android users are between the ages of 18 and 34. Instragram is an app available for both of these devices, which are two of the most expensive smartphones available with prices rising. Therefore, to use Instagram, one must be able to afford a smartphone - ironically, 54% of 18 to 24 year olds and 62% of 25 to34 year olds have smartphones.
This establishes a certain dynamic. These kids depicted on the blog are like average, middle-class kids who can afford smartphones and enjoy using Instagram to make their pictures look cool, whether they're smiling at a bar with friends or want to add a sepia tone to a plate of very attractive waffles. The difference is that the Rich Kids are using Instragram to make their lives - oversaturated in luxury and privilege - seem normal.
For them, it's normal to race tubes pulled by yachts. It's normal to be on the phone while splayed over a 19th century sofa. And it's normal to dress like this on a Thursday. The trouble with luxury is that one is often born into it and cannot control how much or how little they may have. The trouble with true class is that it must be learned.
The shocking thing about RKI is not entirely that these kids have all the glitz and glam of a luxurious lifestyle - we've seen celebrity cribs and Oscar gowns. What is shocking is how little they care. As they relax hard and party harder, their smug smirks are depicted as blatantly as the Dom Rose labels and Porsches. They're not Instagramming pictures of the Louvre, of Big Ben, of Machu Picchu - places they can obviously afford to visit. They're not Instramming themselves helping at a soup kitchen or at a charity event. It's not to say that they don't do these things or that they are not charitable or involved members of society. But it is to say that all they show themselves doing is drinking.
These kids definitely went to college - where are their student loans? A majority of them are white - why isn't there any racial diversity? They have Hamptons homes and Italian villas - do they worry about their mortgages?
For these kids, Instagram is as normal an app as it is for the average American millennial. They may not be as obnoxious in reality as they may seem to be on this blog, but certainly their judgment is questionable in these times of scarcity and struggle.