Not every Instagram account consists of avocado toasts, latte foam art and carefully staged aesthetics. As a matter of fact, some of them are hilariously bizarre. Looking at pictures that seem stranger than strange, you can’t help but scratch your head while trying to figure out what on earth is going on there.
Enter the appropriately called Instagram account I Want To Leave, a place dedicated to the most ridiculous pictures you’ve ever seen. Pizzas on the bathroom floor, dogs doing dishes and huge lizards on ATMs—the list goes on.
Bored Panda has collected some of the funniest no-context images from the account that grab your attention and don’t let go. So scroll down, upvote your favorites, and make sure to check out Part 1 of this post right here.
This Instagram account with over 111K followers shares tons of hilariously strange things that can make you feel uncomfortable. Without giving any context whatsoever, it makes it even harder to understand what’s going on. It seems that the creator of this account is on a mission to collect some of the most ridiculous photos of people and animals that’s been floating around on the Internet. And the results are amusing.
Scrolling through this list, you will notice that the posts that the 'I Want To Leave' account uploads are funny and puzzling all at the same time. They are the perfect attention trap because once your eyes land on them, it’s difficult to look away. In the past couple of years, Instagram meme accounts that appeal to audiences of all types seem to be on the rise. Their explosive growth has been explained by Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency.
One of the reasons for their popularity is simply the format. Compared to watching YouTube videos or reading long captioned posts, it takes mere seconds for us to consume memes. One could say that they’re designed for the fast-paced nature of our lives. It’s especially convenient for Instagram users since they “don’t spend a great deal of time viewing a single image or video but instead scroll quickly,” Mediakix explained.
Another important factor would be the content—memes tend to be topical and always feel fresh for the audiences. And category-specific accounts are becoming more and more popular: “Themed meme accounts toe that fine line between being particularly relatable to a specific group of people, but universal enough to attract a large following.”
Let’s not forget the millennials. They are the ones who are specifically targeted by such social media content. Instagram meme accounts usually operate on a broader scale, so they also appeal to a variety of users instead of just targeting one kind of millennial. But the question is, why is millennial humor so weird?
In a piece for The Washington Post, Elizabeth Bruenig first acknowledges that millennials grew up in a world that is nothing like the one their parents grew up in. One reason why their sense of humor is so dark and surreal could be that the world had stopped making sense to them. And they have their reasons.
“Long-lasting careers seem out of reach; millennials are told to go to college so they can make money, but mostly they just amass debt and then job-hop in hopes of paying it off. In the meantime, they put off getting married, having kids, buying houses, and so on. And waiting feels like — well, waiting,” she explained.
Since today, the meaning of life looks like it's going further and further away, we seem to find ourselves immersed in a peculiar and chaotic form of comedy. “Rather than trying to restore meaning and sense where they’ve gone missing, the style aims to play with the moods and emotions of an illegible world,” Elizabeth Bruenig said. And let’s not forget the important fact that today we are getting bombarded with so much information which is so accessible yet so unreliable at the same time. The levels of anxiety millennials feel can really seem overwhelming.
A study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014 only confirms it. According to the researchers, millennials are the “first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations.” Not to mention that they have emerged into adulthood having low social trust for other people and traditional institutions.
As Kim Koltun stated in Rick, Morty, and Absurdism: The Millennial Allure of Dark Humor, there are three important sociological contexts to the rise of weird forms of humor amongst millennials: “The contrast between upbringing and reality, expedited modernity, and rapidly changing information structures. These set the stage for a distinctive style of humor that materialized as a means of comprehending the absurdities of life.”
They are what help us navigate the prevailing ideas and trends of today’s American society. Growing up in a world that promised you everything but failed to deliver has definitely had some negative effects on millennials’ lives. However, such absurd humor that we can see in the I Want To Leave Instagram account can reduce the burdens and stressful factors we feel every day. Moreover, it gives us the opportunity to let out a few laughs in response to the things we cannot change.
Those are some of the main explanations why so many of us turn to the online meme culture. Looking at confusing and ridiculous pictures is not only refreshing but also necessary. Such millennial comedy will not give you any earth-shattering realizations about the meaning of life but it can help you turn down the volume on the noise around you.