Theme Channels on Instagram — The Real Shit

I wrote this essay to finish up a class I took called “Theme Channels”, where you had to run a theme channel on Instagram for a month straight. This is the philosophy I followed and the shit I learned. New Media fucking rules.


I never took Instagram seriously.

I used my personal account to share pictures of me with my friends or family and that was about it. Pets of Long Island, my theme channel, on the other hand had a purpose — a silly (and partially fucked up) one.

I wanted to make people laugh and forget about everything that has gone on during their day. My philosophy behind my channel is to learn to step back and enjoy the moments of pure hilarity and let them encapsulate that moment.

I want my followers to instantly think, “This is ridiculous” or “I’ve felt like that a million times”. My theme channel was a test for myself to see if I could do what I hoped I could help others do — live in the moment.

@PetsofLongIsland started as a complete joke and turned it a way of marketing my writing skills in a whole new way. I’ve written plenty of articles for Huffington Post and other outlets but they were all very put together and the captions for my posts are not.

I curse like a sailor, I talk about things that a lot of people wouldn’t because I can and I want to.

There is nothing wrong with me calling someone a “douchebag” because I’m playing a character, the animal in the picture. I can express myself and write in different ways all behind a veil of, somewhat, anonymity and try different techniques and have fun.

I did not realize at first that I had rules when I posted each time. Honestly, I only realized it when I was posting the last few posts. My rules are quite simple and straight to the point. They are as follows:

1. I do not edit the photos. They go up as they are taken — “all naturale” as some artsy fartsy person might say

2. The caption is to be made up on the spot at the time of posting, never before hand.

3. The pet’s actual name is always used. The age is made up on the spot.

4. The county and state in which the pet resides is included and accurate.

These rules are followed on all of my posts within the last month and will continue to be followed while I continue my theme channel.

I want my followers to instantly think, “This is ridiculous” or “I’ve felt like that a million times”. My theme channel was a test for myself to see if I could do what I hoped I could help others do — live in the moment.

@PetsofLongIsland came into existence to parody an account I absolutely love, Humans of NY. I decided to make a parody account because in a weird way I am showing how much I respect the original account.

If I didn’t respect Brandon Stanton and what he has done with this simple idea, I would not have thought of parodying the idea to for my own account. Making @PetsofLongIsland was my way of paying homage to the account.

Some of Humans of NY’s posts are incredibly dramatic and I find them ridiculous sometimes. So I decided to focus on that and change humans to animals because you know, everyone loves animals and a cute puppy will go viral.

And in the end, if my channel goes viral — I did my job right and that’s a major goal I want to achieve as well as helping others take a break from their day and have a good chuckle and maybe even a “fuck you”.