Why are Instagram museums a thing?!

My curiosity got the best of me. This weekend, I went to wndr, an Instagram museum. If you go to the website of wndr (intentional lack of capitalization), you’ll see that it is described as a place “where beauty and the imagination meet.” WHAT ON EARTH DOES THAT MEAN?!

I’d seen several other “museums” like this pop up, and I saw a bunch of cute photos from them. Could this wndr place make me look super cute? Was it magical? I HAD TO FIND OUT.

A friend from out of town was visiting, so on Saturday, she and I moseyed on over for our 12:30 reservations. As we scanned in, I noticed that I had purchased tickets for the day before. Thankfully, the woman checking guests in let it slide. First impressions? Sensory overload. I teach special education, and let me tell you that I will not be planning a field trip there anytime soon. It was colorful, and aesthetic and full of millennials.

The whole thing felt a bit odd. We went through the “museum” and were slightly amused. We took pictures, but it all felt strange. The one nice thing was that there was no shame asking other people to take photos of you, since that was LITERALLY what people were there to do. So here are a few of my photos at the “museum.” Clearly, there was no magic about wndr that made me into the gorgeous model that everyone appears to become there. Boo.

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OKAY SO – WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY HANDS WHEN I TAKE PHOTOS? Overall, I’m glad I went to wndr and experienced an Instagram “muesum.” I will not be paying for an experience like that ever again. I didn’t like how inorganic the experience felt. I felt underdressed and overwhelmed by the stimulus of the “art” and scent of Bath and Body Works. I recommend it to you all at least once, so you can feel the level of awkward that I felt posing in front of lord knows what.

This experience made me rethink what social media is, and what it is to me. Social media used to be a place to catch up with friends who lived near and far, and a place to see what everyone was up to. Recently it appears to be a competition of sorts – who travels the most, who eats at the fanciest restaurants, who has the best apartment views. So maybe I should send wndr a thank you note, for allowing me space to think about what social media is and how far removed it is from real life. So thanks wndr, cheers to day one of my social media cleanse.

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