In a moment of heightened ethical compromise, after an honorable six-year absence, I debased my humanist instincts and signed up for Instagram

Don’t forget to follow, like, and share…

Phone, notebook, pen, and takeout coffee cup on a desk.
“I am OKAY. Everything’s gonna be Okay!”

I deleted my social accounts back in 2017. Since then, I never missed Facebook. I feel cleaner without it.

But I liked Instagram.

It helped me find photography locations and meet other hobbyists. I haven’t found another platform so good at those things.

However, Instagram and Facebook are part of the same amoral organization.

So in 2017, this excellent (long) article from the London Review of Books prompted me to delete both accounts.

Since then, Facebook facilitated actual human genocide; Instagram suppressed research showing it was psychologically damaging; Meta repeatedly violated user privacy; and Facebook elected Trump.


Here in Taiwan, where I’ve been unable to find an English-language source for local (Kaohsiung) news and events, Instagram could be useful. So I’ve been reckoning with my ethical concerns.

If a platform is obviously bad—but also useful—and potentially a net positive for my life in Taiwan, should I rejoin?

For now, yes.

Screenshot of the Taiwan Quest Instagram account.

To my family and friends, I look forward to following you in return. I’ve missed this kind of connection.

To the wider world and to my compromised sense of self, sincerely and melodramatically, forgive me.