JetBlue contest tests the mighty addiction of your Instagram habit
All you can taco
JetBlue, the airline you fly if you believe in the logical boarding process of back-to-front, is offering up free flights for a year for three lucky winners of its “All you can jet” contest. Of course, there is a long, annoying legal disclaimer, but the gist is that you and a friend could win free flights for a year. There is just one, little, slightly eye-twitching catch. You have to bump your Instagram account back to zero and do nothing but promote JetBlue until the contest ends.
As great as free flights for a year sounds, even I, a basic Instagram user am hesitant to delete the thousand or so posts I’ve sloppily filtered to make room for promotional material for an airline in order to win a contest. I have no problem writing a few hundred words about it though. That’s simple. See, this is another sentence that has no context whatsoever. The point is that this contest asks much more than just deleting a bunch of photos, it’s asking us to do what we’re truly afraid to do — delete our social media history.
Using a template, JetBlue is asking the freshly cleared Instagram accounts to upload a customized promotion image provided via a template. The caption then should fill in the blank in “All You Can ____”, include the hashtag #AllYouCanJetSweepstakes and mention @jetblue (it already wiped its Instagram account). That’s it. It’s pretty simple and seems like a reasonable ask without having to remove every single photo from your Instagram account, but removing every photo from your Instagram account clears JetBlue of having to be associated with the trash you post on Instagram.
Until the contest ends, in four days, one must keep their Instagram account clear of anything besides JetBlue promotional material in order to qualify to win.
Of course, you could just start a new Instagram account and go from there, but in a Twitter reply, JetBlue stated that not wiping your current Instagram and starting fresh instead wouldn’t be as fun. It seems innocent and whimsical but it is instead a deep psychological social experiment. We are addicted to social media, we have an ingrained attachment to it at this point, so asking us to create a blank slate is a heavy, heavy ask.
I’d delete my Twitter feed in a heartbeat, but it feels different with Instagram
Not only are we psychologically attached to our social media feeds, but we are dangerously addicted. While I find it easy to delete my tweets on a two-week rolling basis, and delete my Facebook memories every day, there is something about Instagram that has a sense of permanence. Asking me to wipe those carefully edited and poorly filtered photos from existence is like asking me to disembowel myself to get a good deal on a television.
I suppose this action will help separate the serious contest people from the casual. Many people will knock their Instagram back to zero and have a chance at winning. Most will just create a new Instagram, but they will be ignored as the charlatans they are. The winners will be users with nothing but JetBlue promotional posts and thousands of existing followers. Because what’s the point in giving away free flights to people with 65 followers, who used to only post cat sweater pictures before jumping on the JetBlue promotional bandwagon?
It’s a smart social media marketing play on the part of JetBlue, because professional Instagram users will have no problem resetting their photo-set back to zero because after the contest, they can have their Instagram Husband or intern re-upload them. Or they won’t even bother, because if it’s work, then it’s easier to delete with a clear conscience. If it’s your life, it’s almost impossible to think it can just be erased without a thought for the purposes of a contest.
But it’s not your life. It’s a representation of your life that is curated and filtered to create the illusion of a reality that isn’t festering with sadness and self-destruction. Social media, the beast, can actually serve a more selfish purpose here, by using it to enter a contest. So drop the crack pipe and get some free flights.
It’ll be interesting to see who wins this thing, whether it be established social media influencers or low-brow nobodies still only using the valencia filter. Either way, you can enter the JetBlue “All You Can Blank” contest here.
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