How To Do Thanksgiving On Instagram, Because Not All Turkey Filters Are Created Equal

Back in 2012, Mashable reported that Instagram users posted 226 Thanksgiving photos every second. Chances are, the numbers will be pretty similar this year. If you're a fan of photo sharing, you're probably already asking yourself the age-old questions — which filters will best represent my massive plate of turkey this Thanksgiving? How can I truly capture my random audience of friends, acquaintances, and (let's face it) total creepy strangers, and prove to them that my night totally rocked? After all, everyone in the United States is most likely eating something similar as you. Only you can make yours stand out from the crowd, gain all of the "likes" that you feel like you deserve, and manage to not have a totally obnoxious and weird feed. And yes, there's definitely a right way to do it, without the fear of (gasp!) losing followers.

I don't know why we care, but it's 2014. We care. We live for the phone notifications, and question our friendships based solely on the amount of people who click on that tiny heart on the lefthand side of the screen. Not like, when you saw them last in person, or anything like that. Your job, in order to keep up these cyber relationships, is to post the best possible photo of a cooked bird that will bring pride to your family name.

Note: Before we proceed, please remember the most important rule of all. If you didn't cook it yourself, please make sure to tell the chef how much you like the meal verbally, before sharing your love of his or her dish with the rest of the world. Even if they follow you on Instagram, it's just the right thing to do.

1. TRY TO MINIMIZE THE "DELICIOUS" HASHTAGS

#yum #delicious #sooogood #yummy #mmmm and #tastyfood all pretty much represent the same feeling — mouth pleasure. Hashtags in general can be kind of annoying, but try to categorize your feast with just one. Choose wisely.

2. UNFLATTERING SIBLING PICS SHOULDN'T BE SHARED

I mean, you wouldn't want something similar floating on the internet of you, right? Sure, it might be hilarious. Snap your picture, and share it with them (and only them) once their food coma wears off. Nobody wants to be humiliated over the holidays, or wake up to weird texts from mutuals who are LOLing over their state of mind.

3. HOWEVER, THE BEST PICTURES ARE FAMILY PICTURES

Not only are they genuine, but they're shots you'll actually want to look back at down the road. Especially if your family all enjoys wearing festive sweaters — always an adorable crowdpleaser. If they're Instagram worthy, they're most definitely frame worthy. After posting, print it out, and gift it to your relatives for Christmas.

4. DON'T FEAR THE BEFORE-AND-AFTER SHOT

Kind of like when you take selfies of yourself before a major haircut. If you don't do that, well — I do, and now I feel totally alone in this ritual.

The full plate vs. empty plate photo should make you feel like a champion. Be proud of these accomplishments! It's Thanksgiving. Be thankful for the ability to eat a gigantic plate of hot food with your loved ones.Not everyone gets the opportunity to do that.

5. LIMIT YOURSELF TO TWO POSTS MAXIMUM

Your followers don't need to see individual, old-timey looking shots of every side dish. And you don't need to sulk in a corner after you didn't get a lot of attention for your weird photo of canned cranberry sauce. When you use Instagram sparingly, and only share the best of the best (as in, photos that truly represent your life that you're actually proud of), your followers will be more responsive.

6. PET PHOTOS ARE ALWAYS A HIT

This is true regardless of the day. However, there's nothing cuter than Fido looking wide-eyed at a gigantic turkey. Just make sure to work your timing, so that Fido doesn't knock down the turkey and create a traumatic holiday moment. Movies have taught me that this can happen. I mean, we all remember Beethoven, right?

7. BE SMART WITH YOUR FILTERS

The following filters make nothing look good: Toaster, Hefe, and Kelvin. You don't want to wash out your normal Thanksgiving colors. In general, black and white (also known as "Willow") should also be frowned upon when food or decorations are the photo subject, since it looks — well — gross. Show us your natural oranges and your festive yellows!

8. REMEMBER TO PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AFTER AWHILE, AND CREATE NON-SHAREABLE MEMORIES

I probably sound like your grandmother, but it's totally true. As a fan of the internet, it's sometimes hard for me to put my phone down. I'm too busy looking up gossip about reality celebrities that are on shows I don't even watch, and checking out everyone's poorly Instagrammed Kelvin photos.

Make sure to take a break and actually enjoy the holiday, without trying to figure out what you can share with the rest of the world. The best life moments don't happen on a screen. Real memories don't need validation from that kid you had a chemistry class with back in college. Ease up on the technology, and have some fun with your folks. It'll really mean a lot to them.

Image credits: Parm Parmar/Flickr Giphy (6), Karen Belz (2)