This is Ode To..., a weekly column where we share the stuff we're really into in hopes that you'll be really into it, too.
Perhaps you didn't know you could browse Instagram on your desktop. That's okay! There's still time for you to experience the 'gram in its purest, holiest form.
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way. Not every Instagram feature is available on desktop. For one thing, you can't actually post photos, nor can you read or send DMs.
But these things are not why you are on Instagram. You are on Instagram to lurk, to browse, and to enjoy, and the desktop version are vastly superior in each of these departments.
First, lurking. We all do it. On mobile, though, lurking is no easy feat. When you scroll back through someone's photos, you always run the risk of accidentally double-tapping on a three-year-old bathroom selfie. This is one of the most embarrassing things you can do on the internet.
It's much harder to accidentally like a photo using a trackpad than using a touch screen.
On desktop, though, this issue is all but gone, because it's much harder to accidentally like a photo using your trackpad than it is on your iPhone's touch screen. To eradicate the risk entirely, simply move your cursor to the side (away from the photos) and scroll using the down arrows on your keyboard. You can scroll forever and still be safe, because you're a professional.
The Instagram Story experience is also better on desktop. For one thing, you can see when each person's Story was posted from the homepage, instead of after you've already clicked on it. So if, for some reason, you don't want to watch your crush's story four seconds after they posted it (no shame, but I get it), you can wait until a little more time has passed. Thanks, desktop Instagram!
(You can't vote in polls on desktop, but do you ever really vote in polls?)
Finally, there's the big one. Computers are bigger than phones, and photos (usually) look better on them. At the very least, a larger screen allows you more time to really observe each image. As The Verge pointed out in March, this means you'll get a better idea of whom you do not enjoy following. It's a lot harder to scroll away the mediocre stuff.
(Bonus: "influencer" comments aren't automatically pushed to the top of a post's comments section. On desktop, you could choose to never see @diaryofafitmommy again if you want. Imagine!)
When you do decide to unfollow someone, guess what — that's easier on desktop, too. On mobile, you're prompted with an "are you sure?" pop-up when you hit the unfollow button, but on desktop? Desktop knows you're not fucking around. Desktop gets it done on your first click. Now that's what I call efficiency.
So, if you're looking to do things like edit and post photos or communicate with your friends via DM, stick to mobile. I understand. But if you want to do the best things on Instagram (creeping around and staring at big photos) the best way possible, consider making the move to desktop.
And yes, it still counts as putting your phone away.