the fine brothers before and after react backlash trademark

7 Reasons the Fine Brothers Need a Public Relations Crisis Manager

The Fine Brothers, the video duo best known for producing videos of people reacting to pop-culture videos, appears to need a public relations crisis manager this week… quickly.

Rafi and Benny Fine faced a serious online-community backlash in the past several days based on their efforts to take down other “react” videos as part of this new program (detailed in this hyperbole-packed video):

The Details:

  • According to Variety, the brothers’ new venture, React World, applied for trademark protection on “React” with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in July 2015.
  • NY Magazine reports: “If you want to make a YouTube video of someone reacting to something, you’ll have to go through the Fine Bros.”
  • The Fine Brothers even registered a trademark for the word “REACT” under “entertainment services, namely, providing an on-going series of programs and webisodes via the Internet in the field of observing and interviewing various groups of people” (Source: Ryan Morrison Law).
  • Their goal, reports NY Magazine, is to remove other reaction videos, and instead aggregate and monetize “react” video on YouTube — like “Someone Reacts to Something” — with the Fines handling licensing and taking a cut of the profit.


So the online-video community and prominent YouTubers are pissed. How pissed?


1. Reddit Explodes Over Fine Brothers: Reddit video is so swollen with rants and rages, the editors created an unprecedented “flair” that identifies the top videos that react to the Fine Brothers desire to capitalize on reaction videos. More than half of the top-20 popular videos (as voted by Reddit community) today are about the Fine Brothers.

Says Reddit: “We’ve temporarily added ‘React Related’ and ‘YouTube Related’ flair for all of the current YouTube drama which is unfolding. If you’re interested in it, this’ll help you find it. If you’re not, it’ll help you avoid it.”

Screen shot from Reddit Video posted over the weekend.

Screen shot from Reddit Video posted over the weekend.

2. The FineBrothers Subscribers Are Dropping: This dude is streaming a countdown that shows the number of Fine Brothers subscribers dropping steadily and quickly. This one is even more melodramatic and features the brothers watching sadly. 
Nalts 2016-01-31 at 10.28.15 PM3. YouTubers Are Spoofing the Hell Out of Them.
For instance, YouTubers Mega64 spoofed the clip by deciding to copyright videos filmed outside. Even Hitler is pissed off (see “Hitler Reacts”). And YouTuber Peter Coffin takes on the hyperbole of the Fine Brothers clip one line at a time.

4. The Community is Watching The Bros Closely. People are identifying potential copyright and trademark infringements by the Fine Brothers Themselves.

The Fine Brothers use many web clips without license or permission, perhaps covered under “fair use.” But they’ve issued a series of “cease and desists” against other creators that mimic their format, according to many Reddit users. And they once sent fans to brigade programs like “Ellen” for airing a reaction bit they felt was too close to their own. Finally, does anyone remember Kids Say the Darnedest Things? Isn’t that the origin of Kids React?

In this Reddit thread, you’ll even read a debate about whether the two are respecting the copyright requirements of Kevin MacLeod (, whose music the brothers used without credit in a video.

5. Whoops They Spoke Too Soon. The Fine Brothers announced this program and the attempt to trademark “REACTION” a bit too early- while still within the obligatory 30 days where anyone can file an opposition. Said Ryan Morrison Law: “Had the Fine Bros kept quiet for another month, they almost certainly would have gotten this trademark, as no one seemed to notice it. Instead, they announced their ridiculous licensing program and turned all eyes on them.”

6.  Even Merlin is Pissed. Animator FilmCow (creator of Charlie & the Unicorn) had Merlin to address the situation in this feisty clip that riled many up.

7. Finally, The Brothers Reacted to Reactions… in a sad ‘n angry video posted today

They posted the video above today (Jan 31), and the brothers stress that they don’t intend to block all reaction videos. However based on the thumbs down, it appears not to have been well received.

The brothers also issued a clarifying message that seemed to back off the original interpretation of their video (source: original video description and blog): “We do not hold a copyright on reaction videos overall. No one can…. We do not own the idea of reaction videos nor would we shut down anyone making reaction based content. Of course you can make your own react videos, but React World is an opportunity to localize versions of our specific series.”

So how did YOU react?


your snowman sucks next to this snow shark built by three brothers

7 Facts to Cite About Snow (while others say stupid things)

When it snows, people say the stupidest things. You know the routine. They complain, talk about buying salt and batteries, lament the shoveling and blab on about last winter or 1996. Not you, anymore. You’re going to have something smart to say!

I’m in the process of getting buried under two feet of snow, and we have a snow “blizzard warning” in the Philadelphia, PA area. By definition, a blizzard has 3 criteria to earn its name: a) it’s a storm that contains large amounts of snow or blowing snow, b) it needs winds beyond 35 mph, and c) it limits visibility to less than 1/4 miles for about 3 hours. Otherwise it’s a winter storm warning or something more lame.

Now soak up these snow facts and hurl this useful trivia at the stupid people you work with (especially if they’re business people who are always falling in the snow).

1. Unless it’s yellow snow, it’s normally white, right?

Nope. Snow (like the ice particles making it) is colorless. Since it’s translucent, light doesn’t pass through it easily and is reflected. That’s what gives it a white appearance. Unless it’s yellow snow, which isn’t always caused by piss (sing along with Zappa).

Guinness World Records reports this Maine creation as the tallest snowman (and she's actually a snow woman named Olivia).

Guinness World Records reports this Maine creation as the tallest snowman (and she’s actually a snow woman named Olivia).

2. The tallest snowman wasn’t a snowman

The tallest snowman reported by Guinness was 122 feet tall. But it was actually a snow woman. It was built by residents of Bethel, Maine, USA, and surrounding towns in 2008 and took a month. Here’s a news clip of “Olivia.

3. Myth or fact that Eskimos have more than 50 words for snow?

Anthropologist Franz Boas claimed that Eskimos have dozens, or even hundreds, of words for snow. But linguists later considered it “an urban legend, born of sloppy scholarship and journalistic exaggeration… and even ‘the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax.” The latest evidence, however, suggests that Boas was right all along. The Inuit dialect (a branch of the Eskimo family of languages) is spoken in Canada’s Nunavik region, and has at least 53 words for snow.

4. No two snowflakes are the same? True or False?

Well a physicist at the California Institute of Technology, claims to have found a way to create what he calls “identical twin” snowflakes in his lab. But that’s a tricky thing to prove with certainty, right? Ask Mariana Gosnell, author of “Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance.” She’ll pull out the molecular defense: “there’s a lot of things a microscope—a good optical microscope—can’t see, and the chances that at the molecular level they will be the same are pretty much nil,” she said.

Tourists in this snowy Japanese street be crazy.

Tourists in this snowy Japanese street be crazy.

5. What’s the word that describes fear of snow? 

Chionophobia is the extreme dislike or fear of snow. The word originates from Greek chion meaning snow and phobos meaning fear, aversion or dread. Probably a cause of a traumatic childhood so go easy on the chionophobiacs.

6. Here’s a collection of snow fails.

7. What city has the most snowfall in the United States? On Earth?

The snowiest US city is Syracuse, NY with an average of 126 inches per year. That’s as high as 28 school buses piled on top of each other (8 feet per bus). But world’s top city for annual snowfall is Aomori City, Tōhoku , Japan which runs about 312 feet per year, which would bury two Statue of Liberties standing on top each other.

Each year more than 500 feet of snow (the height two Statues of Liberty) drops on Aomori City, Tōhoku , Japan.

Each year more than 500 feet of snow (the height two Statues of Liberty) drops on Aomori City, Tōhoku , Japan.

rubber ducks in ocean

The Weirdest Holidays Celebrated Each Day This Week

Everyday is a holiday! So let’s look at this very week (January 11-16, 2016) so you can plan your office, home and social celebrations.

This week’s seven major holidays (one for each day) are sourced to the fabulously info-rich but ugliest site on the Internet (BrownieLocks), as well as and Chases Calendar of the Month. Where possible, I’ve validated them with more credible sources.

Guess what? This week you can float a rubber ducky, drink to celebrate the anniversary of alcohol prohibition, dress up your animal and even flaunt your sick fetish. Finally, you can kiss a Ginger (red head) if you can bare it. Heck, you also might want to procreate with a Ginger because the species is apparently on the verge of extinction. Nobody wants that, do they?

Monday, January 11: Clean your desk

As the second Monday of January, it’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day. According to this press release by Day Runner from 1998, the holiday was invented by the daughter of one of the Chase brothers, William Chase and Harrison Chase. They founded Chase’s Calendar of Events back in 1957. Apparently the daughter proclaimed this day to get their father to clean their desk. It’s also Learn Morse Code Day, but I’m feeling we can survive until the apocalypse without that skill.

messy desk hoarder

Tuesday, January 12: Kiss the Gingers 

Tuesday is “Kiss a Ginger” day, as created by a dating site “Hot for Ginger,” that aims to preserve the DNA of a potentially dying breed (National Geographic warns of their potential extinction in 100 years). And “Hot for Ginger” wanted to make money on a niche dating site, but it’s really about species protection.

Wednesday, January 13: Rubber Ducky Day

National “Rubber Ducky Day” is on January 13 to celebrate the plastic toys made famous by Ernie on Sesame Street (Rubber Ducky Song). My office celebrated this last year, and apparently “in 1992, a shipping crate containing 28,000 plastic bath toys was lost at sea when it fell overboard on its way from Hong Kong to the United States.” See “Friendly Floatees” to verify it yourself. And, sure, the viral photo below is actually from a Ken-Ducky Derby (in September), but go with it. Just squeeze and take a bath.

This photo commemorates an allegedly real event in 1992 but it's actually from a Kentucky event to celebrate rubber duckies.

This photo commemorates an allegedly real event in 1992 but it’s actually from a Kentucky event to celebrate rubber duckies.

Thursday, January 14: Dress Your Pet 

Get your cats and dogs and hamsters ready for “Dress Up Your Pet Day” on Thursday. The National Day Calendar reports that this date was “founded in 2009 by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist, Colleen Paige.” But the source cautions that this is an “unofficial” national holiday. Not sure what it takes to become “official.”

Here’s one of my videos that went a bit viral in 2008 (on Yahoo not YouTube), and shows a cat and dog competing during Halloween to have the cutest contest. Reader’s Digest sponsored it.

Friday, January 15: Fetish Day  

International Fetish Day is on Friday (second Friday of January) according to BrownieLocks, which does not source the origin. In fact Google literally gave me zero results on this one. So if you decide to indulge your “lick feet” fetish at the office, I don’t think you’re going to have an association to support your legal defense.

Saturday, January 16: Make up fake holidays

Now slip into the weekend by taking a break. Apparently Saturday is Fig Newton Day, Nothing Day or Soup Swap day. But these are non verified listings on the website I’m beginning to think is totally unreliable. I think some dude gets baked and makes this shit up, so feel free to do that yourself to celebrate January 16. You can even proclaim it “International Day for Getting Baked and Making Up Fake Holidays” day.

Sunday, January 17: Bootleggers Day

This blog post started out really credible, but as I get to day 7 I’m really hesitant to hit the “publish” button. That said, Sunday is Bootleggers Day, which seems to have been manufactured by Templeton Rye. I’ll accept the significance of bootleggers and January 17 because it commemorates prohobition. Technically US prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect and the Volstead Act helped spawn organized crime.

 Image by © Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS

animal people reunion

7 Animal & Human Reunions Guaranteed to Make You Cry

Grab a tissue and soak up the most touching reunion videos, featuring humans and animals once separated and now reunited. It’s usually the animal’s excitement that is touching. Unless it’s a cat (then you gotta focus on the kid).

1. Christian the Lion

Perhaps the best-known animal/human reunion was Christian the Lion and his owners, John Rendall and Ace Bourke. This is a vintage clip (early 1970s) that became a viral hit in 2008. These guys bought a cub from a pet store when it was legal and kept it in the basement of their furniture store. They set him free in Kenya, and Christian remembered them well on their return.

2. Kwibi the Gorilla

“Damian Aspinall’s Extraordinary Gorilla Encounter” shows Kwibi the gorilla 5 years after he was separated from conservationist Damian Aspinall. Kwibi grew up with Damian at his Howletts Wild Animal Park in England, and he’s 10 in this clip.

“We just sat there together sort of drunk on each other,” said Aspinall. “He embraced me like a long lost friend, and it was beautiful. And he and slowly introduced his wives who came to see me.”

Jump to the two-minute half mark to see the moment, but the buildup is nice.

3.  Anita and the Wolves

These wolves sure missed Anita. Here they are howling at their 2008 reunion at the Polar Zoo (Polar Park) in Norway. 


5. Chuck the Boxer and His Soldier Dad

Check out Chuck the dog hugging his dad, who is returning from battle. Have you seen a happier and potentially over caffeinated pup?

6. Yurtie and his Dying Owner

Yurtie the dog used to live in a car with a homeless man, 57-year-old Kevin McClain. They were separated, and McClain later became ill with lung cancer.

McClain’s dying wish was to see his dog one more time. Someone at his hospital contacted someone at a nearby animal shelter, and they were able to find the new family of Yurtie. The man and his companion were reunited just days before McClain died (source).

7. Clyde the Cat & Jared the Kid

Jared is a 10 year old with high-functioning autism, and Clyde was his pet since he was born. So Jared was devastated when Clyde vanished for almost two weeks. There reunion is touching if you focus on Jared. Seems Clyde just wants some tunafish and a nap.


u-turn baby

7 Short Kid Videos I Can’t Stop Watching

Someone recently sent me this clip of a child getting scared by his grandfather’s roar, and I can’t stop watching it. I’ve probably sent it to 20 people. So let’s run through 7 videos that have a similar effect.

I’m focusing on very quick clips (with #4 as an exception, so feel free to browse for highlights). After all, it’s not 2005. We can’t sit still for adorable clips like “Gum Tree,” a story which takes a full 2.5 minutes to unravel (it’s still one of my favorite of my Nalts videos).

1. The terrified u-turn baby

Check out Jett (at 18 months) booking around the corner when his grandfather roars. Jett’s aunt, Harli White, told The Huffington Post that Jett has loved playing chase with grandpa since he was old enough to walk. “He loves it. He starts laughing afterwards,” Harli said. Look at the face as little Jett comes running with Spongebob-like enthusiasm and then jets away and screams ooooohh!

2. Giggling child and dad’s punching bag.

Vine’s Lizzyroo is a must-follow. Little “Poot” has a contagious giggle, and this video must be consumed at least 7 times in a row.

3. “Classy Jen” by Ava (Katie Ryan). This girl is addictive to watch. When I saw my first one, I pretty much watched very clip she’s done in an hour or so.

4. Kid in car seat experiences total euphoria as race-car driving dad drifts.

Scan for highlights. But just watch this kid’s face as his dad (Toxa Avydeyev) whips. The duo is from Kazakhstan, and you can read more and see photos of recent clips on The Daily Mail. 

5. Tonight You Belong to Me. Little girl and dog sing on ukulele, interrupted occasionally by fireworks. It’s the definition of adorable.

6. The “did you ever have a dream” kid is reflecting on his dreams in complete and charming incomprehensibility. Remember this vintage clip? It’s in the outtakes/credits of a child’s DVD we used to play (maybe Goodnight Moon?), and we’d watch it over and over and giggle.

7. Monster gonna kick my ass. A real oldie but standing the test of time.

Got one? COMMENT. I’ll drop my least favorite and replace with yours. 🙂

One-minute Time Machine is a Dark but Amusing short.

7 Best Videos of 2015 According to Redditers

Redditors have selected the best videos of 2015, and here are seven of my favorites from the crowd-selected winners and runner’s up (posted by Reddit’s TheMentalist10). Mind you, here’s the list of videos that are the “top scoring” links on the Reddit’s Video page (bookmark this), which I find as a useful curation. This is where gets all its videos.

1. Though I’m a sucker for time travel fiction, I can assure you that One-minute Time Machine is a 5-minute short well worth watching. It’s a bit dark, but nicely written, directed and performed.

2. Remember the “animation versus animation” series by Alan Becker? Check out “Animation versus Minecraft.”


The creator of "animation versus animation" now provides us with an animated stick figure fighting the Minecraft world.

The creator of “animation versus animation” now provides us with an animated stick figure fighting the Minecraft world.

3. Best Vine video was “Footage of the Almost Successful SpaceX Barge Landing,” and it’s easy to see why this got got 20 million loops. Whoops.

4. Best psychedelic music animation: Dan Deacon “When I Was Done Dying” (DDWIWDD) for Off The Air on Adult Swim. This was animated by 9 people (in order of appearance): Jake Fried, Chad VanGaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, Caleb Wood and KOKOFREAKBEAN.

A really trippy animation music video called "When I was Done Dying" (Adult Swim).

A really trippy animation music video called “When I was Done Dying” (Adult Swim).

5. A clever vaudevillian parody of unrefined theater is “The Play that Goes Wrong,” which was performed at The Royal Variety Performance 2015. It gets funnier in the last 3-4 minutes, so hang tight. You’ll see cameos from Josh Groban, Kylie Minogue and a dude who looks like Seth Rogen. Runner’s up to the “funny” category was this “airplane snore.”

6. The Reddit peeps really love this dude building primitive stuff like this hut.

7. Students made this “commercial” for Johnnie Walker called “Dear Brother” and it’s really touching. The top comment reads, “I didn’t know you could cry over a liquor ad.”

It's a student-made alcohol ad, but it's a touching tribute to brothers.

It’s a student-made alcohol ad, but it’s a touching tribute to brothers.

new years eve trivia kissing

7 Fascinating Trivia Points About New Years Eve

When you celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight, you are going to be a fountain of facts. When people confess they don’t know these trivia points, just give them an odd look of sympathy.

To experience two New Years celebrations, find a way travel from Apia, Samoa to Pago Pago, American Samoa.

To experience two New Years celebrations, find a way travel from Apia, Samoa to Pago Pago, American Samoa.

1. You could be the first and last person on Earth to celebrate New Years Eve. The first place to celebrate the new year is Apia, the capital and the largest city of Samoa. The last inhabited place to celebrate the New Year is American Samoa (Pago Pago). The distance between these is about 78 miles, so you could theoretically be the first and last person to celebrate the arrival in 2016. A commercial flight won’t do it (there are about 4 stops to get from Apia, Samoa to Pago Pago, American Samoa). But you could charter a boat or maybe try the MV Lady Naomi, a ferry service that runs between the islands in what I imagine would be a 3-hour cruise through a space-time continuum. (BTW this took me about 30 minutes to figure out).

2. The first recorded New Years Eve celebration dates back 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. The Babylonians believed the world was symbolically cleansed and recreated by the gods in preparation for the new year and the return of spring. Caesar would later introduce January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of change and beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future.

3. Your resolution is the same as everyone else’s. According to Nielsen research of nearly 600 Americans, it’s physical and mental health… fitness, losing weight, enjoying life, spending more time with family. Some want to spend less and get organized, and more than 15% said they wouldn’t make a resolution.

most common new years eve resolutions 2015 2016

4. You can “hack” your New Year’s Resolution and increase odds you’ll achieve it. Most New Years Resolutions don’t work because of “false hope syndrome.” About 39% of twenty-something people meet their resolution, and just 14% of people over 50 succeed. Why? Psychology professor Peter Herman identified what his team calls the “false hope syndrome,” caused by a resolution that is unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. Do you want some tips to increase your odds of a successful New Year’s Resolution? I’ve created a mnemonic from his advice and other well-researched devices to change behavior:

  • A: Accountability. Add an “accountability buddy” and celebrate milestones.
  • B: Brain. The mindset is most critical. Focus on new behaviors and thought patterns — creating “new neural pathways in your brain” to change habits.
  • C: Capture. Write down a single resolution with specific goals (exactly how many pounds weight loss and a date) and focus on small steps. Importantly, write it down and jot down 2-3 reasons you want to meet this goal since we often forget.
  • D: Day. Focus on today. If you stumble, focus actually on the moment… the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?

So my resolution is to work less and become a more meaningful part of the lives of my wife and children (because it helps avoid the most common death-bed regret). Specifically, I’ll make an effort to speak individually with each for at least 5 minutes a day and an individual car drive per week. Each morning during my shower I’ll reinforce my mindset. You’re my accountability buddy.

What’s your resolution? Use mine as a template and type below. Maybe I’ll email you a reminder in February since that’s when most resolutions fail.

5. The New Year’s Eve Time Square Ball was a practical necessity. It was a result of a ban on fireworks. The first ball, in 1907, was a 700-pound iron and wood ball lit with 100 25-watt light bulbs. Today’s is designed by Waterford Crystal, and weighs 11,875-pounds.

mr old year for years eve6. Want to burn bad memories? In South America (Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico) families stuff a large doll, called Mr. Old Year, with memories from the past year. They also dress him in clothes from the outgoing year. At midnight, he is set ablaze, thus burning away the bad memories.

7. You’re supposed to hold hands as you sing! “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scot song written by Robert Burns in 1788. At Hogmanay in Scotland, it’s tradition for revelers to hold hands with the person next to them and form a big circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse, people crosse their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbor on the left. The original lyrics substitute “dear” for jo (my wife’s name): “For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

So be sure to send me a photo of you holding hands in a circle. Let’s bring that tradition back!

You can reduce your hangover by drinking clear alcohol (not wine or beer) and avoid sugary mixers.

You can minimize your hangover by drinking clear alcohol (not wine or beer) and avoid sugary mixers.

maureen ohara 2015

Seven Big Celebrities Who Died in 2015

Here’s a list of 7 celebrities who died in 2015, and a bit of trivia on them.

1. Yogi Berra. The baseball legend passed away on Sept. 22 at the age of 90. Among his memorable quotes, this one is a favorite:

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”

2. Wes Craven. The famed horror film director passed away age at 76 on Aug. 30. Freddy Krueger was named after a kid in high school who used to bully him.

3Spock. Leonard Nimoy. Star Trek’s original Spock died on Feb. 27 at age 83. Spock’s “Vulcan nerve pinch” on “Star Trek” (1966) was invented by Nimoy when he and the show’s writers were trying to figure out how an unarmed Spock could overpower an adversary without resorting to violence.

4. Maureen O’Hara. The actress was 95, and was dubbed the Queen of Technicolor — starring in many Hollywood classics, including The Parent Trap, Miracle on 34th Street and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Had a second career after retiring, as a successful magazine publisher; one of the reasons was to help keep her from becoming bored after retirement.

5. Paul Prudhomme. The celebrity chef died Oct. 8 at the age of 75. Prudhomme — a Louisiana native who at one point weighed more than 500 pounds — later slimmed down to 200.


6. Frank Gifford
The NFL star-turned-Monday Night Football broadcaster died a week before his 85th birthday. He was a play-by-play announcer and commentator for 27 years on ABC’s Monday Night Football. Kathy Lee Gifford was his third wife.

7. Jackie Collins. The best-selling author died of breast cancer on Sept. 19 at the age of 77. At one point the author changed her name to Lynn Curtis, because of forever being referred to as “sister of Joan Collins.”



elf on shelf meme

Scariest 7 “Elf on a Shelf” photos

If the ubiquitous “Elf on a Shelf,” creeps you out, you’re not alone. Turns out, the scary, evil and creepy Elf on a Shelf is more popular than I realized, with at least one Pinterest dedicated to the little bastard. And a nice slideshow here with some meme-worthy shots.

Here are the seven creepiest and even scariest elf photos we could find…

evil elf on shelf1. Dad of the year award.
elf on shelf meme

2. Shining Elf.
satire elf on shelf doll

3. It rubs the lotion onto its skin. (Buffallo Bill, Silence of the Lambs)

creepy elf on shelf

4. NCIS/Dexter Elf

horror elf on shelf

5. Pyromania Elf

saw elf on shelf

6. Saw Elf

decapitation elf on shelf

7. You’re Next

food fetish

Top 7 Reasons People Post Photos of Their Food on Instagram

Why DO people post their food photos online? Our “Seven of The” sociologists and analysts combed through the latest clinical and psychological research to identify the top seven reasons that people post their meals to Instagram. Their findings may surprise you.

  1. They are secretly helping you watch your weight. Counterintuitively, research has shown that exposure to food photos can satiate or actually suppress appetite for that food. This is according to Brigham Young University’s Jeff Larson, who published a report, “Satiation from Sensory Simulation: Evaluating Foods Decreases Enjoyment of Similar Foods.Nalts 2015-12-23 at 8.12.31 PMSays Larson, “if you have a weakness for a certain unhealthy food, say, chocolate, and want to prevent yourself from enjoying it, you may want to look at more pictures of that food.” This phenomenon has been shown before, such as a 2010 study reported in Science magazine called “Thought for Food: Imagined Consumption Reduces Actual Consumption.” (We’re not sure if this works for porn).
  2. They are “officially the greatest woman on the entire planet.” According to delightfully sarcastic McSweeney’s “An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food with Instagram,” your posting poser is “part of a fast growing legion of people that have been duped into believing they are visionaries, auteurs, even.” Author Katherine Markovich writes, superwoman-flying-super-girl.jpg“You proceed to take various angled shots of the avocado being sliced, the blueberries getting washed, and your bearded boyfriend plucking feathers from the partridges because the Farmer’s Market only sold them with feathers, because plucking out the feathers themselves would be too mean and they’re the nice kind of farmers who kill with love.”
  3. Duh, they have a “food fetish. University of Toronto’s Valerie Taylor told the Huffington Post that sharing photos of food on socialfood fetish media is relatively common, but can come at the exclusion of everything else. Taylor’s talk at a Canadian Obesity Summit was titled, Food Fetish: Society’s Complicated Relationship with Food. “I see clients for whom food has become problematic, and they struggle to go out and not have food be the key element of all social interaction: what they eat, when they ate, when they are going to eat again,” said Taylor, who also is the psychiatrist-in-chief at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Yes, there’s a hospital title that’s “psychiatrist in chief,” and she probably frequently asks the “Assistant to the Director of Psychiatry” to talk about her mother.
  4. food photos database.jpgThey’re advancing research by building a giant database of food photos. Your friend may simply be contributing to the development of a gigantic photo database that will help researchers study the “normative ratings of valence, arousal, palatability, desire to eat, recognizability and visual complexity.” Read more about this in Frontiers in Psychologys’s report, “Food-pics: an image database for experimental research on eating and appetite.”
  5. They’re trying to make you feel anxious. Says Laura Freeman (The Daily Mail): “It is not enough that we should feel anxious about what we eat – and there are plenty of Instagrammers like the Hemsley sisters and Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella who snap pictures of ‘massaged kale’ and ‘chia seed jam’ – now there is the disappointment of our insufficiNalts 2015-12-23 at 8.36.07 PMently camera-ready meals, our bog-standard pie dishes, our dowdy napkins.” (Oh really… what’s a little retouching among friends, right? Remember Jeff Kay’s famously funny “Fast Food Photos: Real vs Advertisements.” 
  6. They’re groping for your likes. It’s true that pets and food get more likes than your ugly kids. “I found posting pictures of my ice cream cones and lobster rolls combined with a few hashtags garnered many more likes than did pictures of almost anything else I posted,” confessed Aliza Polkes, self-proclaimed, “Instagram food photographer.” She added,”and I liked the likes.” Watch out, however. This “Ways to Get More Likes” report on WikiHow cautions “Don’t post excessive pictures of your food. Everyone does this, so only post spectacular food photos.”like me like me like me
  7. They were annoying people even before food photos. Dave Infante, a senior writer for Thrillist Food & Drink, comes to the defense of food posters in his article, “Stop Telling Me Not to Instagram My Food.” He acknowledges it’s gotten out of hand, but writes that “those people are annoying, and they’d be annoying even if Instagramming your food had never been invented.”

“A cultural force has more benefit than detriment,” continues Infante. “And it brings the ‘grammer a small bit of validating joy. Don’t ruin that just because you’re an ancient coot.”

So, c’mon. Let’s find a common ground. We can moderate our phood footos without being ancient coots, right?

instagram food meme photo

1 2