The headline might read, “World’s oldest woman banned from Instagram for pretending to be a pre-teen.” That woman would be me. It was a random day of multi-tasking, and I made a simple error. A mistake in entering a date that turned out to be a huge, massive, fraudster type error in the eyes of Instagram. On this day, The Day of The Error, my calendar looked like someone threw up all over it. I had vowed to never ever be that crazy person again, the one who once ran a social media agency. So on this day, smart, calm person that I was, I decided to Uber to my appointments so I could sit calmly in the backseat of a vehicle and tie up some loose ends, finish a meeting and multi-task. It was there in the backseat when IT happened.
You know my birthday Instagram. You and Meta know everything about me!
I was logging into Instagram and they were asking me for my birthday, again. They’d been asking me this a lot for the last few days. And I was like WTF? You know my birthday! You and Meta know just about everything about me. You even know my first-born (who happens to be over 30 years old for the record)? You know I bake pies and show them off on all my channels. You know I’m a grown-ass woman who’s been on “The Facebook” since 2007. (Making me about the first Mom ever on the platform.) And I’ve been on Instagram since 2011. You need my birthday? I am not a child.
No, I am not a child, but I am foolish I entered the wrong birth date, and BAM, everything imploded. Lord knows what I entered but in that moment, the message I got was clear, “You may not be old enough to use Instagram.”
“You may not be old enough to use Instagram.”
No problem, I thought. Log out, log back in. What the hell? Does Instagram really think I’m a pre-pubescent girl? Evidently
How bloodly long does it take for instagram to verify my ancient age?
I’m just so stinkin’ grateful Instagram has an easy recourse for such foolish middle-aged behavior as trying to pose as a pre-teen. There’s an appeal process that is oh so very clear. They even have a nifty link where your goof-up will be automatically fixed. You just upload your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate or even a green card and Instagram’s magic algorithms will review it. If, in fact, you are over 13, your account will be reinstated right away. Piece of cake.
Oh — and by the way — the Instagram customer service line is just sooooo helpful.
I’ve appealed now, say 10 times. Maybe 14, but not obsessively or anything.
So here I am, age banned from Instagram.
Maybe it’s a good thing. That little voice is saying: “Walk away why don’t you? It’s not good for your health, your self- esteem, your body image.” I would but I actually like Instagram and use it for more than comparing my lame ass self to others. I use Instagram as a resource. I wouldn’t say I get my news on Instagram, but I do scan the platform to get a different point of view. The Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings, for example. They made me angry but I’m also not a black woman. What were black women saying about the hearings? How were they feeling? My Leadership Atlanta peer, Bernice King (daughter of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.) shared some very compelling posts on the subject. I’d share them with you if I could only get back into my Instagram account… In the meantime, follow her. She shares lots of meaningful content.
My Instagram profile picture (which is the same one I had when I first logged onto Instagram way back in 2011) features me holding a pie. As META knows all too damn well, pies are my happy place and I just assume everyone wants to know about my baking adventures. I don’t just share my pies, I get a lot of feedback and education on pie baking. Erin McDowell literally wrote “The Book on Pie” and she shares pie tutorials on her feed almost daily. Since I can’t see those any more I may never bake a pie again. (Not true, but it won’t be the same without my secret pie-chiatrist egging me on. (Pun intended.)
I won’t lie, my ban from Instagram hurts.
And while one should never rely on any social platform to be a keeper of artifacts, in fact, I allowed Instagram to do just that. Truth? I’m a heavy user of the SAVED bookmark feature. In fact, I’m planning a major kitchen renovation in my Atlanta home. My entire design aesthetic is stored in my SAVES bookmarks. Was I pining for sage green cabinets and bold blue tiles or was it the opposite? Who knows, it’s all in my saves, which sadly I cannot access.
I won’t lie, my ban from Instagram hurts. There’s this thing called memories This summer, I traveled across the country in my vintage red camper and captured phases of the journey in my Story Highlights. They are a testament to this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I go back and rewatch my own stories – not because I’m vain but because I miss the Redwoods of Big Sur, the crystal blue of Crater Lake, and that video of the time we got stuck in the mud in the Navajo Reservation. I know the memories are still there, but my cleverly crafted video stories? Gone.
According to Instagram, my account will be deleted in 30 days or less. Which is the reason for this post. Do you know any human at Instagram? I was thinking of texting The Zuck but I lost his number. . So I’m looking for an in. Perhaps you did a mega Meta ad buy and have an account rep? I know not a soul on the platform anymore. I don’t run an agency. I’m nobody – just a sad lonely middle-aged housewife who wants to get back on the ‘gram. I’ve tried all the channels with no luck. I even talked to a bot last night on META. Like for a long time. We exchanged 40 messages back and forth and I kept trying to have a real conversation, even though the BOT kept sending me back to the same appeal link I’ve already visited dozens of times.
If Instagram can #FreeBritney from her conservatorship, don’t you think they’d let this gal back on the platform? Let’s hope so.
Instagram, if you are reading this, here’s my info: http://instagram.com/danicakombol. Proof of age visible in the many lines around my eyes and jowls adorning my cheeks but happy to send you a clear scan of my Driver’s License since somehow all your data collection activities seem to have missed the boat on me.