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Staying Classy in the Age of Instagram

Curate your feed, cultivate your confidence.

By Raja Ezra

Picture: Ed Westwick for Boggi Milano

Social media can be a bit of a mixed bag for guys. It's awesome for connecting and a repository of your moments, but it's also easy to get caught up in trends and feeling like everyone else has a more amazing life.

So, how do you stay classy and keep your online game fresh? Here are some tips to elevate your refined online persona, even with a phone in your hand:

Level Up Your Feed, Not Your Likes:

  • Show, Don't Brag: Ditch the endless selfies and focus on posting interesting stuff that shows what you're into. Think epic travel pics (think mountains, not your car or watch) or hobbies you're passionate about. Travel snapshots that capture a sense of place or a cool activity you tried are way more interesting than a duckface in front of a famous landmark. The key is to tell a story – visually – and pique your audience's curiosity.

  • Classic Cool: Forget chasing every trend. Develop a style that looks good on you and won't be outdated next month. Think crisp white shirts, tailored chinos, and a classic leather jacket – a capsule wardrobe that exudes effortless sophistication. Muted color palettes and clean lines often photograph beautifully, creating a timeless aesthetic for your feed. Nature shots with clean lines and muted colors can also create a super chill and sophisticated look.

Be a Chill Gent Online:

  • Privacy Matters: Think twice before you post something. Would you want your boss or grandma to see it? Imagine your future self scrolling through your feed – would you be proud of what you see? Respect other people's privacy as well. Don't post pictures of your friends or colleagues without their permission.

  • Spread Positivity: Ditch the negativity. Share stuff that makes you happy, inspires you, or just makes you smile. It could be a funny meme, a cool quote, or even a story about someone doing something awesome. Positivity is contagious, and you'll make your feed (and the whole internet) a nicer place.

Picture: Ed Westwick for Boggi Milano

Engage like a Gentleman:

  • Ditch the Emojis: Step up your commenting game and move beyond one-word replies or a barrage of emojis. Craft thoughtful comments that show you're genuinely interested in the content and the person who posted it. Ask questions, share your own experiences, or offer a different perspective in a respectful way. Engaging in meaningful conversation elevates your online presence and demonstrates that you're not just passively scrolling, but actively involved in the social media community.

  • Disagree with Grace: Disagreements are inevitable online, but there's a way to handle them with class. Avoid getting sucked into flame wars or resorting to name-calling. Instead, calmly and respectfully explain your viewpoint, acknowledging the other person's perspective. Remember, respectful discourse can be a great learning opportunity, so approach disagreements with an open mind and a willingness to see things from a different angle.

Live Your Best Life (and Maybe Post About It):

  • Be Interesting Offline: Social media is a highlight reel, but make sure your real life is the main event. Pursue your passions, make connections with people who matter, and do stuff that makes you a well-rounded dude. The more interesting your life is offline, the more naturally awesome your online presence will be.

  • Disconnect to Reconnect: Don't get glued to your phone. Take breaks, put it down, and experience the real world. True class is about being present in the moment, whether you're online or off. Go out, have real conversations, and soak up life. This will not only make you happier, but also give you more to share online (authentically, of course).

Being classy isn't about flexing on everyone. It's about how you carry yourself, both online and off. By being mindful, respectful, and living a fulfilling life, you'll project "je ne sais quoi" that goes way beyond the latest app. Your social media will be a reflection of the polished guy you are, not just someone trying to keep up with the crowd.

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