Hello millennials! It’s time for us to talk about our Prime Minister’s Instagram account; or more specifically, Malcolm Turnbull’s Instagram Influencer Status: Yeah, Nah, or Yeah Nah?
If it’s too difficult for you, as millennials, to answer yeah nah, how about you just slide the emoji so the Prime Minister can see how you feel?
I first heard that our nation’s leader had a super active Instagram account with daily updated stories when I was in very rural New South Wales (just outside of Tamworth), where there was no power lines and no houses for kilometres around. But I did have 4G on my phone, as the area was serviced with the NBN.
This is very different to the internet coverage in my home in the Inner West of Sydney, where I cannot take a phone call inside or outside of my home, and I could not post an Instagram story or, say, DM the PM, if the mood struck me. Anthony Albanese has called it a “dog’s breakfast” which seems pretty partisan but also is pretty true. But I digress. A fellow millennial said to me: “You need to follow him – he is the most powerful man in Australia.”
I suppose this is true? Or yeah nah.
It has been an interesting journey following Malcolm Turnbull on Instagram. His stories are peppered with whatever the latest app feature is offering – emojis; click to activate polls; heart-eye emoji sliders; 15 second videos of the PM kissing babies and shaking hands with people of import from around the country and around the world.
I want to start by saying that the way the Prime Minister engages with issues and global events is, interesting: it’s stubbornly on brand – super nationalistic and un-waveringly AUSSIE.
Take, for example, his super romantic and touching tribute post dedicated to Meghan and Harry’s special day last month. The PM brings the focus back to our great home, girt by sea – our great hats (often hung with corks, did you know?) and our our great Bondi Beach. Oh, and our great Invictus Games.
Malcolm Turnbull’s Instagram: Royal Wedding Day
Actually it’s a pretty good Instagram post, as far as Instagram posts go – it’s pretty, bubbly, and entirely self serving and narcissistic. It makes total sense that a politician would flourish when given a social media platform that is built for self-serving sociopathic vampire people.
Malcs sinking a few (or ten) in Tassie
This week was Refugee Week and Turnbull took the opportunity to post the following moving tribute on his Instagram story while continuing to keep Peter Dutton in a job, and refugees in actual cages for periods of five years or longer, while they languish, are tortured and commit suicide. But again, I digress.
Let’s all think about the emoji slider as we consider what exactly the PM is saying about Refugee Week with this considered Instagram story – probably posted by one of his handlers. “Here I am, posting, and saying nothing whatsoever.”
Malcolm Turnbull’s Engagement with #RefugeeWeek2018
There is a theory that social media is, for the user, a performative space. That accounts are spaces to perform out different realities of success, happiness, wealth, health, etc. to an audience who can’t see you IRL. Social media does of course have its limitations, as filters are fallible and narratives have plots holes.
Turnbull’s tales have always been snakes and ladders – he’s enjoyed a long political career of straddling the left and the right, a smiling assassin hiding behind others, playing the part of ‘the calm and educated political savant.’
This all really backfired for Turnbull when he dragged Australia through the muck and mire of his Australian Marriage Law Plebiscite, which the LGBTIQ+ community resoundingly lampooned as being deeply harmful from inception to end. Malcs then used his Instagram (and Twitter) account to gleefully and flippantly reposition himself as a supporter of marriage equality, with a super famous, wig wearing, gay icon. Cher eventually had to apologise for appearing with Turnbull at all – the PM made no such concession, but did shame the public for ‘being mean’ to Cher.
So, tell us what you think of Malcolm Turnbull’s Instagram? Yeah, nah, or yeah nah?