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Disturbing or Expected? Wealthy Teens Stir Up Instagram Controversy

Aug. 22nd, 2012 | Updated Jul. 14th, 2014 | Comments 1 | Make a Comment   
rich kids of instagram
Photo Credit: venetobynetosoberanes via Instagram

Though millions of Americans are feeling the various effects of the recession, the Rich Kids of Instagram don’t seem to know the meaning of the word. In case you haven’t been introduced to RKOI yet, it’s a Tumblr page that compiles photos from different Instagram accounts of the flashy offspring of the extremely affluent. The images are framed in gilded gold and accompanied by hash tags such as #rkoi, #weath, #nojob #noproblem, #mansion, #bentley and captions like “$4000 bottle of champagne bitch" and “Our everyday is better than your best day.”

Rich kids of Instagram
Photo Credit: bradmontgomery via Instagram

The Tumblr page hit the web on July 13, 2012 and as expected, received mixed reactions from critics, journalists and the ‘rich kids’ in the photos themselves. One article from The Atlantic Wire says …”these wealthy kid pix are particularly funny (and also sad) because they showcase a gross variant of entitlement. Preteens posing with helicopters they did nothing to earn and posting the pictures online for others to ogle provides an easy in for commentary on the state of the American dream. (Dead.)”

Rich kids of Instagram
Photo Credit: gbennati via Instagram

Meanwhile the girl they speak of, 19-year-old Annabel Schwartz, doesn’t seem to appreciate the attention, telling, “My friends and I don’t want to be associated with this. This is very embarrassing...We took a vacation to have a nice time to enjoy ourselves. Not to make us splash on an Internet page. These pictures are meant for our friends and a joke and for us to keep a memory and not for the world to watch.”

Rich kids of Instagram
Photo Credit: 1markkiz via Instagram

Now, if you put your photos on the Internet for anyone to see, is it so surprising that people are looking and judging? Instagram does have a privacy setting after all. Social media has changed the way we communicate, share information and view each other with just the click of a mouse. Mix that convenience with America’s glorification of and fascination with the rich and famous (i.e. The Kardashians, Hiltons and Real Housewives) and sites like RKOI become a huge Internet sensation.

Rich kids of Instagram
Photo Credit: arnhoff via Instagram

Maybe this is not a matter of the affluent flaunting their wealth—that’s not a new concept. Perhaps this is more about the accessibility the public has to the content. Then again, what is really wrong with this type of behavior? Is it simply the obnoxious and in-your-face approach that people find abhorrent, especially given the country's current state? No one is arguing the lack of sensitivity these RKOI have toward their fellow Americans, but does that make their behavior out-of-line or much different from the typical self-centered teen? If the site was “Upper-Middle Class Kids of Instagram” would people even take notice?

Rich kids of Instagram
Photo Credit: petermarquez346 via Instagram

Take a minute to visit your own Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. What are all of your friends announcing? Probably all of the best stuff happening in their lives. Any social media site, be it Facebook, Twitter or otherwise, will display members showing off something; their purse might not be Fendi and their vacation may not be to the South of France, but the items are all still relative to each person's lifestyle, just as in the case of the wealthy. When is the last time you heard about a public backlash from Joe Schmo posting pictures from his spring break in Fort Lauderdale?

Rich kids of Instagram
Photo Credit: sarahatashkar via Instagram

And with negative feedback being blasted around the Twitterverse in tweets like "Dear Rich Kids of Instagram: You might be wealthy, but you're far from being high class. Glad I was taught the difference" and "Rich Kids of Instagram: The moronic excessiveness of teenage socialites," I start to wonder if is this really about the ignorance of these individuals in the 1%, or jealousy among the other 99%? What do you think?

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1 Comments on this Article

David commented on August 30, 2012

I am not wealthy by no means but I believe in living your life to the fullest, I don't see how anyone can be mad at these people, they are just having fun and they are young so when they get older they can look back at this and say they have had a good life. Not everyone can get to the status where these kids are and probably won't in there life but if you have the means to start seeing how to begin a better life for yourself then go for it. When the economy went tumbling a few years back I made promise to myself that I would somehow learn how to make more money and live a more prosperous life. I met a realestate investor a while back who has been training me to make more money. If I have learned one thing is that you have to take advantage of the bad times and turn it around to make it good for you. I have done just that, ever since this economy took a hit I made it my mission to raise my financial status. My goal is to be a millionaire in 5 yrs or less and I know if I make the right moves in realestate and other solid investments I will get there. Anyone can get to where they want to be in life, you just have to believe in yourself and persue it. So as for everyone complaining about these kids hey they are just having fun, I say leave them be and let them be kids and live there lives to the fullest. As for me, I am going to continue to reach for my goal and this site will help and inspire me to get there. :)

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