“Your IG page is a reflection of your deepest desires. If it’s full of Rolexes and fast cars, then great! You are just like any other dreamer out there. If it’s chock-full of hot babes that you don’t even know…I mean, you better be smart, especially if you’re in a relationship!

I’ve been on Instagram for the past nine years. When I was 15, I had 2k followers. They were mostly people from my high school. The following year, when I started hanging out with people from different schools in town or at chalet parties, my social circle grew to 3k.

I guess I was lucky to ride the IG wave when it was peaking back in 2014. I also happened to hang out a lot in the east, you know? East side, best side! 

In 2017, inspired by the tunes of Three Little Birds by Bob Marley, I decided to keep dreadlocks. I was on a positive trip. I was living without worry because every little thing is gonna be alright! I guess this vibe rubbed off on my future. That year, my girlfriend walked into my life.

I was 18 when I experienced love. It’s funny because I never thought that my first love would be someone who’s insta famous. We first met at my birthday party. She was a friend of a friend. Our first few interactions were innocent; nothing too serious. 

I guess I knew she was more than just a hi-bye friend when we were able to spend hours with each other without feeling awkward. That happened when we were both early for a media event at the Singapore Science Centre. I don’t know man; we just clicked. In the sea of journalists and media reps, we were in our own little bubble. 

By 18, my follower count was around 5k whilst my girlfriend’s was around 70k. She gets more attention than I do. I am always in awe of how she presents herself on and off camera. She has a great sense of professionalism when working with clients and immense wisdom when dealing with haters. She can do everything, man! 

Of course there are perks to being an insta boyfriend. I get to enjoy staycations, food tasting events at different restaurants and get free passes to music festivals. I always count my blessings because I think without her, I’d never get to experience such luxuries at 18 with a part-timer salary. 

Our weekends are not always packed with media events. A typical day for us starts with lunch at a nice spot that either I scouted for or from her research. She likes to take photos in the day because it is easier to edit, especially when we don’t use a professional camera that can shoot in low light or do any of the fancy things. 

To be honest, we don’t normally spam our camera. But when we do, I can easily take a few hundred shots with only a handful that passed through her audits.

Before taking photos, I always make sure that my stomach is full because when the cameraman is unhappy, the subject will also be unhappy! I always avoid shooting from the top or bottom. Best to shoot photos at your ‘belly-level’ for a natural composition.

I guess being an insta boyfriend has its fair share of challenges. I am her one-man studio (camera, tripod, lighting), protector (there was once I had to step in to tell off a guy on IG for body shaming her), walking dustbin (for all the free food that she gets, I help her to finish them).

But I’m not complaining! I love every single moment with her. Some days I’m still in disbelief. How could a guy like me be dating a girl like her? With her around, every little thing is gonna be alright.” – Ryan, 22

Interview by: Hisham Zainal

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