Why does Jaden Smith post dozens of white squares on Instagram? An investigation

Jaden SmithPhoto by Vivian Fernandez/Getty ImagesNITEROI, BRAZIL – MAY 28: Patrick Demarchelier photographs Jaden Smith during Louis Vuitton 2017 Cruise Collection at MAC Niter on May 28, 2016 in Niteroi, Brazil.

Jaden Smith is a weird dude. He has an understanding of the world that only some of us can grasp. As he once told The New York Times, “There’s a theoretical physicist inside all of our minds, and you can talk and talk, but it’s living.”

His idiosyncratic brand extends to social media. You’ve may have read some of his famous tweets (example: “How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real”), but he’s also an Instagram star, with 3.6 million followers, under the handle @christiaingrey.

One of his favourite things to post on Instagram are blank, white squares. They each get tens of thousands of likes.

There isn’t a problem in your browser — that’s just his post. It has almost 33,000 likes.

Jaden began posting blank Instagram posts with this one on April 19, 2015, about four years after he started using the service. He commented, “Monday .”

Overall, he’s posted 179 blank Instas. The count includes a few posts of a slightly darker quadrilateral inside a white square that you have to look closely to see. They account for some 12.989840348% per cent of all his posts.

It’s strange. On Twitter, Jaden has been critical of Instagram:


Trying to find a pattern in the posts is puzzling. Why does Jaden post blank white squares? Why does he post them when he does? And why does the above one, posted two months ago, have substantially more likes than this one, posted around the same time?

There’s one possibility: Instagram’s grid view. If you look at his profile with that view, instead of the normal stream, it looks somewhat organised.

Jaden Smith Instagram screenshotScreenshot by Jacob Shamsian/INSIDERScreenshot of part of Jaden Smith’s Instagram profile.

We’ve reached out to a representative for Jaden and we’ll update this post if we hear back.

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