I am pretty certain Instagram is one of the ‘in’ apps of the day. Everyone has it on their phone, and whenever we are bored or free we scroll through it. But don’t you think that the purpose for which this app started is almost lost. Or was it meant to while away time when we are bored?
Was it meant to make us spend more time online? Was it meant to be a news app where everyone posts about the problems of the world, and its solutions? Was it meant to be a place where new job opportunities grew and people became influencers and got paid to post? Or was it meant as a place to post photos, appreciate them and learn more about them?
Actually, this is going to get quite interesting because Instagram was one of my favourites apps on my phone. Instagram gave me different perspectives in viewing photographs, I met people off Instagram, I have found internships off Instagram. But over the past year, my usage of the app dropped for unknown reasons. But I want to focus on how this incredible app brought me joy for the past 5 years.
Oh geez here we go again.
It was the summer of 2014 when I first downloaded Instagram. I was in the 11th grade so I used it to take pictures from my Samsung Qwerty smartphone (super proud of) inserted with the shitty Instagram edits, hashtagging my way through lyf guyzzzz( you get the idea)!
History of IG
Does anyone here remember the old Instagram? The one where there was an option where you could see who liked whose post, and people would put up good photos of travel, landscape and others? And then we have Instagram of today, which is filled with social promotions, ADs and of course the posts of the numerous meme pages or influencer pages we follow. Does genuine content get lost somewhere in between all this mumble-jumble?
Follow People That Better Your Craft
Sometimes in the mess of following many Instagram accounts, you do miss the few good accounts. Instead, I used Instagram to serve my purpose. I followed accounts that pushed me to be a better photographer, inspired me to think out of the box and to practice different angles.
One such account was Murad Osman, I still remember back in 2014, when there was a Fifa tournament, he began a series called #FollowMe. he would ask his wife, Natalia, to hold his hand and turn her back to the camera, and I was in awe. I still follow his journey.
Once in college, my friend and I decided to bunk a boring psychology class (first and last mom, dad, although no promises) and were wandering around the streets of Churchgate when I paused. I saw a tyre hanging from a tree. I stopped to think, wondering if this is too high for kids to swing, so what exactly was the purpose of this object? I never found an answer to it.
But that same day, I scrolled on Instagram and found Vahistha, a travel influencer I adored was intrigued by the very same thing and that he posted a picture of it! Then the next day on the way back from college, the same friend and I bumped into him! I told him about the bizarre experience and took a picture with him. I went to the hostel, before falling asleep I decided to post it on Instagram, tagging him.
When I woke up, he tagged me with the sweetest captions, “ Thanks for making me feel like a rockstar today”. Oh, the happy moments with the app!
Well, maybe IG does give celebrity status to a lot of young talented people who otherwise might have been lost in the crowd and hearing that story does make me release how it helped spread genuine happiness.
But is the purpose of coming to Instagram to see what celebrities are up to and feel a little more connected to them? To see memes? To catch up with gossip? To see stories? ? To follow feel-good quotes and influencers? Is your purpose served of spending hours online? And though there is nothing wrong with that, when we step back and think about it, we might realize we spend a lot of time there sitting on our butts instead of out here in the real world.
I agree with Neha, we get sucked into the rabbit hole and time just flies away, but YOU CAN ALWAYS RECLAIM YOUR YOUR POWER. Here’s what I did
I created a weekly Photography assignments to document my life in Mumbai. It was back in 2015-2018 I used Instagram not just to see meme’s and have the occasional laugh but to actually do things. College didn’t really stimulate me intellectually, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. The whole purpose of the photography assignments was to capture a different perspective to the ordinary things I saw every single day.
So for a week it would be black and white photography, then it would be capturing the world through someone else’s eyes. Or it was capturing moments I savored on a trek in the western Ghats. I posted pictures of my hostel drying clothes, barber shops from the buses, shadows of people waiting in line for the bus, people lost in thought looking outside the window in the bus. Observing people was my favorite pastime.
Now with this new perspective, life seemed full of fun, thrill and joy again! I looked forward to long bus lines, crowded trains and traffic jams!
Facebook take over – good or bad?
Has Instagram has become more like Facebook, in the stalking sense?
The other day I googled about Readers digest, and the very next hour when I opened my Instagram, I had a Readers Digest AD. Yes, they are all in it together, aren’t they? And the fact that they know more about us than our best friends is quite scary, isn’t it?
They know what we search on the net, they know where we are at every minute of the day and this could be one of the reasons you could take a step back, pause and think if you want everything you research, talk or click to be known by some hacker in some remote room somewhere in the other side of the world. Maybe Instagram doers help divert our mind from the hectic day we have been having, but is it worth the loss of all your privacy? Now that’s up to you to decide!
Let your feed inspire you, motivate you, fuel you in your passions, let it work with you to improve well being, not drain you.
I am sceptical about using Instagram. But old habits die hard and here we are, talking about it while scrolling through Instagram!
Photo Credits : Beyond the Wall
Murad Osman picture credits – IBtimes