Instagram – what makes it tick?

Posted on: 29th May 2014 Instagram Social Media
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Social network is called ‘social’ for a reason and that means all human contact and interaction is still there – just in a virtual world. So why are we so obsessed with posting photos and videos of our pets new toy, our lunch, the blue sky and ourselves in hopes that we will get at least 1 like?

It all lies in the essence of wanting other people to know exactly what we’re doing and what we have without having to talk to them. You feel that a ‘like’ is acknowledgement that your followers appreciate all that hard work you put into positioning your [insert object(s) here], choosing the correct filter and clicking upload. Then that moment of relief when that little orange icon pops up at the bottom of your screen saying someone has liked it –hurray!

It could also be that the world of photography has changed dramatically from a good ol’ Polaroid camera that spat out instant photos to an exact digital version of this in the form of your mobile phone.

These days, you don’t need to even be signed up to the app to know what it is. Instagram photos are popping up all over Facebook and Twitter feeds. To casual viewers, these discoloured, scratched-up, quasi-vintage photos with square, black film backdrops are of dubious quality–so why do users of the app find them so attractive and obsessed with the all the likes we receive on each photo?

Maybe it’s because we’re just really nosy and people secretly love people having a little peek at our daily lives and constantly posting photos of how exciting our life really isn’t is.

Status Updates: Photos vs Words

Yes its fun to follow celebrities and seeing what fabulous things they get up to in their daily basis but they’re celebrities and we do sometimes just wish that our lives were just as awesome as theirs. But it isn’t. The phenomenon that is Instagram allows us ordinary users to portray how we want others to see our daily lives and unlike Twitter and Facebook, we want to express it solely in a photo form for the entire world to see. After all, photos do say a thousand words.

The main culprits of making their Instagram pages meticulous and organised are those that reside themselves within beauty, fashion, healthy foods. fitness and luxury. Yes, you know the ones that line up their brand new lipsticks, those that have perfectly timed outfit inspirations in the outdoors (commonly known as ‘Outfit of the day’ aka #OOTD), the ones that have perfectly arranged fruit bowls for breakfast and of course, the ones that must capture the essence of a newly expensive purchase i.e. new car or handbag before any wear and tear occurs.

Because nothing says ‘LIKE MY PHOTO’ more than showing off your brand new pretty things. Sound familiar?

Filter me: Mayfair or Earlybird?

Of course it also helps that Instagram offer lots of different filters that make your photos look 10x more aesthetically pleasing and the necessary need to hashtag #NoFilter every time you don’t use one –beauty/makeup enthusiasts – I’m talking to YOU!

Yes, I went there.

But there are many reasons why Instagram is now one of the most popular apps to use and it all starts off with being free. It’s quick and easy to download in the iTunes store and all the photo-editing bells and whistles that come with it is enough to make your photos look as thought they have been taken professionally. We all know that people are social creatures and we just can’t help but share what we’re doing, eating, buying and seeing and trust me, they all want to know – why else would they be following you?

Instagram, in my opinion, could be summed up in 4 words Easy, Fun, Creative and Instant. It’s not complicated whatsoever – snap a picture, choose your filter, add a witty caption and just wait for all the likes to start popping up. All in the matter of a minute, you have your captured photo running in your timeline in an instant so the learning curve is easily manageable. The whole creative side of Instagram can make your life more exciting than what it may seem – while a Facebook status update or tweet of “bought a new pair of shoes for Saturday night” can seem relatively boring, Instagram allows you to jazz it up with a border and a retro filter to really show off your artistic side that people didn’t really know you had!

Like most social networks that we all use, it is simply a platform of channelling our inner thoughts and feelings. But there’s just something a little different and special about Instagram where we are able to let others view our lives in a picturesque kind of way and stalk the hell out of other people without them even knowing.

Hands up to those that love a bit of “insta-stalking”. It’s okay – we all love a bit of stalking once in a while!

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