Nowadays, we are so consumed with social media, it seems as if we are drowning in it. The social media craze began with MySpace and then shifted to Facebook. With new technologies and smart phones, the capabilities that we have are endless. Humans seem to be driven off of communication and competition and those qualities are found within the social media apps of the new generation. I am talking about Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is the same concept as Facebook; users have their home page, a newsfeed, a messaging center, and a place to post their own thoughts and ideas. Instagram is a little different, it offers a new spin on older social media; users, instead of posting words, now post a picture with various filters and are then offered a space to caption their photo – not much is different other than this is a photo based platform instead of text. Instagram keeps users competitive by allowing “likes” and “followers” to be seen by anyone. I found that even within my own group of friends, we all strive to have the most “likes” though they are seemingly meaningless.
After launching in October of 2010, Instagram dominated the app store gaining over 100 million by April of 2012. But what has happened in the 2 years after the Insta-craze? I found that with my phone, I have a routine whenever I wake up which goes like this: I wake up, I check Messages, then Twitter, then Instagram, then I get out of bed and start my day. It has become a daily routine since I don’t know how long. Tom Gunning’s article, “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, SecondNature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of the Century” wonders how things go from innovation into a habitual utility. Gunning asks the question, “What happens in modernity to the initial wonder at a new technology when the novelty has faded into the banality of the everyday?” (Gunning 42). He then offers John Onian’s four stages in which amazement turns into learning as an explanation. These four steps consist of:
1. A striking experience, usually visual, but sometimes aural.
2. A consequent physical paralysis.
3. A reaction which results in something being learned, and may be followed by
4. A new action
These steps accompany almost every technological advancement whether it be something as complex as a new operating system, or something as simple as an app like Instagram, and through these steps, we familiarize ourselves with the technology and it becomes a daily routine. Some groups of people despise Instagram claiming it to be a nuisance and a hindrance to everyday activities. Because of its ease and our familiarity, we tend to use it at the most inappropriate of times and this meme illustrates different people’s perceptions of it and its usage:
Gunning, Tom. (2003) “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, SecondNature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of the Century”. In D. Thorburn and H. Jenkins (eds), Rethinking Media Change:The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 39-60.