Social media within itself has greatly affected the way of life of the majority of people in today’s world. Instagram, piggy-baking off of the main idea of Facebook, is among one of the most popular social medias out today, with pictures streaming non-stop. The idea behind Instagram in comparison to other social medias is that there is more to a story than text. This new form of social media, which began as a way for photographers to share their work and for people to instantly share their photos, grew quickly—nearly 100 million active accounts just within the first 2 years. Today it has reached billions and it has become apart of daily life within the world.
Within Tom Gunning’s “Re-Newing Old Technologies” he explains how the photograph began as “means of preserving the memory of family members after their death and it was this practice that Thomas Edison had in mind when he likewise proposed the newly invented phonograph as : “The Family Record—a registry of saying, reminiscences, etc..by members of a family in their own voices, and of the last words of dying persons” (Gunning). Although Instagram is not focused on the preservation of the dead, it is centered on the “dying moment” in which we are preserving through photography. Because cameras are so easy accessible today, people are taking pictures of every moment they wish to reminisce on…the “dying” moments in their lives they wish to look back upon. But through the rapid expansion of the application, it has become less about preserving the memories and more about sharing them.
Although it hasn’t become less of a place for photographers and everyday people to share their pictures, it has become a place for companies to market and celebrities to brand. Not just Instagram, but almost all of social media has become this place where you as a person are defined. The more Instagram grows, the more future employers will begin to define who you are as a person based off your pictures and content. Because of the newness of Instagram and how people are using it, there is a strong gap between generations and also between work and play. People within my generation, also known as the “Me Generation” use the application mainly for social media and to basically broadcast their lives. Because they did not grow up with social media, parents and the older generations don’t understand this desire to share everything you are doing with your friends/followers, and often times they look at it as self-absorption and unnecessary curiosity that we have about other peoples lives. Instagram, most recently, has provided a consumerist society in which companies and brands are marketing their products. Many celebrities are attempting to brand/market for themselves on the app by posting information like when their latest single will drop, where they are holding meet and greets, etc. I believe that Instagram as of now is the latest way to share your life in a fun and creative way. It is a way of experiencing many places or outlooks on things you yourself would not come up with.
“What celebrities think it does” – is a picture of Kim Kardashians photo on Instagram promoting the time and channel her TV show will be on
“What future employers think it does” – is a picture of three people sitting at a desk all explaining how social media affected them getting a job
MarketShare. “More Brands Joining Instagram And With Good Reason.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 13 Aug. 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.