Instagram puzzles me. It's a photo album of whatever people are doing at some moment. What puzzles me is why I would want to know that you are sitting in some foodie place eating whatever?
Instagram is not the first web photo album, just the current popular one. We all know Facebook (they own Instagram), Reddit, and some oldies like MySpace have photo albums. Those sites puzzle me too.
I have looked around the web for some answers as to why Instagram is so popular. Some psychology and anthropology experts have posed theories:
- We like to share. OK I get that. We want to share with our friends and our friends want to share with us. That's the Social part of social media. So why drag the rest of us into it? I say text them privately.
- We fear missing out (FOMO) - worried that your friend and the rest of the world are doing something you should know about. Honestly, this isn't true. Your friends are doing the same as you and you know no one need worry about what you are doing. Besides, if you are suffering FOMO, then grab your friend and go do their FOMO.
- We think our sh*t is important and interesting - eh no! 1,050 pics of you, your kids, or your dinner is boring.
- We want to be famous - You've got to do something to be famous for. You could do a Kim Kardashian - make your sex tape public - or some other equally outrageous act.
There are some folks who use Instagram to make art: photographs as you expect (#fotoshoot -hard to find the good ones among all the crap), themed displays (@JamesTrevino), and other creative endeavors. Them I understand. They are creating art and using Instagram as a digital museum. Kudos to them.
I am a bookophile. One day I will write The Great American novel and I will post the book cover on Instagram (#BookPic) for you to buy, read, and be amazed. But first, I have to get some writing talent.