From its launch in 2010, Instagram has gained attention from almost five hundred million people worldwide. That is the number of people who actively use this application for sharing photographs and most of them are in their early twenties.
In the company of Twitter and an online social media pioneer Facebook, Instagram finds distinction as a more laid-back, cool option. Its main appeal is simplicity and ease of use, therefore few changes have been incorporated since the software developers gave birth to this platform.
Let’s inspect how an online application of miniature stature is affecting and literally changing the world as we know it. The finest things you will stumble upon are aimed at people who have a strong desire for things.
Take a cat-walk world for example. Fashion designers are usually appealing to the Instagram crowd with something that used to be done strictly behind closed doors. What was pretty much confined and encapsulated business in the pre-internet era, today is a set that welcomes public attention.
It’s a place where fashion trends dictate reality, not the other way around. If you’re young, good looking and possibly charismatic, you could make a career out of this. Many of them already have. But if you have other, say voyeur aspirations, or just want to be a participant of the latest fashion talk, you have also come to the right place.
Millions of people all over the world can’t afford the latest offerings from fashion gurus, but here, they can at least discuss about it with the designers themselves. And that makes people feel like they are a part of the picture. Communication with the customer is greatly enhanced.
Designers move their attention from skinny models and put you in their creation process. You can call it fashion democracy if you like.
Another area where Instagram shines and appeals to a wide range of people is art. Many artists use this platform to showcase their concept design and stages of the creation process itself. It is like a virtual studio, opened for everybody. It definitely changed the way we look at this form of human expression. Life and work of an artist are being demystified.
If you like to travel a lot and want to share your experiences from all corners of the globe, you are probably using Instagram already. This application gives us access to pictures we’ll probably never going to replicate by ourselves. Travel agencies and popular brands are even paying professional photographers to devise the marketing strategy of their companies.
To such extent goes the above mentioned process that today’s most distinguished photographers get their work published on Instagram. It is, simply put, a better form of presenting your ideas, and in a vastly superior way than any traditional media can deliver.
You can also discover exotic geographical locations you never knew they even existed. Or encounter information about countries that are closed for public eye due to the conservatism of their political regimes. There are many European and American photographers traveling to North Korea and Iran every year.
Despite the lack of a traditional tourist experience you would normally expect, the camera man’s eye can get miniature details of everyday life caught up in his lens. Instagram is like a binocular view to other worlds. But sometimes, it steps into the realm of controversy rather than an educational field.
If you happen to be a food lover or a culinary expert, Instagram is the right destination you. Just like in the case of fashion, trends meet reality here. Exquisite, tasty and healthy meals can attract a huge crowd if they are presented in a properly flashy manner.
Otherwise, they would certainly not. Most people dining at a restaurant these days disregard their appetite and get in a situation where they are trying to get a better shot of a particular dish, instead of just enjoying the meal. It often gets comical to such extent that guests are requesting a plate color replacement, in order to get a suitable picture.
Instagram possesses the means and power to ignite sky-high fame overnight. There are many cases where celebrities exist only in the Internet world. On the other hand, it is a fantastic opportunity for unknown people to gain recognition for their work.
The already mentioned photographers are just a part of the picture. Bullying and so called “trolling” are also inevitable scenes that you’ll come across if you’re surfing the Instagram waters. Candid shots of celebrities are a particularly sought after item.
The not so good things
But despite all the praise, there are a couple of potential downsides. According to scientists, you can do real damage to your physical condition with just a single stroll down the Instagram alley. Numerous conducted studies showed alarming results.
People who regularly use social media networks are in greater risk of developing depression and feelings of resentment and loneliness. Low levels of self-esteem were also diagnosed. All these negative aspects were brought in connection with photos shared on Instagram.
When people see Instagram pictures, they tend to think about “perfect life”. Superficial impression leads to a conclusion that everybody else is living better than us. Everything out there is perfect in our eyes. Then we start comparing that with our reality. And then comes the envy.
Especially dangerous is the industry of good looks. People find themselves asking why they can’t look like some girl or a man who posted his pictures online. One starts to be obsessed not only with his looks but also with the delusive impression that everybody else is looking at him.
That can only lead to madness because there will always be someone who is better looking than you. At least in your own eyes. Tearing apart real-life social connections is also a negative consequence of using online services. Peoples’ real world interaction is not physically interrupted, though.
It is our reality that got so edited by services like Instagram that we find our own lives boring.