I noticed an interesting new post on PetaPixel about Instagram, which starts with the premise that ‘it isn’t you, it’s Instagram’. It also makes it blindingly clear that Instagram has absolutely nothing to do with photography, if you hadn’t already figured that out, and everything to do with consumerism and the attention economy:
There are so many people on Instagram, and the organic, chronological order news feed is sadly a thing of the past. These two things alone mean the beginning of the end for any social media platform, because they mean that the platform is prioritizing advertisers over users…
The average user spends around 53 minutes a day on Instagram; are you getting a return on your time investment into that platform? Are you making an hour’s wage daily from Instagram? If not, then I say leave the app behind and focus your time on something else.
Nicholas Carr wrote that digital content is often not as engaging as the enclosing medium or interface, and that – in many cases – the content itself becomes irrelevant. Scrolling through Instagram is all about staying in the machine zone of no-time, not about appreciating photography. (Don’t believe me? How long do you spend looking at the photos in your feed?) He also wrote that ‘Instagram shows us what a world without art looks like’.
Final thought: is it better to reach a small number of people with something of genuine value, or a large number of people who don’t care with trivia?