Last week I asked if anyone uses Instagram on Facebook. No response. I could only guess that 1) my Facebook following is too small of a demographic to ask such a thing, or 2) my Facebook followers don’t really use it. Maybe it’s a both, so I guess it’s option 3. On the first day of class, my photography professor mentioned that we could follow one another on Instagram. Oh, and we could become Facebook friends.
A few chuckled in a row behind me. I was thinking the same thing, but she said, “Don’t worry. I only post photography-related stuff.”
Well, I ended up becoming Facebook friends, and as I perused her page, she was right. It was all about photography, which was some cool stuff.
After a light discussion on defining digital photography, we toured the college’s art gallery. At the moment, the art faculty is showcasing their latest work. Surrounded by four white walls and wooden flooring, we entered a sacred sanctuary of modern and personal artwork. From abstract paintings to $800 handmade cosmic colored pottery to reinterpretations on plastics, I felt like I walked inside the minds of their creative souls. Perhaps that was the difference with this art gallery viewing – I know who these artists are, which made their work even more fascinating.
Then we took notice of our digital photography professor’s work – 100+ Instagram photos on display. From a distance and at 3.5”x3.5”, you couldn’t really see the images. They were colorful postcard-sized images that drew the viewer in. I was immediately drawn to one of the most colorful pieces.
I slowly looked at the rest of the images, and you could tell that she’s a formalist. In almost every image, she photographed in the same style. Even snapshot images of her daughter were in a straight, formalist approach.
We critiqued her work, which was weird because 1) how many people do you know get to talk to the artist in front of her work? 2) she’s our professor, which changes the level of our relationship from artist to student-to-teacher. But students weren’t shy about sharing their thoughts on her work and digital media seen printed in a gallery.
We concluded that photos on Instagram are usually for those who like to share where they’ve been, who they’ve been hanging out with, and what they’ve done – photography of a happy and joyful life in chronological order.
While these are beautiful images to look at, I couldn’t help but think about questions of Internet privacy and displaying your life for the entire world to see. Think online predators, Internet trolls, email scammers, and such.
The Internet can be a scary place.
But growing up in a social media-driven world is part of youth culture. Many grew up working an iPad or other handheld device before they could say “please” or “thank you.” Even our oldest knows how to take a selfie.
So I am faced with a question. Do I dare begin the spiraling journey of joining Instagram?
Well, here’s your answer.
How about you? Are you a fan of Instagram?
From my hometown to yours,