Sunday, March 02, 2014

Instagram: Just a Popularity contest?

(Disclaimer: This is a rather messy/incoherent-ish post because my brain isn’t really functioning at optimum levels right now so read ahead only if you dare wish)
Hey guys, this is going to be a rather rushed post as it’s getting late and I’ve school tomorrow, but I really felt inspired to write this.
So after about two years of using Instagram, I realised that it’s starting to become more of a popularity contest, where people post photos to get many “likes” and garner a huge following. The scary part is, I’ve become a bit like that. I realised that most of my photos on my main account (@Jinwerm please follow me hahaha) are photos of food because food is one of the more “like”-able subjects on Instagram. I hardly post photos of myself with friends and stuff like that because I’m afraid no one will like it/I’d be judged etc. etc. This is really superficial of me and reveals how insecure I am but really, aren’t most of us like that as well? Unless, of course, you’re extraordinarily gorgeous or have multiple Instagram accounts all used to like your own photos.
I digress. Back to my point, Instagram has become a tool to gauge our popularity amongst our peers. The higher the number of “like”s, the more popular you are. This is regardless of whether or not your photo is nice. Just look at the Instagram feeds of celebrities. Some (or most) of the photos are, to be honest, hideous. Yet, they garner tens of thousands of “like”s! Where is the logic in this?!
A large proportion of Instagrammers resort to using hashtags to promote their own photos, hoping more people will “like” them. This results in ridiculous and irrelevant spam hashtags such as #instadaily #likeforlike #tagforlikes etc. (the list can literally go on and on). Is this what Instagram has come down to?! It might not be the case, but I think that Instagram should be used as a tool to capture/record snippets of your daily life, becoming somewhat of a photo journal so that one day you can scroll through your feed and reminisce of the “good ol’ days”. So really, what is the point of posting photos just to get “like”s?!? Not to mention the ridiculous hashtags that follow your photo.
If you are, like me, the kind of person who feels insecure about how many “like”s your photos gather, then you probably post photos on a very sporadic basis. You want to filter out the best, most “like”-able photo to post, afraid that if you post a photo that receives only a paltry few “like”s, other people may judge you for it, i.e. “Only 7 likes? How pathetic.”
After realising this about myself, I felt really scared. I don’t want to be this kind of person. Thus, I set up another Instagram account, this time, with the privacy setting activated. I feel much more comfortable posting photos without having to worry about people judging me, because my only followers are those whom I know personally and whom I trust. I’ve a long way to go, but hopefully this will help me overcome my insecurity over…whatever this is.

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