I’m not ashamed to say it: Instagram is a post-modern necessity.
Back in what I like to call the “Myspace Days,” or the years 2004-2006, people began taking loads of pictures of themselves. Sometimes wearing the same shirt in each image with simply their expression being changed, sometimes their expression stayed the same and the shirt changed, most times it was a self portrait from the flattering arm-extended upward angle now known as the “Myspace angle.” It was a quick movement from the traditional “special occasion photography” to the postmodern “look at me on an average day looking average” photographic movement.
—The point is that our grandparents didn’t have thousands of photographs of themselves in their teens and twenties. They had a few, and that was enough. But in this day and age, we need to be validated as individuals in various media forms, most notably social networks like Twitter, and apps like Instagram.
Instagram lets me take a photo of my lackluster turkey sandwich lunch and put a cool filter on it. It lets me then send it out into the world where virtually anyone with my screenname (*cough* akilahh *cough*) can look at it and comment on it.
Why do we need this technology? Because it’s the next logical step. We went from sitting on our bathroom counters taking pictures of ourselves to getting a little bit more savvy with camera phones that have dual lenses for optimal “self portraiture.” We might not have learned how to use photoshop (don’t look at me, I rule at photoshop), but we have an automated 10 or so filters that make our crappy phone photos look good. And hey! What if we didn’t do anything cool today? What if that blurry photo of a magazine is the highlight of your past 24 hours? GOOD! Instagram let’s us share even the most mundane moments of our lives with total strangers.
I can’t say what’s coming next. Probably something even more ludicrous. But it’s what happens in this technological renaissance. The ability to show off way more when we’re doing way less.