Something I’ve wanted to say for a long time but never found an opportunity is that the term “social media” doesn’t describe the phenomena well. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and co. are all distant forms of socialization and as “media” it’s quite difficult to hold Tweets or Stories in comparison with, say, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or the 24 hour news cycle. The term “social media” is the cleaned up version for job titles and business plans. Networks is much better. With that introduction, consider this exposition of changes to Instagram from Caitlin McGarry of MacWorld:
Instagram carries a pressure that other social networks don’t. Every photo must be perfectly composed, your feed artfully curated, otherwise you won’t rack up double-digit likes. Quelle horreur! (But seriously, it’s depressing when only a couple followers like your carefully crafted image.) It’s not uncommon for people to use high-end photo-editing apps to add gloss to their images before sharing them to Instagram.
There’s a grand irony in Instagram, that is was created and to make sharing photos easy and painless, and now it’s become difficult (because of their new “Stories” feature) and “depressing” (her words). I encourage everyone to reconsider whether social media is worth the price, which of course isn’t monetary, but in submitting your intellectual property and becoming addicted to their social currency.