Is Instagram dying? Here is a quote a fellow photographer shared with me.
“Although I feel Instagram offers a really beautiful opportunity to connect with others, share art and reach people on a large scale on topics that deserve recognition and attention, I’m finding that it’s becoming harder and harder to feel excited, stimulated or inspired scrolling through my feed.”
You might concur with this statement as well as myself. Over stimulation leads to a form of numbness to the viewer, requiring more and more, but there comes a point where one says “No more!”. This void of inspiration, excitement or overstimulation could be from the algorithm determining what shows up in our feed. When popular content wins over relevant content in turn, this can result in soulless imagery. Maybe my lack of following diverse creatives is my problem, or perhaps I’m just bored? Sadly I will never know because the mystery of the algorithm lies behind closed doors at Facebook.
Because of the continuous feed, I have found myself spending more time away from the screen in regards to consuming content. I find myself stepping outside to bask in nature, to view what our local parks and galleries have to offer. I now understand the need artists have to become recluse. I understand why writers move to a secluded cabin away from modern-day distractions. Why photographers go on personal assignments in isolated regions of the world. Where painters have the discipline to lock themselves away in their studios only to have the company of the canvas. Focusing on our craft instead of on the work of others is hard, but a necessity for some of us.
We all get our inspiration from the world around us and absorb it through our subconscious, regardless of what we are paying attention to. This reinforces why so many peoples work can look very similar, they never see anything outside of the Instagram’s feed, creating an inspiration vortex. The photographer I mentioned previously said.
“I find Instagram tends to create trends and this influences how artists shoot/choose what to share on the platform.”
This might be true for some artists, so be careful what you’re looking at because it could influence your current work, good or bad.
With this in mind I want to go back to the question, do I personally think Instagram is dying? No… I feel there is still a place for it in mainstream social media? Do I think more and more artists are looking elsewhere for inspiration and paying less attention to the digital screen world? Yes… When it comes to getting inspiration, But when it comes to distributing content and our work, the internet is still King and Queen.
Digital screens are here to stay, the internet is the next industrial revolution, people are demanding things to be quicker, faster and at a lower cost. First, it was mass produced items, now it has become saving time. The demand for same day delivery as an example. Instagram delivers on those desires, needs and wants. Your cell phone is the new TV, billboard, radio and newspaper. It’s not going away, but something is happening, more and more of us are becoming self-aware of the amount of time we are in front of it.
I personally spend to much time on Instagram, the amount you spend on it might be different. I know every minute I spend scrolling, I could be writing instead. I could be outside in the world, capturing it. Or I could be editing my photos in the darkroom. I know I should be doing something else, but I can’t help myself. It’s an addiction, an addiction to the endorphins that I’m rewarded with every like and comment. Is Instagram dying? Or is Instagram King and Queen of social media? What are your thoughts?
About the Author
Alexander Ben Korako Watson, best known as A.B Watson is a photographer based in Auckland, New Zealand. You can find out more about him on his website, follow his work on Instagram and Facebook or reach out to him through Twitter. This article was also published here and shared with permission.