Is Instagram Dying?

Jul 24, 2018

A.B Watson

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Is Instagram Dying?

Jul 24, 2018

A.B Watson

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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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.

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9 responses to “Is Instagram Dying?”

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    I left Instagram for completely different reasons. It’s becoming stupid, specially with its new algorithms and the stupid chronological order scrambling. This is one side of the story; The other side is, I’m sick of people who do the “follow for follow” scheme (and most of the time they would ditch you and never give a like again) and the friends in real life who interact with all other photographers they know (and allow me to say it is an obvious hypocrisy) but when it comes to a simple like to the posts I do “daily” I don’t see a thing from them. All in all, Instagram became a waste of my time and I better invest my time in other things and chores (not necessarily in photography but surely I can do something useful out there!) – and let’s not forget the annoying ads.

  2. Tevin abeysekera Avatar
    Tevin abeysekera

    I feel like that there’s no creativity in most Instagram posts. It’s mostly people with their backs to the camera, facing a lake or a heavily edited cityscape. In addition, people post like it’s their personal storybook, we don’t need to know what you ate.

    1. John Doe Avatar
      John Doe

      Perhaps you should be more selective in who you follow so that you don’t have a feed full of uncreative posts.

  3. stewart norton Avatar
    stewart norton

    Totally agree, I cannot remember the last time I got remotely excited looking through Instagram, don’t get me wrong there is plenty of quality work out there in fact too much the oversaturation just dulls the senses until it all becomes mundane.

  4. Sergio Mata Avatar
    Sergio Mata

    I believe social media apps follow the same pattern that art does. Where we go from classic to decadent as a pattern. Once an art movement becomes romantic ,concerned with nature and feelings, it immediately falls into decadence. This pattern exists in apps. From the Instagram photos of landscapes to Facebook’s emoticon expansions of likes buttons. It is western tradition.

  5. rifki syahputra Avatar
    rifki syahputra

    thot marketing 101
    it’s effective

  6. Rob Swackhamer Avatar
    Rob Swackhamer

    I get more inspiration from learning new techniques and trying to figure out really goofy ways to use them with the people I work with. IG is really just a billboard for us.

  7. Paul Radford Avatar
    Paul Radford

    Numbness to content is not the issue here.. I’m sorry, but you are wrong..

    The real issues lay in people’s use of, as is usual in today’s world. You can follow a thousand people if you like, most of which simply post a photo with no description (what’s the point of that?) And you’ll be bombarded with a heap of junk to sift through, just to find something interesting..

    Clever behaviour in following is the answer… I post myself and nearly always give at least some level of detail. You see a nice picture and learn something about it. That is interesting..

    When people following me, I don’t simply follow back, but vet them. If they’re flooding images with no description, I jog on to the next follower.. this ensures that the majority of the content I see, is relevant, or at least interesting..

    Some people out there follow in hope that you are one of those that hit the follow button, often as advertising – I see a lot of bodybuilding doing that. I’m happy to leave them as followers, as long as they are respectful – at least they will get something different from the norm with my feed.. If they unfollow, good look to them, it’s a choice..

    The only thing on Instagram that comes close to bothering me is all the “click for instragram followers”, it’s a pain, constantly removing them.. Still, if I see repeated followings from such accounts, I can always block them..

    So, in answer to your post:
    * Upload content with an interesting description
    * Only following anyone that makes posts of interest to you and give interesting details
    * Having a big following list or a big list of followers, is not necessarily better
    * Only waste time enjoying instragram when you have time to waste and don’t allow addiction
    * And if you have done the above, enjoy your feed

    *** If you don’t like instragram anymore, put it to bed until you want it again, or if your really that frustrated, maybe it’s time to delete your account and app. Certainly don’t waste your time moaning about it on the internet .. ***

  8. jacob Avatar
    jacob

    Stories! The time you spend aligning the look to your own quality standards is mindless and mind boggling. Frankly you either need an agancy/marketing department or you do childish scribbles or you spend a ton of creative time doing stories to get people to see your work. It’s not about the art anymore maybe it never was but at least in the old days you could still find a niche that cares. Now it’s just about fitness bunnies and mindless questionaire styled stories (which photo was taken by an iphone and which one with an dslr type of crap) … frankly it’s become snapchat because that’s what most teens want and because facebooks is loosing that demographic— So they turned Instagram into Snapchat and killed the photo sharing app. In reality it never was about photography and always about sharing selfies where you poop and what you are eating – the art community was a fluke. They just brought it back to what Instagram was at the very very early days and destroy what it became.