A few months ago I watched a short documentary on Vimeo called Instagram Is.
The film was created by Paul Tellefson and features a number of Instagrammers. The documentary project all started in a class when Paul was asked to create a trailer for a mock film; after creating the short trailer, Paul realized there was an entire story right in front of him. He ended up creating Instagram Is as part of his capstone project at the University of Texas at Dallas.
A year and half ago, I graduated from a college where I had an amazing four years with an amazing group of friends, and shortly after I picked up my life and moved from upstate New York to Portland, Oregon. Before stumbling across the video on Instagram, I liked Instagram because it allowed me to quickly document my daily life and post a picture for my friends and family to see three thousand miles away. And it’s reciprocal, so I got to see everything my best friends were up to even though we were now sprinkled across the country and not living on campus within five minutes of each other; it was a great way to keep in touch and to a certain extent made me feel like we were still physically a part of each of my friends’ lives. Then I watched Instagram Is, and became obsessed with Instagram – as a mobile app, as a community, as a window into other worlds, as a way to document and change perspective.
After watching Instagram Is, I still see it as a window into other worlds and method by which to document a life story, but also a lot more. It’s a way to meet and connect with other people from different states, different countries, and different worlds. Through conversation on user photographs, users created Instameets to meet up with members of the Instagram community in cities all over the world. Users crafted a community and took a uniform, digital community and infused it with creativity and physicality. I hadn’t realized the strength and realness embedded in Instagram; most digital communities seem cold and lacking genuine sentiment. Since watching, I’ve got to admit, I’ve become obsessed – to a certain extent – with Instagram. I love being able to create and share photos with not only my friends, but also people around the world; being able to explore other worlds and different perspectives on my own world through photographs.
Instagram – and my obsession for it – gives me a little more faith in social media and makes me want to dive into new platforms to see what’s going on! What social media platforms are you obsessed with? What platform inspires you to create, share, and explore?