I think I just enjoy ruining other people's fun a bit too much.
In other words, we seem to have arrived at a stage where vapidity is not only tolerated or accepted but encouraged, lauded, and rewarded.
Thus an entire economy has been built atop of an “influencer” cargo cult (and too few seem at all concerned about it.)
I kinda hate most centralized forms of social media we currently have. I deleted my Facebook account a year ago, my Twitter handle 6 months ago and my Instagram account 4 months ago.
That said, I can't help but marvel at the spectacle of Instagram. There's lots of fun examples of the crazy impact Instagram has on society, but here's a couple of my favorites off the top of my head:
The two women who tried to smuggle suitcases full of cocaine into Australia, so that she could fund their glamorous Instagram-worthy lifestyles: https://www.thecut.com/2016/08/woman-documents-vacation-on-i...
The whole Fyre festival debacle. I have only watched the Netflix documentary, and I know that it itself is flawed - given that it was produced by the same company that got the Instagram influencers to sell the Fyre scam in the first place. But actually that meta layer of craziness just gives me yet more schadenfreude :)
Have you ever been to a museum or an art gallery? We've spent most of our history coveting bits of shiny metal and exotic fabrics. In 18th century Europe, the pineapple was a highly prized status symbol; people would rent one just to have it in the background of their portrait. We're a cargo-culty species of status-obsessed idiots. We always have been, and we probably always will be.
"The spending patterns of the pretentious members of the baby boom generation, or yuppies as the media called them, contributed much to the materialistic image of the eighties. According to a Newsweek cover story, yuppies are defined as those people born between the years 1945-1960 earning over $40,000 in a professional or managerial position (Andler, 1984). Conspicuously consuming a variety of status symbols, yuppies sought not only to impress others, but also to express themselves as members of an elite professional class.
Although yuppies comprised only 4.6 million, over half of the 76 million baby boomers were found to act like this unique group (Marketing News 1985; Rice 1989). Yuppies' well publicized consumption patterns provided a distinct template for other generations to emulate as well. Common status expenditures as defined by this group included BMW automobiles, cellular phones, Rolex watches, ]aft apartments (Andler, 1984), CD players, and designer clothing (Belk, 1986)."
(I wonder if nerds complaining about the vapidity of fashion has also been around since the dawn of human civilization?)
I don't think today's "influencers" are any different from yesterday's movie and TV celebs - we just now have better way to enable our vapidity.
Before we'd only have our direct entourage to compare ourselves to - now we have the whole world.
I think this phenomenon has always existed indigenously, similar to trends, it is now at a global scale.
A camera app on your phone, that can't access your files, and has no inbuilt filters. You take the photo, and it instantly gets uploaded to the photo sharing service. No editing, no offline photo manipulation. What you shoot, is what what you share. Deleting a previously uploaded photo should be possible, but a deliberately complex affair, to discourage image curating.
I doubt anyone would use this kind of app, but it's nice to imagine something like it existing.
 Instagram was originally 'as-shot + filters only' on your phone. Later, they caved and allowed previously shot photos on your camera roll to be uploaded, which led to an abundance of phone photo editing apps, then finally they allowed desktop uploads, and that was the end of what made Instagram different.
It is intrinsic to who we are as humans to want others to see a version of ourselves that we want them to see. It is the reason that fashion and beauty are such large and enduring industries. And so trying to build an app that fights that is never going to work.
Demo video: https://youtu.be/mixsze6uJPg?t=101
What's interesting to me is that IG seems to emphasize a very specific form of "curated authenticity" that's distinct from Beme + taking raw video. Maybe IG's the "Based on a True Story" of social photo apps.
Would apps like Instagram be "improved" if retouched images displayed a prominent "FAKE" icon of some sort?
Authenticity is a product, just like any other. And it's increasingly hard to say what it even means in the 21st century.
But I always use McDonald's (although any restaurant can be used here) as the core of the conundrum of fake vs. real. Look at a corporate shot of a cheeseburger and compare it to reality. The marketing cheeseburger is the platonic ideal of the product -- it's fresh, perfectly prepared with care with all of the ingredients visible. The cheeseburger on the ground looks like a crumpled napkin in comparison.
Is the marketing cheeseburger fake?
When I look at some of the more image-conscious Facebook/Instagram people, some of them are kinda insane with editing and retouching. My wife has an old acquaintance who produces a highly "optimized" picture at least twice a month. (With substantial retouch to her face and usually other body "enhancements". In the age of Instagram+Photoshop, when does someone cross the line from marketing cheeseburger to fraud?
I think that it lies on a spectrum, that a dolled up cheeseburger could be more fake in the sense that a telephoto black-and-white picture could be less authentic than a color photo taken at a focal length of ~40mm, but it depends on the viewer whether to accept or reject a photo as true.
I would say yes, it’s fake and probably fraud. You should have to show real products in advertising and not an idealized version.
At least they don't use waxes in the model burgers anymore. That's a step toward honesty, at least.
When my kids asked me why we didn't have a real Christmas tree this year, I told them, "we do have a real Christmas tree. It's made of real plastic and wire."
But the world is heavily influenced by all those fake images. People may know something is fake, yet being exposed to it again and again do change their expectation and behaviour.
It's like ad. You think it doesn't work. That you are not that stupid. But eventually, the brute force wins.
Art is inherently subjective, and you have to accept that a lot of it just _sucks_.
It's up to you to curate your own taste, and you do that by trawling through the terrible art until you find something that you like.
it's a skill we, older, not so immersed, totally miss.
What do you call body dysmorphia when what you see in the mirror doesn't match what you see on your phone in every Instagram/Snap post of yours?
> The term 'deep fake' means an audiovisual record created or altered in a manner that the record would falsely appear to a reasonable observer to be an authentic record of the actual speech or conduct of an individual.
from yesterday's discussion of Malicious Deep Fake Prohibition Act of 2018
For me now, Instagram is a website, where I briefly check out surgically-altered fitness models doing barbell squats while I'm standing in line at the grocery store. I use the PWA, because the native app constantly freezes on two separate devices and the developers don't seem to care.
I'm stupefied by the idea that this could still be an important part of life for many average adults.
So your theory of "social proof" through Instagram doesn't seem valid at all for me. Note: I don't have an active FB account either. So basically, I manage to successfully date many 20-something women with basically zero social media.
With a few well placed pictures maybe a mention from an influencer I can get thousands of girls prevalidated to hookup with.
Someone will come out with an app soon: InstraLife, selects a target account ig account pulls in similiar photos and creates a mirror profile.. also follows most active users from target's profile..
I think it says a lot more about you and the people you're interested in, than the people who don't have Instagram.
It's the best way to share art and life updates. Totally better than Facebook for keeping up with friends and seeing what people are doing, seeing their new art, etc.
FB and twitter have too much "noise" in the form of memes and shared articles, so my friends don't write original stuff for me to read/us to discuss like they used to on those platforms. So Instagram has taken the place of the social network where people actually share stuff about their lives/art/experiences/etc, and that's what I want to see.
Similarly I was shocked to discover that people chat on Instagram, despite many good messaging apps.
It’s the networks right? I have friends who organise parties on gist.github.com and that works pretty well... for a certain group.
Nay, it's the limitations. On Facebook you can share dumb articles from news sites and meme sites, articles that you never read, you just agree with the title. On Instagram it is not so easy to do this, so people share real stuff about their lives instead.
Even if it is a curation, Instagram is at least about my friends, and not about dumb news articles and memes. (Facebook was not always that way, I used to love it when it was essentially a book of open letters to friends. Alas, article/meme just turned it into an even-worse reddit.)
Right, first off the quality of pics on IG is abysmal, not even talking about the aspect ratio limitation.
And on top of that you have to search very hard to find actual og content on instagram, everyone is copying the trend of the week/month thinking they're hip . It's like watching straight to DVD movies for their artistic value.
There are two kind of people on ig:
- narcissistic people who live through their projections, seeking approval from strangers / acquaintances.
- advertisers / "influencers" trying to brainwash <15 years old into thinking that life is all about how you look and what you consume.
Well yeah that's the whole point. If you "make" to show you're not a "maker" you're a "shower". IG is purely built for attention seekers / self centered people and wouldn't exists without them. (it's always a form of narcissism / virtue signalling / showing off
You can be happy they share their stuff on instagram but it doesn't change the underlying reason of why it is shared.
This is something Instagram and Twitter both do.
Since then I've created a new account, but I've only followed about 15 of my closest friends/family. None of them are aspiring "influencers", and so the content I'm seeing doesn't have any product placement, political messaging, or really anything other than photos/video updates on my friends. As a result, I don't have much of a reason to check it more than once a week or so. It feels like a much better balance than previously and so I find myself appreciating the app, what little I use of it. I think a lot of the problems people have with it arise when they are using the platform to find "content" ala YouTube or HackerNews rather than simply a social network for sharing your personal media with people you actually know.
When traveling, my wife and I maintain a "post-only" and "reply-only" rule, where we can post updates publicly and reply to comments on those posts, but no general browsing of social media. Besides whatsapp and SMS for communicating with whomever is traveling with us, Instagram ends up being our main source of sharing and communication with people at our destination.
For instance, when in London last year, I posted a few photos as we were bouncing around town and ended up meeting with a couple friends who I hadn't realized moved there recently.
Also, anything I'm working on creatively (lately, sourdough) ends up on my feed.
The modern art museum experience is a quiet keep to your self affair, and people arent even sure they can take photos. Compare that to the same artist’s gallery opening in a cool but grundgy part of town, and it is a loud, social and wine laden affair.
Popup museums fit right in between. Meant to be shared solely by your attendance and photo tagging with no ambiguity on the rules.
Maybe everything else the article wrote has some merit, but it is definitely out of touch and takes satisfaction from that reality, which is just poor journalism.
I had a good enough time just looking at the wax models, even if the obvious attraction there for most people was taking photos.
I get that Instagram in particular brings out the worst qualities of wanting to look cool or important or whatever. And I agree that's awful. But man I would have killed for some sort of immersive artistic space to explore when I was a kid.
I'll take this over hanging out at the mall buying things for no real purpose any day.
Society Of The Spectacle
Whether you stick with evolutionary biology and say that regardless the end goal is to get laid is irrelevant; he argues the mechanism has changed in important ways.
Good targeting = tracking.
I’m happy with poor targeting, thank you very much.
If it wasn't designed just to cash-in on this issue, these could be actual art installations of the likes of Kusama's rather than extravagant photo booths.
Another example is the 'hygge' trend where people buy a candle, made in some Scandinavian country, and add some wood ornament in their home. It's not 'real', but it's enough for amongst their peers.