Today, a reading from the book of I Don’t Get It …
Popular photo sharing app Instagram – long an Apple-only item – became available on Android devices for the first time this week. And just a couple days later it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion dollars. Yes, Dr. Evil, that’s billion with a B.
Well, backlash also starts with a B and that’s precisely what ensued – at least, assuming social media offers an at least semi-accurate read into people’s opinions. (And I’m not that it does, but that’s a gripe for another day.) A whole bunch of folks were upset that the hip Instagram was going to go mainstream, that their timelines would get clogged and even that the newcomers wouldn’t understand how to do correctly use it.
I mean, I’ll give you that I don’t spend as much time on Facebook as I used to because there is too much stuff to wade through (and a certain amount of it resembles raw sewage). And I’ll also concede that some Instragrammers are better than others in terms of photo quality. Howeva’ (in Stephen A. Smith voice), this is social media. Social. As in, communicating with others. You’re there voluntarily – unless there some sort of Internet hostage situation that I’m unaware of – and can follow as few people as you’d like.
Like roughly 50 percent of all smartphone users, I’m running a Droid. (Don’t ask why the work-related iPhone switch I wrote about last month still hasn’t happened because I have no idea.) Being curious and dangerously addicted to social media, I downloaded Instagram the day it became available. Turns out, I really like it for several reasons.
A) We all take pictures on our phones, so why not have them turn out well?
B) It’s fairly simple and enjoyable
C) I genuinely enjoy seeing other people’s stylized pics. For example, music producer Budo crafts some brilliant stuff that – in my opinion – enhances his image as an artist.
Instagram also gives me a new appreciation for my talented photographer friends in that snagging a truly unique angle isn’t as easy as it looks. (To wit, my pal, Cory Myers, just nailed an icy cold beer. I’m still thirsty for it days later. For your sake, I’m not going to link to it.)
Frankly, it’s encouraged me to look at the world differently – not all the time, but in this sort of quiet moments. It’s like stopping to shoot the roses. And I need more of that because I’m busier than I should be and have a tendency to overlook life’s visual details.
Consider this my plea for mercy: Bear with us newbies, Instagram vets. We’re a generally good lot and really do mean well. Besides, we’re bound to contribute something useful sooner or later. And if not, well, then your pics look even better by comparison. Darwin would be proud.