Instagram: The Social Camera

Today, 5 Blogs Before Lunch contributor Rocky McGredy takes a look at the social app Instagram. The Instagram application has been downloaded by over 10 million people, and is a way to instantly share your life with friends through a series of pictures using your iPhone. The concept is not dissimilar to what the original Polaroid cameras used to boast—instant gratification by sharing a photographic image with friends. But now, with social networking involved, it takes on a whole new meaning. But I am saying too much, see Instagram through the eyes of Rocky McGredy…

Snap a photo with your iPhone, choose a filter to transform the look and feel, send to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr – it’s all as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing,

I think I’ve taken seven pictures today already. I’ll probably take some more before the day is over. I seem to look at everything through a photographer’s eye nowadays, and I owe it entirely to Instagram. I mean, I’ve always been into photography and I’ve definitely always had a keen eye for interesting snapshots; but I don’t think I’ve ever had something fuel my creativity in the way that Instagram does.

I’m not sure if I can break it down to numbers, but I’m fairly certain that I now spend more time on Instagram than I do on any other social network that I belong to. This is because of two reasons: convenience and interest level. Since Instagram is a mobile app, it’s extremely convenient for me to access it anywhere; I’ve always got my phone in my pocket. Aside from that, I am genuinely interested in the content that my friends post on Instagram. The filters produce gorgeous and interesting photos, and the app makes it so easy to push out your photos to every major social network.

I’m not the only one who feels like this. I’ve talked to many of my peers who feel the same way. Many of my friends open up Instagram first thing in the morning, and return periodically throughout the day to see what new things have posted. I am no exception, in fact I’m the perfect example. I am an Instagram ADDICT. I’m fairly certain that I average 4-5 pictures a day. I’ve actually felt myself gain a bit of street cred for my account. It’s not uncommon that someone brings up my account in a conversation. “I really like that picture you posted,” or, “Hey, that photo was hilarious,” they’ll say.

Now, I’m not trying to say that I’m popular in the social sphere. (I am moderately popular in the social sphere... my Klout score is 53!! :P) I find it interesting that people mention my Instagram because I don’t find people doing that with other social networking sites. I never get compliments on my Facebook statuses in real life. Instagram is a different entity entirely, it’s the artist’s commune of social networking sites. A place where all of the content you create gains notoriety for how unique it is.

So, why the Instagram craze? Why is it app of the year, why does it bleed into reality on a regular basis? I think that we like to gain a glimpse into other people’s live, but the Instagram effect isn’t just that. When I look at an Instagram photo, I feel like I’m actually perceiving something as that person would. It’s a bizarre feeling that I have never received from Facebook or Twitter. I guess it’s the combination of the picture, filter, tilt shift, and caption that does it; but Instagram pictures have a very personal quality to them that keep us wanting more. Like they always say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

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