Both you and I know, the image we put out to the world isn’t our real image. It’s the image we want everyone to see.
In my experiences social media can be both a great tool of connection and competitive environment. The platform I utilize the most would be Instagram. It’s features include a personalized feed/reels, direct messages, shopping, sharing, stories and #ads. I mostly use the direct message feature (DM) to contact my friends and boyfriend, by sharing my day to day adventures and memes. But I often share on my story and occasionally post onto my feed. This version of myself is one curated to fit the aesthetic that I have built. In saying that I am the person I portray to be, but of course Instagram doesn’t show my whole personality.
As you can see I’m a proud foodie, which is combated by my love for running, I enjoy going out and of course my love for my puppies! Instagram portrays the highlights of my life.
The most common affordance of Instagram is its use of the image. (Delaney, 2021) When it was first realised the platform was the first to not have a “status update” like Facebook or Twitter. It relied on an image to post which many became obsessive with.
The images we shared have changed from 2010, when it all started. Different styles of filters are used, more flavoursome hashtags are featured etc. But the original concept of sharing an image hasn’t changed and will continue to remain as its largest selling point. It is through this image that the concept of an aesthetic began to fine tune itself. Referring to an article written by Lev Manovich, he speaks about Instagramism like an art movement, one which millions of people contribute to, and only become popular if such an aesthetically pleasing criteria is met. (Manovich, 2016). An Instagram feed is just modernised art that is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer (you and I).
But is Instagram whitewashed?
To answer that, no not entirely. Sure America does have a large chunk of active Instagram users but in comparison the top four countries include Brazil, Indonesia and India. Instagram’s presence is very much an international one with multiple language settings and features. Proving its modernity, as media producers are realizing that we are connecting internationally now, meaning they have to expand there scope to provide for the greater.
From the statistics, readings and my own personal experiences that I have gained from the social media network, I have found that Instagram is well adverse in marketing and selling a lifestyle. The competitive environment to have an aesthetically pleasing profile and feed means users will continue to post, thus creating traffic for the platform. The main affordance of Instagram is one that sets it aside from all other social platforms, the idea of sharing our lives through a picture has taken over and changed the way we communicate to each other.
Delaney, A., 2021. The Affordances and Constraints of Instagram – Abigail Delaney. [online] Abigaildelaney.coventry.domains. Available at: <https://abigaildelaney.coventry.domains/blog/uncategorized/the-affordances-and-constraints-of-instagram/> [Accessed 22 August 2021].
Manovich, L., 2016. Instagram and Contemporary Image. ACADEMIA,.