Yesterday I wrote about using Instagram as a recording device to track special events, such as life during the pandemic. As I was writing about it, I started thinking about Instagram as a service.
A weird thing happened to that service in the summer of 2022. The folks at Meta (who own it) hamfistedly tried to change the app, only to face a backlash from famous and not so famous. Unlike Twitter, Meta actually backed off from some of the changes (though they are still trying to make Reels happen). I’m glad they did.
In some ways Instagram has become my default way of sharing my life, mainly through Stories. The same 50 or so people see all my posts and can keep up with what I find interesting, and that amount is fine with me. On Twitter you can imagine lots of people are paying attention to what you post: on Instagram, you know who is. I no longer use Facebook, and who knows who reads these blog posts. 🙂 So Instagram it is.
Like many people, Instagram photos are not my life, but rather a version of it. I realized that especially when I put together my collection of images from Year 1 of the pandemic. There were plenty of things that I took photos of but never posted there. Anyone not close to me might think that’s everything happening in my life, but it’s only a sliver of the pie.
It’s good that Instagram allows you to collect Stories in Highlighted sections. It helps with the ephemeral nature of them. In most cases, the fact that photos in Stories are fleeting is good. But not always. It’s good to shape some of them into a virtual scrapbook to display.
Of course I could use Instagram Posts, but like many people, I post to Post less and less. Now I mostly use it to mark a moment in time.
Instagram may not be the best place to publish photos, but it’s pretty good. Of course everything could change tomorrow, and all of it could be gone. I keep that in mind and keep my photos backed up separately. You should too.
Instagram has plenty of problems. Anyone reading their Wikipedia page can see that. But it has its benefits and does better than most social media these days. At least for me. Find me there, at least for now, at bernie_michalik.