How Instagram went from just a photo-sharing app to a romanticization of our daily lives.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
What was your first Instagram post? Was it a photo of your food? A beautiful sunset with an oversaturated filter? Or a cringe picture of you and your friends hanging out at the mall? The birth of Instagram was the birth of an entire new world. The culture of social media changed instantly, as it’s still changing today. Originally, Instagram was just a photo-sharing app where you could follow your friends and see what they were up to that day. You could post whatever you want when you want. A random photo of a flower? Cool. A candid selfie you randomly took? Awesome. It was a fun time and a new way for people to keep up with one another.
Eventually, Instagram’s unspoken culture started shifting. You weren’t at the party unless you posted it on Instagram. Self-timer photo shoots with friends started becoming a normal hang-out activity. Selfies were once full-body, posed photos because front cameras didn’t exist yet. The portrayal of a fun, eventful life started becoming the Instagram norm. Perfectly posed and directed photos were the only way to post. This norm still exists today, but it looks like we may be entering a new era of Instagram culture.
The other day I was scrolling through my feed and came across someone’s “photo dump.” It started off with a picture of the sky, then a photo of a chair, a funny Twitter meme, a candid (but photogenic) selfie, and a photo of a bagel. I didn’t understand how all of these photos were so different, yet made sense. Things are starting to look a little more casual on the Gram, but not like how they used to. The evolution of Instagram has gone from staged, glamorous photos to casual, laid-back ones.
Romanticizing our daily lives has reached social media culture and our online presence. There’s no reason to wait for a party to post, it’s just as cool to post a photo of your water bottle sitting in the car. The more casual and candid your photos are the better. This is the new Instagram.
Melanie Moyer '22,