Instagram recently expanded to include a video-sharing feature.
When Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom announced the new feature, he mentioned humanity’s quest for a “tool to remember.”
A way to capture memories.
The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham argues that Instagram Video completely fails in this regard.
While recently enjoying a rooftop picnic under a beautiful sunset, Wortham whipped our her phone and tried to capture the moment with Instagram Video.
And while Wortham was able to record the fundamentals of the moment, she felt it didn’t do justice to her experience.
It wasn’t a full-bodied memory, it was a skeletal representation of one. She writes:
” … that shaky video that I took on the roof was definitely steeped in reality and definitely true to the moment. It wasn’t the version of the night that I wanted to remember or share with my Instagram friends.”
People will argue that the proper application of filters (or perhaps bucking the trends and going “no filter”) may help Wortham capture her memory correctly.
But that’s not the issue.
The issue is how most people are using Instagram.
The app isn’t being used to capture the intimate and emotionally compelling moments of people’s lives. It’s being used to broadcast an image; to create one’s own personal highlight reel.
In an age where people meticulously edit and reshape their online image, Instagram is no different.
The problem really isn’t the app at all, it’s how the app has come to be used.
And while not all users stumble into this trap — there’s certainly examples of people thoughtfully recording beautiful and uninhibited memories — a majority do.
For a more honest representation of yourself, Wortham recommends Snapchat, which does foster a more raw form of photo messaging.
But we think the most honest, uninhibited option out there is Whisper.
Whisper is a social networking app that uses anonymity to give people the freedom to express themselves without the worry of pruning a public image.
There’s always the chance of something like Whisper transforming into an app where people are just as concerned about how edgy their Whisper profile appears, but we think it’s on the right track.
Whisper also enables users to privately message each other in the hope that when people are honest with each other, meaningful interaction can happen.
And who knows? There’s a good chance that using something like Whisper or Snapchat — where the focus shifts away from broadcasting an image and toward real interaction — will be far more rewarding.
When people stop trying to craft moments for others to see, and instead capture moments to keep for themselves, natural memories will follow.
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