Instagram: Love it or hate it?
A couple of weeks ago I shared a fun infographic on Facebook about what your Instagram filter choice says about you. Its a fun piece (check it out here), and it got me thinking about a conversation I had with a customer at an art show last year – is the easy access to photo editing tools like Instagram (which make a photo of just about anything look pretty cool) ruining the art of photography?
The gentleman I spoke to last year had very strong views on this issue and conveyed that it was far too easy for anyone to go make a piece of “art” with a smart phone and that it was taking something away from serious artists. While I agree that just having an iPhone and Instagram doesn’t make someone an artist, neither does having a fancy DSLR and Photoshop.
Serious “art” aside, I think tools like Smart Phones, Instagram, and a host of other photo editing apps have done something far more important: we – you and me – are creating an unprecedented visual history of our generation. Anthropologists and archeologists of future generations will look back on the photos we made to get an idea of what life was like.
Previous generations recorded life on stone walls, papyrus scrolls, handwritten books, the printing press, photographs, moving pictures, etc. Now, with the digital age, we all have access to such amazing technology! We are able to easily record all the events of each day. We share on Facebook, Twitter, and all manner of social media what we ate, where we spent our money, and what we are doing for recreation – the amount of content we are generating for future historians is incredible!
So, do I think that smart phones and photo apps are ruining art? Absolutely not! There are still going be people who create pieces that tell a story, or evoke an emotion – they are the artists, regardless of the medium. It could be a canvas & pastels, a woodcarving, or a photograph from a smart phone OR several thousand dollar DSLR. The creator of the work could have spent two minutes or two years creating it. But if it tells a story, makes you think, or makes you feel something, does it matter how it was created?
And yes, maybe now there are more of us artists, but is that really a bad thing? Countless studies have shown the importance of the arts in schools, how those who are involved in art, music, etc. are often the critical thinkers and more well-rounded individuals in our society. I believe having a creative outlet as an adult is no less important and keeps our minds from stagnating.
My iPhone and photo apps (including Instagram) is just one way I stay creative throughout the day, even when I don’t have my DSLR with me or don’t have time to pull out my crafting supplies. It keeps my mind nimble, and more importantly the creative outlet keeps me sane.
What do you think? Instagram – love it or hate it?
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