Do you ever consider why you post pictures on social media?  There are undoubtedly numerous reasons that prompt us to share snapshots of our lives with others such as providing updates to friends and family, communicating through imagery what we consider significant in hopes of building connections with others, or perhaps simply because we want to file something in a place where we can return to reflect upon it.

I am going back to my old ways with this one.  I’ve been getting a little more personal with my recent blogs, but I’m going to be more contemplative here.  It’s in my nature to delve into the deeper meanings in life and evaluate subtle intricacies, so I’m proceeding into my comfort zone with this topic.

I got involved in a couple of conversations over the past few weeks about Instagram.  I love Instagram and take pictures of anything that catches my fancy – random moments like sunlight glistening on the lake, funky socks that I may be wearing that day, or whatever beautiful food creation is in front of me.

One friend laughed and made a comment about me taking pictures of my lunch, my flowers, my bourbon on the rocks, and suggested that I don’t need to show people everything I’ve been doing.  No, I don’t take pictures to show other people what I am doing.  I post photos to Instagram like jotting down thoughts in a journal.  I am capturing moments within my life that I want to remember in which I see beauty or feel inspired or humored.  If other people give me a heart or comment on what I post, then, that’s cool, because they are sharing a tiny bit of something in my life.

The other conversation I had about Instagram was with one of my sisters.  She barely uses Facebook; and, although she loves taking pictures, she hasn’t started using Instagram.  While encouraging her to jump into the fun, the conversation took on an existential twist.  As Instagram allows us to share moments within our human experience through pictures, it also lets us alter those images through photo filters and editing tools to recreate them as we want to remember them.  We are ultimately creating a memory from the present moment that will be projected into a future experience that reflects the past.  Yes, my mind does work this way, but it was prompted to consider this notion months ago when I came across a video posted by Jason Silva of Shots of Awe entitled, “The Instagram Generation.”

The basic concept within this presentation is summed up in a quote by Professor Daniel Kahneman:  “The ‘Instagram Generation’ now experiences the present as an anticipated memory.”  The fundamental belief of this collective mentality is that every present moment is something that needs to be reflected upon later.  The experiencer is thus able to live in two realities simultaneously through an altered memory based on their feelings about passing moments.

Ultimately, a compilation of these subjective memories will contribute to sociocultural anthropology by offering a peek back into the aggregate experience of this era.  Instagram thus turns out to be a very effective tool for recording history; and, the “Instagram Generation” will contribute extensive content for future generations to study.

Okay, so your mind might be spinning in like, “whaaat?” Or you could be digesting the notion of how Instagram works within our human experience.  You could also be wondering what the point in even thinking about things like this is and how it impacts you.  However you choose to interpret the function of Instagram or utilize it is up to you.

How does Instagram affect your business or organization?  Instagram allows you to create and share an identity of your brand with followers.  You can post brand messaging, product inventory, instructional videos, or even behind the scenes peeks into your daily activities and special events.  Instagram helps you establish connections with your audience through imagery that creates a story of who you are or how you want to be seen.  It’s a great tool for visual marketing, and since the human brain processes images 60,000 faster than text, you can make almost “instant” impressions on those who follow you.  Integrating visual content into your marketing strategy through Instagram is a smart move.  Whether your pictures are viewed in the timeline or on the account page, your audience receives a visual flash of what you’re about.

Want to contemplate the function of Instagram a little more?  Or, are you ready to incorporate it into your marketing strategy?  Send an email my way at kate@highroaddigital.com.