Satiregram: A Losing Battle with #selfie and #foodporn
What if I tell you it is a lie that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? On the contrary, a couple words are enough to replace the picture. I’ll confess: I am bad at taking pictures. I am a better writer. I work as a copywriter in one of the advertising agencies in San Francisco. When I got my first smartphone in 2012, and some of my friends were waiting for me to create an Instagram to follow them, I did it my way. I registered @satiregram, where I post pictures describing what I see. To the best of my abilities. Here is a cute dog, here is my selfie with the brick wall in the background, here is my latte and a croissant for breakfast. It turned out you don’t need to take pictures. Descriptions are enough, to recreate a necessary image in the imagination of my subscribers, based on the million photos they see in their feed each day.
Instagram is a platform where people show their lives from the best angle. The user community forms and dictates its own understanding of beauty and the importance of certain moments in the person’s life. Ideas for my posts often just come from my feed. I see what’s popular or trending and express the image in a short sentence.
The idea always comes to life before the photograph. The image is first created with words, and only after people compose a shot and push the button. These photos are neither spontaneous nor original. That picture of your cat, that #foodporn picture of your food, or a typical selfie — shots like this have been planned and sometimes meticulously crafted. I try to show the true colors behind those photos, unfilter them. I broadcast the truth.
In the three years of @satiregram I’ve noticed that Instagram has definitely changed. I became more standardized or something. I feel that Instagrammers fully committing to these clichés in a way hinders creativity. I’m always looking for Instagram accounts that do more than just post memes, selfies, pets, and food — I want to see accounts that make you think and inspire you to do more. And it becomes more difficult to find them. With @satiregram pointing out the clichés, I hope I can inspire people to keep pushing their creativity forward and photograph things that not even I can describe on a piece of paper.
I’m not trying to say everyone who uses Instagram sucks or anything, I’m not here to create change. I’m only here to hopefully make people laugh and think about the way they use social media. They say self-irony is good for your health.
If I can somehow get people to not seek validation in the amount of Likes they receive on social media, then that’ll be great. I just want people to live and enjoy the moments, and use Instagram to store the important memories. I would consider this my humble contribution to the fight with vanity and narcissism.
I want to remind people they can use their hands to write and their words to talk. That simple forms of communication aren’t dead and you can make a huge impact and influence with simple ink on paper. This is what I plan to do while I’m here.
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