|Ms. Sarah Hunter||
I turned to the video "Instagram i love you" by Casey Neistat in search of answers. What exactly is Instagram's appeal? Why has this generation of High School students turned away from Facebook in favor of the picture sharing App? And just how does it work?
Surprisingly, I found all the answers I was looking for and more in this short and sweet video.
For starters, "it's not about the pictures, it's about the sharing." So, that answers my appeal question. Kids are using Instagram as a way to document their lives and share those little snapshots of their stories with others. That, and they can peer into the lives of their friends and, perhaps more importantly, the lives of people they view as mentors and heroes, like celebrities.
Where Facebook is concerned, the answer seems to be simple: it's just too much. Kids don't want all the other junk that Facebook users have started clogging up the news feed with like useless status updates, political propaganda, the list goes on. Instagram keeps it simple. A picture is worth a thousand words, and when you're sharing a couple a day, you're telling your story in a way you can control and filter to look just how you want it to.
What I found most interesting about this video was his direction for Instagram users to "find your theme and share it." Yet another demonstration that this isn't just an app to arbitrarily dump off a couple random pictures of your breakfast or of your one millionth selfie, it's an ongoing feed into the story of your life.
There were some other rules Niestat wants us to know about using Instagram: take it easy with the hashtags, don't tag people in their own pictures, don't ask people to follow you, use tilt shift sparingly and don't bleed the feed. From what I've witnessed on my High School's campus thus far, there are a lot of students violating one of these rules in excess; they're asking for followers left and right. I've even seen students who have written in white out on their backpacks "Follow me on Instagram" with their handle put on display for all to see. It seems to be an indicator of status to many students; the more followers they have the more important they become.
So, here's what I learned about Instagram: there are a lot of unspoken rules for how to do it right. Rules I'm going to have to start following if I plan to use this as a tool in my classroom. And, given how important this social media site is to many of the students in my classroom, I'd be a fool not to put it to good use.
Neistat, Casey. "Instagram I Love You." YouTube. Casey Neistat, 2 Oct. 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <https://youtu.be/GacoqdKjVyE?list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp>.