First things first: I do not have Instagram. But that is not to say that I haven’t witnessed the sheer atrocity that goes on within the highly popular photography application. Unfortunately, simply not having the app does not render me immune from it.
This sudden need for every teenager to transform into some sort of professional photographer via the means of their smartphone has become excessive and frankly ridiculous.
Do people honestly think that altering their picture to appear in black and white, sepia, or any other of the Instagram ‘filters’, really improves it? What happened to the days when a simple colour photograph on a 5 megapixel camera-phone would suffice?
My argument is simple: if you want a standard, decent quality photo to record your exploits on your phone, then take the picture using the designated camera. Alternatively, if you want an Annie Leibovitz-style professional portrait with intricate details highlighted, then contact any professional photographer worth their salt, or indeed Leibovitz herself.
You may retort that this current photography obsession is merely a bit of fun. You may be right. But when it starts getting in the way of normal social customs, that’s when it really has to stop.
For instance, the fixation of taking a photo of EVERY item of food before EVERY meal is just bizarre. “Nooooo Dan, don’t eat that prawn cracker, I MUST Instagram it!” screamed one of my friends, as I innocently tucked in to a Chinese the other week. All I wanted to do was enjoy some well-earned Oriental cuisine, but instead I was forced to wait while my meal was angled in several ways and placed in various light sources so that it could be captured in the perfect photography setting. This person is no longer my friend. (!)
Why would anyone in their right mind want to look at a picture of an oddly shaped deep fried starch cracker at 9pm on a Friday night?!
It’s as if people have decided that filtering pictures to appear ever-so-slightly grainy, or to have a subtle yellow hue around them, actually improves the taste or appearance of the subject matter.
So, the next time you get that uncontrollable urge to Instagram a picture of the pebble you saw kicked across the road, the chewing gum stuck on the sole of your shoe, or the plug socket you think looks like a face, think twice.