Instagram – the good, the bad and the ugly

Today I´m going to write some thoughts about Instagram because I'm using it although I don't like it. Why is that so?

I have a lot of problems with Instagram. Some with the platform itself, some with users and some with the idea of influencers on social media. Let me begin with Instagram as platform. I really like the idea behind. It is an easy way to share pictures, activities and memories. For me as a hobby photographer it is a chance to share my pictures worldwide. The opposite would be to safe my pictures just for myself on my hard disk. So I have the opportunity to share my photos and art even if nobody is interested in. One platform based problem is the algorithm behind it. On an early stage it was possible to see pictures in the timeline in chronological sequence. This was easy for people who scrolled through the profile. Now the algorithm decide what is interesting for you. Many great artworks you will never see, because Instagram decide this is not relevant content for you. I use Instagram as inspiration. I want to see artworks and photo ideas and not pictures from stuff because I searched this and that for various reasons.
I'm not interested in millions of selfie's of young girls. I know I'm alone with this thinking because there are so many great photographers and artists on Instagram but the most followers have the profiles from girls who are share every day a selfie. Why? I don´t understand. Maybe young girls are handsome. Yes of course, they are beautiful but what is the reason for sharing every day a picture from yourself. Often they visit the most beautiful places in the world and the only thing they share is a fucking selfie. This is getting stranger. Often I read about events where people died because they tried to take a special photo in a dangerous position or on a dangerous place.

Recently I read about a German "influencer" who visited a special nature pool in a Bavarian national park. The spot is dangerous to arrive and every year people die in the area. She talked in her stories how to get there, showed drone videos and of course unnatural perfect selfies in the pool. The national park begun to report and wrote an open letter. They wrote that drones are forbidden in the area and they asked to delete the photo and the stories. Meanwhile a shit storm broke out over her. She was pretty unimpressed. I think she deleted the photo few days later but many other people (most young girls) became aware and put this place on their own visit list.
From my point of view this is a big problem. I hope she gets a stiff fine for the drone and for leaving the path.

Another story I will talk about is hypocrisy of photographers. Last week I watched a story of a photographer who traveled to Island. With some models and other photographers he stand in front of a waterfall and talked about the beauty of the nature and how important it is to safe them. So far so good. In another story he was talking about, how thoughtful the retreat of the glaciers has made him. Later then he visited the well known abandoned plane and took pictures. Often people visit the plane, some get lost in the area because everything looks identical and many leave garbage. Places like the waterfalls are overcrowded by visitors and the government want to limit vacationers but this photographer and many others offers yearly guided photo trips. How hypocrisy is that when they talk at the same moment about the glaciers and the nature. Take care about the nature but let me do my stuff first. This is really egoistic. When nature and climate change is so important for them, why they don't cancel their trips? The answer is money and I think they get a lot with people who pay much for such travel tours. The goal is often to get interesting photos for the own Instagram stream. To a point I understand that but then what's all this talking about protecting the environment? Do this or do that, but don't do both and talk about environmental protection just for your conscience. Be consequent and do your photo trips or cancel it for the environment. If you want to see melting glaciers you can hike or drive through the alps. This is also not good for the environment but much more better than travel every year around the world with other people and talk to them how important environmental protection is. Flying and crying is to much.
Next point is the influencer bullshit on social media. Fake ideal world contributions in photos and videos. Yes I also share pictures that I find beautiful. I think everybody who shares things on the internet think before they hit the upload button. But when every contribution is planned in day and time and every selfie looks like a shiny fairy world it is just stupid and unrealistic. However it is not the fake world what I think is the most stupid. The most stupid are the people who follow and like such fake photos. Why are they doing this. When a celebrity shares a photo of an ordered pizza the photo gets millions of likes. A stupid pizza. I know photographers and artists who doing amazing artworks and they get no attention. A pizza from an influencer is so much more important. It's a dumb system and so many people playing this game.

Why I'm not delete my account? This is a good question. Often I thought about this but at the end I find so many inspiration in such social networks that up to day the advantages outweighs. I fight against the algorithm and laugh about selfies and influencer and some day I delete my account as I do with my Facebook account ten years ago. Social media could be a good idea but I think it doesn't work with humans. Often it's not a network, it's more like a self-marketing for some.