I think about how encouraging it is to have people following you in your creative endeavours, but then I think about the shared similarities among the top social-media savvy "micro-celebrities", our exploding narcissistic culture and the easy-pickins' exploitation for big-brand profit and almost-free fame.
I realize that Instagram can open a door for artists to the big wide sharing world and that by refusing to open that door runs the risk of a lifetime of professional obscurity. Indeed, "Instagram is custom made for the art world," says New York Observer opinion-writer/billionaire financier/art collector Adam Lindemann. But he then adds: "You get a quick flash of an image with virtually no text or explanation. There’s no need to read. It’s perfect for people with zero attention span, zero education and zero interest in learning about anything—perfect, in other words, for the art collectors of today. You could go so far as to say that the successful art of this current generation must be Instagramable to succeed, and if it doesn’t look good on Instagram, it ain’t working in this instant-gratification art world: goldfish have longer attention spans than ‘grammers."
I realize that this is a wee worried whisper in the hell-yeah storm of 200 million mostly female, mostly under-35 Instagrammers. And I realize that I may be overthinking the whole thing. I could be expanding my visual horizons, connecting with artists around the world, but instead I'm fixated on what becomes of the millions of bits of personal information being sucked into that data centre in Forest City, North Carolina (as suggested in the Wired article) every day, and how that data has been used and how it will be, soon enough.
I think about Instagram and I think about what's monitored, what's censored (no pubes!), what's the next app to eclipse Instagram's success (Snapchat or Bolt?). I think about how all these social media apps contribute to the time-sucking attention to that little gadget that is now as much a part of the restaurant table as the cutlery and that has turned a busload of riders into something resembling group prayer. I think about how Rogers is a dealer, getting rich on its users' increasing dependency on data, more data.
Am I overthinking Instagram and the rest of the global social re-wiring? Yes, but I might not be thinking about it enough either.