Inside the Frame vs. Outside the Frame
Inside the frame, you have a perfect picture. Your head is tilted just so, giving you a neck and letting the light love your skin. You look happy, it’s a beautiful day and you are somewhere interesting. You are definitely posting this to Instagram. Just to your left, a child is screaming and throwing a tantrum. A man dropped his food and is frantically cleaning it up. To your right, a dog is peeing on a bush; a woman is posing for the same picture you are taking, and an elderly couple is reminiscing about their lives together. Inside the frame, you have a perfect picture. Outside, a whole different story.
Grand (Canyon) Juxtaposition
In July, I camped at the Grand Canyon with my family and some friends. We went to relax, hike, and take in the glorious beauty of the canyon. It’s an awe-inspiring place worth seeing and seeing again. It was on this trip that I started noticing the juxtaposition of what was happening inside the frame vs what was going on outside of it. It came to a point that was laughable in that if you were on the rim to enjoy the view, you were in the wrong place. But it made me pay attention to something that is, I think, valuable.
We live in an “age of technology.” We largely all have cell phones and if we don’t use social media personally, we use it in some capacity for work or to get the attention of the rest of society who does. We “cater to” Instagram users and content creators because it is beneficial. At the same time, we are pursuing authenticity and trying to not just create a bit that is popular in the moment.
Instagram’s Effect on _________
Regardless of how we feel about social media, the fact remains that Instagram has changed society. It has affected photographers and photography, the fashion industry, travel, modeling, the food industry, marketing, and communication. I can walk into an ice cream store and it is basically guaranteed that there will be a wall dedicated to photo-ops. I can walk into any coffee shop and it will have a “look” making it worth posting to social media about. As long as it isn’t Starbucks, there will even be latte art to take pictures of. I can find a random neon sign with a cute phrase to put on my story. I can even find food that is branded so if I miss the wall and photo-op moment and just take a quick “this is what I’m eating” pic, the company will still get my endorsement that generates likes and comments and curiosity on Instagram.
Take Away Instagram, what’s left?
So here is my question, If you take Instagram out of the equation, are you still happy with where you are? If content creators aren’t flocking to your pink wall to take pictures, are you glad it’s pink? If not a soul sees a photo of the product you poured all of your passion and creativity into, are you still proud of the work you have done? And if you have nothing to post on Instagram, did you still experience lovely things?
There is nothing wrong with Instagram. There is nothing wrong with creating atmospheres that people want to photograph or brag about or just be in. What matters is our perspective. When we start looking at things through the filter of “how many likes can I get” or “how many followers do I have” we lose the joy of being in and where we are. Use Instagram to share your story, the things that captivate you, the things you work hard for, the things you’re proud of, the things that inspire you, and so on. Look amazing doing it. And look outside the frame. Because that’s where life happens.