I was recently reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about New York Fashion Week when I stumbled upon this quote: “Rashida Jones would prefer it if you didn’t Instagram your meal, thank you very much.”
The article went further stating how the actress thinks that social media has lead to over-sharing of material that should just be enjoyed personally, and not necessarily shared publicly. She also believes that the content shared is no longer “organic” when people just share “posed” or “fake” moments.
It is evident that the recent social media revolution that has taken place cannot be ignored. It has lead to a rapid globalization of information, where distance is no longer an issue when it comes to sharing. The power of social media has allowed us to connect even with people we don’t know personally.
Instagram in particular has garnered a lot of fans, and is now an essential social media channel. Instagram is quoted to have “over 90 million monthly active users, which is up 10 percent month over month between December 2012 and January 2013,” showing the growth of its influence as an important social media channel used in people’s day-to-day lives.
The allure of Instagram is the visual content that it allows you to share. Users find themselves capturing moments that influence their lives that they can share in a picture with friends, family and other users they might not even know.
Instagram has also been revolutionary for brands, by allowing them to share their image publicly through a different creative narrative. They can visually represent themselves and their brand and in this way gain the attention of their target audience.
But, is Rashida Jones right? Are we starting to over-share our personal lives with a bunch of strangers? Are we sharing a little too much, when our dinner becomes the subject of our photo shoot? And are these so-called personal moments no longer real, but only fabrications, or what we want others to see?
According to the Snyder sisters of Dannijo Jewelry, who Rashida was there to support during NY Fashion Week,“…We’re in the age of narcissism, of Instagram selfies…constantly pushing yourself and your brand to keep up with everything.” So then is it really over-sharing when this is the way society digests social interaction?
What people like Rashida are not taking into consideration is that sharing, for people, builds social connections, and for brands, builds brand advocates. And in a society where you are a brand yourself, the best way to represent yourself is by controlling the information you choose to put out there in the most creative way possible.
Even within the fashion industry visual tools like Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are being used on the runway, because brands and designers are realizing the power of spreading the word about their collections through social media, and more specifically in a visual way, since their work is visual art anyways.
So even if we are sharing just a little too much, it is only helping brands, and our personal image in the public eye, when we get to decide how others perceive us. The power of perception is important, so being able to harness that for awareness gives the creator of the content a chance to build an image that is true to themselves.
While people like Rashida disagree, based on their own personal feelings, others believe that tools like Instagram are authentic, because they are chronicling each person’s personal adventure. And as anyone who is a professional user of social media knows, “the story” is the basis for the image of every brand.
Do you agree with Rashida about Instagram leading to over-sharing? Or do you believe that the content you post is relevant and helps represent you?