Instagram: Are we over-sharing?

by Kat Kazeminy on February 12, 2013

Courtesy of Instagram.com

Courtesy of Instagram.com

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.”

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

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.

Insta1

Screen shot of picture from #Dinner on Instagram

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.

#NYFashionweek2013

#NYFashionweek2013

#Dinner on Instagram

#Dinner

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?

  • Jordan Bennett

    Really interesting article, Kat! This social media age has definitely led to major changes in how brands and people promote themselves. I definitely think social media sites like Instagram have led to a lot of sharing, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. Sites like that just foster social connections, and I think it’s really cool that people from all over the world are able to interact in that capacity.

  • LillianMa

    Very interesting article Kat! I think it’s a personal choice to put up content on these platforms. Whether it’s over-sharing or not, it’s up to the users to decide. Other users also have the autonomy to decide whether they want to log in to view not. If one decides to utilize platforms like instasgram, they must surrender to the risk of seeing unwanted content.

  • Malia Schilling

    I think Instagram should be the least of our worries when it comes to sharing (although the fact that it’s now owned by Facebook is pretty scary). I read this great McSweeney’s post (http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-open-letter-to-people-who-take-pictures-of-food-with-instagram) about how awful it is when people post pictures of their food on Instagram. I think it’s one of the least harmless, albeit most narcisisstic, form of social sharing.

  • TaylorOlson

    Interesting point! I think it really depends on what you are sharing and how often. It’s annoying when someone takes over your whole entire instagram feed with their photos but other than that I think its interesting to see what people are doing and what they feel passionate enough about to post as their image, whether that’s a selfie, the sunset, or your dinner (if your food’s really good I may want to see it and know where its from).

  • http://www.francesvega.com/ Frances Vega

    I liked the Rashida Jones quote you put in there. It was kind of
    surprising to see something like that from a celebrity since their
    entire lives are public and people care about what they put out there
    why can’t we make ourselves a brand if we choose to? I say let people
    share what they want to share, if it’s too much then that’s on them.
    Great post.

  • http://www.daniellegrayphoto.com/ Danielle Gray

    I love Instagram. I probably share too much, but I can’t help it! I try to reach different people on this platform than others. I say I’m a moderate user/poster, and I follow 1,000 people, many who post more than 3 times a day. Usually there is a reason to my posts. I try hard to keep my life private, but I like sharing. I know nobody cares, but it doesn’t stop me lol

  • Monica Nguyen

    Great post Kat! I am a big fan of Instagram and I think I probably post way too much food haha. I can’t help but post my foodie adventures. I try not to overwhelm people’s entire instagram feed though. I usually only post 3 pictures a day–if that. I agree with Malia in saying that it is one of the least harmless forms of social sharing.

  • ceciliauc

    I’m totally one of “those” people who instagrams my food and gets really happy when I get that “like.” This was an interesting post about something that’s a part of (most of our) daily lives. I agree about over-sharing in some respects but I also feel that instagram is used more personally than other apps. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the next few years..

  • Susie Plascencia

    I definitely IG my food! haha, but like all things I IG, there has to be something special about it. I definitely think that the social media revolution has made the smallest, most insignificant things seem ‘newsy,’ and I only see it moving forward in that way over the years. So get ready to see more food, dogs and random stuff; anything for the feeling likes bring people!

Previous post:

Next post: