Instagram is slow and I love it

I would never have thought Instagram to become my favorite social network

I did this test: I checked which app drains more battery power. It's a test that provides not only the data itself but also a list of your favorite apps.


Surprisingly Instagram is in the top 3 positions. It’s not the first in terms of battery consumption but it is in my own perception. I actually spend less time on it but it’s the most satisfying experience by far. It is less demanding. I’m basically not required to read anything else except some captions when I see a place that interests me and then I want to know where it is. I can just scroll it and put some like here and there.


I wondered how it ended up being one of my favorites since we’ve always had a rather controversial relationship. I consider it a visual social network: it is based on photos but it has little to do with photography. Yet I’ve been finding it increasingly interesting and preferable to Facebook or Twitter.


Although Facebook and Twitter also may have many photos and videos, they are mainly based on written words. They are meant to feed discussions that often become controversies and eventually degenerate into attacks and total incommunicability.


I don’t usually write anything provocative, therefore the discussions generated by my posts are quite civil (and I’m happy with it), but it’s obvious that, especially on Twitter — and I say it reluctantly because I really love it — happens frequently than a discussion goes on in a long series of verbal exchanges that, even because of the synthesis of the medium, result in direct and irrefutable offenses. I’m actually not concerned with it because, I repeat, I never argue, and the only discussion that interests me is the constructive one.


I’ve realised that I’m loving Instagram because I can experience what people see and not what they think. Let’s say that I’m usually interested in other people’s opinions, but not always.


I’m more interested in seeing what and how they see the world, because I carefully selected the photographers I want to follow. I also have a basic rule when I follow someone: his/her work must be interesting, whether or not it matches my personal taste.


Saying “Photos I dislike / I’m not interested in” I don’t mean bad photos (food, cats, selfies, boring stuff). I mean photos that I wouldn’t have done in the first place, or at least in that way. I’m more interested in unusual points of view, in seeing the world with someone else’s eyes.


I should rather say "I also see things I wouldn't do or wouldn't think of doing", but I'm interested in seeing them anyway, I find it inspiring. I will continue not to do / photograph them but there is a thought, there is a love for the work, there is an attention that is worth recognizing.


A photo is the set of different actions

Instagram is almost free of controversies or boring discussions because what is being published comes out of a more complex process than writing an hateful comment on Facebook. First you have to take a picture, edit it with one or more apps, prepare it within the app, decide the title and finally publish it. It takes minutes and in the end all you have to say is a photo with a caption that almost no one will read. But editing takes time and that’s why I say that:


Instagram is a slow social network.


That is why I eventually come up with The Three Reasons Why I Love Instagram.

1. There is no controversy

You can comment photos, of course, but the discussion never takes over the post itself, comments never overwhelm the argument that is the photo itself. One can say this and that, surely Ferragni’s or Kardasian’s photos will be always commented by hordes of haters, but after all, you can easily avoid to read those comments. Plus: I don’t follow these kind of popular accounts, so, who cares.

2. It activates fantasy

Instagram is all about photos, it is the pure domain of the image. The thing I like most is that the mind, not having to focus on words but only on images, can activate the imagination and see other things besides what a photo shows. A shadow that looks like something else, a detail that maybe the photographer himself didn’t notice. Your mind doesn’t have to understand a text while observing photos on Instagram. It can run free and be creative associating ideas generated by an image, or it can perceive a particular atmosphere evoked by an image and find a match it its memory, or finally find it totally new and unpublished.

3. It is relaxing

Given that there is no controversy, the mind is free to elaborate thoughts disconnected from the photo itself but stimulated by it at the same time. It hence relaxes because when the mind creates images and visual associations it is actually playing.


Ultimately Instagram has an undeniable merit: it reiterated the communicative superiority of the image with respect to the word.


I do not think indeed a word is less accurate than a picture. Expressing a concept or an opinion in words is still more effective than doing it with an image; the only “textual thing” that can evoke precisely an image using just words is poetry.

Poetry often evokes images and says things. Photography is an image that says what it represents but is wrapped in a cloud of other images that are aroused in the mind of the observer.


Instagram, while not being a pure photographic social network, relying on the power of visual grammar, and has that peculiar strength: to show you something beyond the image itself. Without words, without anything else to say.



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