Thoughts on Instagram

Ever since waking up Tuesday morning in central California all I've heard from friends, both online and off, is smack talk about the new terms of service from Instagram. I posted a question that same day on Zerply asking, "What do you think about the new IG ToS? Instead of just complaining about it, what do you propose as a better alternative?" I've read through all the comments and agree with most, but I've been slow to offer my own opinion on the matter. For one, who am I but another clang against the cymbal when I speak negatively about not just a company, but the people who actually make up that company. So instead I want to offer my opinion from a different perspective. Are we so naive to believe that a free app could, and would, continue to serve us forever without asking anything in return. How's that old saying go, "nothing is really free". Yeah, that still remains true today. Nothing that's happening here should surprise us. The problem isn't so much that companies like Facebook, and now Instagram, want to use our information to sell it online for their profit. The problem is that we don't care because we have become too dependent on these social networks to fill the voids in our lives. Sure, we have good excuses like it helps us stay connected with family and friends, both far and near. But what ever happened to sitting down and writing a letter? Or what about the telephone? You know, that thing you use to connect to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc..

So what's the solution? Do we band together and form the "Instascram club" and delete our accounts? Do we post photos on Instagram with comments about waiting until the new Terms go in to effect and then we will be leaving for good if they don't do what we want? Do we just stand by and do nothing? No, no and definitely not. To be honest it's kind of hard to say if there is a solution. I mean, it feels good to see that Kevin Systrom has already taken note of the outcry from the IG community and begun to rethink the verbiage of the terms, but to me that just feels like putting a bandaid on a giant flesh wound. They might as well just post a photo of a giant sucker if we're to believe that is the solution. Honestly, the damage has already been done, Instagram is now under the giant thumb of Facebook. I'm not judging them for the acquisition, heck I don't know who wouldn't take a billion dollars. But what happens from here on out is directed by their end goal, making money.

I think what we have to ask ourselves is do the benefits, of using Instagram, outweigh the consequences? Only then can you make a decision for yourself. Don't be just another angry member of the mob. Think for yourself. I have a friend that has already deleted their account, with good reasons, and I respect that. I have other friends that are looking at other alternatives to share their photos. I too have been thinking about other avenues of sharing my photos. Flickr has a new app that is pretty nice, but I still yearn for the ease of use that has made Instagram such a success. But my soul is old and it twists and turns with all the choices that technology offers, so I'm considering reverting back to analogue (for a time) and get my hands on some prints. That tradition of loading the film, adjusting the aperture and actually pressing the shutter never gets old.