Wish you ‘like’ here

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A recent article on the National Geographic website referred to how social networking sites, such as Instagram, is influencing tourists’ holiday destinations. Instead of going to a travel agent to flick through holiday brochures, social media users are enticed by the idyllic views they scroll through on their digital devices.

Not only do the images persuade someone to visit such beautiful places, but also they urge users to want to replicate the same images on their profiles. After all,  the ‘like’ is social currency, and the more ‘likes’ you receive, the more popular you appear to be. Therefore, in order to compete with such competition, Instagrammers search for destinations where they can capture the same such shots of paradise. 

In addition to this, there has been a decline in the popularity of Club 18 to 30 holidays, because people are now preferring the convenience of starting relationships on dating apps.  Furthermore, alcohol strewn images don’t look as cool for millenials. They are preferring to opt for photo opportunities in far flung places, so that they can adorn the walls of their social media profiles with picturesque views  

Subsequently, place has become an important aspect of digital identity. This is something that I would like to explore further when thinking about ideas for my fourth assignment. 

Disposable photos

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have made some interesting discoveries about how teenagers use Instagram. Jang et al (2016) investigated the differences between how teenagers and adults use Instagram.

Having grown up with social networking, it would be presumed that teenagers would post far more photographs than the adults. However one of Jang st al’s findings was that, whilst these digital natives like and comment more on others’ images, they actually post less photographs. It isn’t cool to have lots of images clogging up your feed. As well as that, any images that receive few likes are removed. The vast majority of images on teenager’s Instagram accounts are the ones that they hold dearly. These images are statements about looks, emotions and possessions.  

If an image has not been well-received, then it is deleted. Generally speaking, teenagers do not hoard images. They serve a purpose, as a means of communication, and then they are disposed of when they are no longer needed.  

Subsequently, this behaviour has the potential to affect the evolution of photography in two ways. Firstly, if less photographs are being saved, what will happen to this generation’s historical archive? Also, how will photography develop as a meaningful method of communication? After all, emojis and memes are a very common in digital culture.

 

Reference

Jang J. et al. (2016) Teens Engage More with Fewer Photos: Temporal and Comparative Analysis on Behaviors in InstagramAssociation for Computing Machinery: Halifax 

http://pike.psu.edu/publications/ht16.pdf