By Sarah Hussain:
A gloomy wet day and with an equally patchy mood, stuck in the traffic jam and nothing to do other than forcibly hearing “saat samundar paar, main tere peeche peeche aa gayi” playing in the background, I decided to activate my virtual self. I really don’t know if it was a good idea, but I gently touched upon the colourful and glowing camera icon which serves as a daily fodder for many youngsters like me. Yes, you guessed it right, it is Instagram.
As it opened, what caught my eyes instantly were the circular thumbnails of the profile picture of the people that I follow at the top of the home page arranged in a series. Curiosity oozing out of every pore of my body, I clicked on it only to see pictures of my friends with texts, some glowing texts, some doodles and some with stickers arranged on a timeline. I had my déjà vu moment, it reminded me of Snapchat. So here comes, the new update from Instagram, the Instagram stories. A revamped way to capture and share your memories of the day as your story would be invisible after 24 hours. Cool, isn’t it?
9:30 am: Heading to work, 10:05 am: Having breakfast in the office cafeteria, 10:20 am: Work time, C’ya, 12:00 pm: My lovely colleagues, 1:30: Lunch time. I was tired. I was tired of seeing similar posts shared by most of the people with updates as frequently as possible. It almost appeared like what a kid does on getting a new toy, no way is he going to live away from it! I realised that the other social media platforms weren’t probably enough to fan the selfie lover in us, that a new thing had to be introduced. It is almost like, ’24 updates a day kept the doctor away’. Even though it doesn’t have the facility to garner ‘likes’ and ‘comments’, but what it does have is you can see the number of views of your posts which also has almost the effect as a ‘like’ does.
My fellow mates continue to show their good hair day or amazing makeup with that wonderful shade of lipstick, or delicious meal consumption, or a workout selfie at the gym and capture memories of their 24 hours. Since its genesis, Instagram has been ticking all the right boxes, no doubt, and with its recent update, it has gone one step ahead to get through more users.
At a personal level, what I feel is that by introducing a feature like this one only encourages people to be more virtually active and acting more upon what social media is criticised for. A post on Instagram or any social media for that matter is cool. We all tend to do that often. Enclosing memories in pictures are something worth doing unless memories itself lose out on its moments while we are only bothered to capture and share it. We forget to live the moment, we forget to enjoy it. Every moment of your life could be special enough to capture, but every moment of your life is more special to be lived. Probably, we can live through without sharing our whereabouts of every minute. Too much of anything isn’t good, even the sumptuous brownie leaves a bitter after taste.
I reminisce, my first brush with this update had a certain song playing in the background which ironically, my Instagram home page screams each time I open it. “Peeche peeche aa gayi!”