Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

Is it possible that Facebook may one day become irrelevant because of the soaring popularity of its successor Instagram?

Although Instagram is still considered the new kid on the social media block, it seems to increasingly becoming the platform of choice for posting photos and umm, posting photos.

Instagram borrows the Facebook template but essentially removes the status updates and YouTube videos to focus strictly on modified photos. Instagram provides an array of filters that allows a user to add dazzling effects to what would normally appear as an unremarkable image.

Instagram removes the false context of Facebook that suggests that it is used for connecting with ghosts from our past. It instead just allows a user to post photos and look at the photos of others, which is what everyone, despite them vehemently denying or explicitly concurring with, was and kind of still is using Facebook for.

The embracement of Instagram and the cooling off of Facebook demonstrates that Facebook was never about connecting with old friends and forgotten mates. Facebook has almost always been about promoting one’s self as some sort of wannabe celebrity in a gossip-obsessed world. To  become “friends” with an individual that one hasn’t heard from in eight years isn’t so they can re-kindle a relationship that was so uneventful it couldn’t be sustained the first time around, but is so one can show how fabulous they have become over the years.

Instagram is essentially a gossip magazine dedicated entirely to the user who is logged in. It is People magazine, but instead of Brad Pitt and George Clooney hogging the pages, it is image upon image of the same, self-obsessed individual.

Trips to Mexico, holding random babies and posing beside ostensible tourist attractions are the most popular methods to demonstrate to our forgotten strangers how interesting we have really become. Facebook users collect “friends” to increase their “like” counts and to keep tabs on virtually anyone who has ever uttered a whisper in their vicinity. Instagram utilizes a similar mechanism but ups the ante because each photo looks a trillion times better because of the high quality lens available via the filter tool.

Instagram removes this falsity that individuals wish to use Facebook for anything other than posting unspectacular images of one’s self on a daily basis.

Facebook harvested this false need for having an accessible database of virtually everyone we know; except this was never necessary because phones have had built-in address and phone number libraries for over a decade. Nobody was truly going missing from our lives, but Facebook brilliantly declared that we were rapidly losing touch.

It was Facebook to the rescue of a ship that was never actually sinking that ensured that we “stay connected.”

Instagram is an almost unlimited page of random photos that subscribers can choose to follow. Instagram knows that deep down people don’t need or really want to become connected so they can plan coffee dates or exchange phone numbers. Users merely want to ravage through each other’s personal photo books and immediately judge them based on the provided material.

Anything of substance posted on Facebook is either called irrelevant or is construed into something that barely represents its original intention. Instagram removes any attempt at concealing one’s true intentions by putting “the goods” at the forefront of its website.

If you need to stay in touch with someone, you will find a way. If you can’t locate somebody, it is almost guaranteed that this someone does not want to be found. The excuse that Facebook is a necessity to remain in touch has been exposed by the raging popularity of a new social media website that focuses explicitly on redundant and often drastically altered images.

Instagram is the new Facebook because it is everything that Facebook pretends not to be.

Advertisements