My buddy picked his phone up off the table and glanced at it like he was checking for an expected message. After a few swipes and brief pause he put the device comfortably in his pocket. With nothing too suspicious about the actions taking place in front of me while I sat and changed some guitar strings, I broke my gaze from his direction. Not long after that, I reached into my own pocket for my device for no real reason other than to check in on the world and everything happening.
I had been Instagramed. There I was, sitting in the background of this filtered image which contained nothing particularly important. He had Instagramed me, without saying a word, and captioned it “Good times, hanging out.” A flurry of emotions came to life, I wasn’t sure whether to be outraged and cite privacy concerns or just be grateful for this opportunity to be tagged in the photo. I didn’t say anything, but it was still weird. He never said anything either, though I think he knew it was weird too. We kept being friends in spite of the incident.
Have you noticed that in a matter of seconds, any pre-teen with an axe to grind can take a blurry image and become an Instagram star at the expense of someone or something else. How many exploited sunsets, plates of food, dogs, or unknowing humans will have to be exploited before we get tired of the misery? I often cringe as I see hit after hit scrolling through my Instagram feed. I know that person didn’t know this picture would make it to the service, this other person wasn’t prepared to be tagged in that situation, and the guy ‘scratching’ his nose was just a cruel joke.
Seriously though, unlike any other social network, the most random and un-celebrity people (and kids) are wielding tremendous amounts of followers. On other services, if someone has 50,000+ followers they must be a some what well known name, on Instagram though, that’s not necessarily the case. More than Twitter, and especially Facebook, carefully placed tags (or massive amounts) can lead to a unimaginable amounts of followers.