Friday, December 31, 2010
Twitter is only worth 140 characters, but a picture is worth thousands...
First off I don't have a Twitter account, it was suggested to me once but I wasn't interested in another social feed at the time to read and keep fed, Facebook was enough along with the various personal interest forums plus the rare and random blog entry I might post. But then came Instagram, John Gruber sung it's praises and he being a smart guy I decided to have a look and signed up. What a difference an image makes to my psyche, and the stream of images floating in from all around the globe was a wonderful kick in the creative pants. So I trudged off and began filling my own tributary with images and before long I had followers, comments and a river of stuff online.
To be sure, Twitter does have image sharing but since the focus is more on text and the art of txtng with an occasional image link thrown in, blathering is all too easy to accomplish and I want to speak volumes and find it easiest to do with images. And like MySpace/FaceBook/Twitter, Instagram is filled with cutesy pet images, sexy images from Asian girls, general adolescent falderall and faux artiness that all quickly becomes redundant but in between the cat pics and shots of leggy feet are some truly brilliant images from creative minds world wide. It's a giant goddamn collective photo exhibit and my shit is in there too!
Now no space to find and organize, no materials to shell out for and hope the printer gets it right, no hanging pieces and getting that right! No invites to send or parties to coordinate. And more importantly no fooling one's self that you'll ever make a bleeding dime or receive critical praise from someone other than a lover, family or friend. It's great! Getting feedback or a follow from someone whose images you respect and have never met yields plenty of satisfaction given the time and effort put into content creation which is almost effortless and the results worth far more than the cost of being in the community (nothing). It's like an Easy-Bake Oven! It does have it's limitations though and I find myself fighting cliches (unless purposeful) and overt imitation (unless one is directing the nod to the inspiration).
The downside I've found is the level of addiction is greater than the internet itself (for me at least) because I feel free to express my self with imagery in a fashion I have not had before. Sure I can share images on Facebook or MySpace but the layers one has to get through to do so burns through my time and there are other distractions there, besides one can cross post via IG to almost any social network site, even Flickr! And since IG is really about the image commenting is secondary, though some blather on as elsewhere. The other downsides are it is currently an iPhone only app and there is no web based content linked to the inner being so you have to do it all on the phone, and as such I go through battery life quickly...
In short it's both a liberating experience and an addiction, but I will take the pleasure with my pain for now and have fun with content creation, because my phone is always with me and it's become my de facto camera and processing center as I am not chained to a desk and computer so I can roam, shoot and post at will. Nice!