Instagram crossed the 600 million active users mark, having added a 100 million in the last six months alone. So that’s twice the population of the United States, using the image-sharing mobile application to click photos of their pets in Christmas jumpers and this really good antioxidant green tea, or that quinoa salad that was too good to miss. I would be a hypocrite if I don’t confess to uploading photos of my feet in colourful pyjamas and slippers alongside close-up (#nofilter) selfies on days I feel surprisingly immodest. But how much is too much really and are we forgetting to live our real lives in anticipation of a few likes and shares on the web?
It is easy to get addicted to the virtual world as it is instantly gratifying. But sometimes, it is equally satisfying to take a break, meet real people and make actual, tangible memories.
Actress and model Rakul Preet Singh says that although she is on Instagram, she exerts great caution in not putting very aspect of her life on public display, “Before cameras, every good moment in our lives was registered as memory and nowadays people are losing out on actually enjoying themselves because they are always on their phones.”
Singh feels there should be a purpose to everything, including one’s presence on the social media. So accounts on fitness, healthcare etc which provide information and make a difference to people’s lives have a reason to be consistent on platforms like Instagram, but sharing every minute detail of one’s life doesn’t serve any purpose.
Fashion Designer Shilpa Reddy adds that an individual needs to set boundaries when on social media. She asserts, “Technology is great. It’s all about how you use it …you could use it for business, you could use it for fun, you could use it to make friends, you could use it to explore something about your own self… Sadly a majority of people don’t know how to strike a balance and hence the numbers are startling.”
Living out her life in the public eye, Singh says that a picture of a set or what she is eating doesn’t make the cut, “If I am on holidays or meeting old friends, those will be memories I would like to capture and share.”
Her comment makes me guilt trip on how my recent master’s graduation didn’t make it to my Instagram feed but a bottle of Keventers milkshake sure did. I agree with Shilpa Reddy when she says that “it is easy to get addicted to the virtual world as it is instantly gratifying”. But sometimes, it is equally satisfying to take a break, meet real people and make actual, tangible memories.