Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Anthony Lyen0
POLL: Instagram: Cool Filtered Photos or Pointless Posting?
Tempo editor Anthony Lyen and assistant Tempo editor Brent Sumner take on News editor Katie Esposito and copy editor Alyssa Cicero in a team debate about the pros and cons of Instagram, a social photo sharing app for smartphones.
Anthony Lyen: OK, so. I hate Instagram.
Katie Esposito: Why do you hate it? It’s just another social media channel that is “in” right now.
Brent Sumner: Well, I agree with Tony; Instagram is pretty pointless. It leads everybody to believe that they are professional photographers.
AL: Just because it’s “in” doesn’t mean it’s good. Remember when neon-colored windbreakers were “in?” Yeah, I’m not going back to wearing that crap.
Alyssa Cicero: So if people can’t use Instagram because it makes them believe they are “professional photographers,” does that mean that people who aren’t journalists shouldn’t write blogs? Don’t knock the amateurs.
KE: I think that all Instagram does is make photography accessible. Not everyone is trying to be a photographer. Can’t a girl take a picture of her caramel Frappuccino once in a while? Who is it hurting?
AC: Instagram is a much better place for Katie to post her Frappuccinos than Facebook. Would you want that on your newsfeed every day?
AL: I just don’t understand why people WOULD take a picture of their caramel Frappuccino. I mean, that’s all Instagram is anymore. If I wanted to see a picture of my friend and his girlfriend, why would I want it in a sepia tone?
BS: I’m not knocking amateurs. I am simply saying that people don’t need to know that you “ate a great steak taco.” Plus, it does cause people to think they are a photographer, because they add all of these filters to make their food look “vintage.”
AL: Why does my Burrito Bowl from Chipotle need to look vintage, you know?
AC: But people do the same thing on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t act like you haven’t seen a status or tweet before where somebody proclaims they just ate some sort of life-changing burrito from Taco Bell.
BS: With all of the advances in technology, why must people use the advances to take photos that look like they came from a disposable Kodak? And yeah, they use the Twitter and Facebook photo apps, so why must we need a website that does the exact same thing?
KE: It’s just FUN! I like taking pictures of things that look appealing to me. That could be anything — from my caramel Frappuccino to my new pair of leopard shoes (I dig animal print). To each his own!
AL: But why do you need to distort the picture so it looks like you’re taking pictures to use in an episode of “Mad Men?”
AC: Instagram is nice because it’s JUST photos, though! You don’t need to read a bunch of weird rants about people’s lives while scrolling. You two must just not like it because your photos don’t get a lot of likes.
AL: “Oh, hey. You know what would make this picture of my high heels even cooler? If it looked like the picture was taken in 1974.”
BS: The photos of your “appealing Frappuccino” can hardly be seen, though! It is like you rubbed Vaseline over the camera.
AL: It’s so much work, though. I took one photo, and by the time I was done editing it, it took a solid 20 minutes.
KE: Yeah, that’s probably true. Tony thinks he is the king of Facebook statuses, so he’s probably hurting for likes on Instagram. But honestly, nobody is rubbing Vaseline. Users just like to take photos of things in their daily lives and make them look cool.
BS: And exactly! That is what is terrible about Instagram! No feedback! If there was feedback, Instagram would be full of people telling each other how crappy their pictures are.
AC: If someone has crappy pictures, you unfollow them; it’s quite simple!
KE: Actually, there is room for feedback! When you add hashtags to your pictures (e.g. #starbucks), people can filter through photos and like and comment on the ones they see. AND people do that all the time because I always add hashtags and I get a lot of love!
BS: It doesn’t look cool; it looks like I am trying to watch TV on a satellite dish that is covered with snow. The picture comes out all fuzzy, and I can’t enjoy anything.
AL: Isn’t the point of a picture to hold on a precious moment in life? To capture a moment in time? So why take a slightly askew, partly blurry photo of your shadow?
AC: I don’t know why you guys keep saying the photos are blurry; I actually rarely use the “blur” feature, and don’t know many people who do.
BS: Yeah, or your Frappuccino, with a hashtag #LIKEOMGILOVEFRAPPUCCINO.
KE: Hey, people take pictures of themselves, family and friends as well! Everything isn’t about margaritas and fraps.
AC: I have almost 250 photos on Instagram, and I’m pretty sure only about three of them are caffeinated beverages. There’s more to Instagram than Frappuccinos.
KE: Yeah, that’s the last time I ever use an example.
BS: Actually, Katie, did you know that Instagram had more than 10 million pictures uploaded on Thanksgiving? And guess what the pictures were of! They were of blurred turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes!
AL: Alyssa, you proved our point. WHY EVEN HAVE A BLUR FEATURE?
KE: Why does the Flyer office have a couch from a funeral home? Who knows? It’s just there.
AC: Good one, Katie.
AL: Also, then you can’t complain when people Photoshop models and pictures within the media. If you’re Photoshopping you and your boyfriend, then you’re taking away the whole reason you even took the picture in the first place. And the couch is really comfortable.
BS: This is very true, because a lot of the people that complain about Photoshopping in the media are our peers, people our age. The same people that
AC: OK, but making Victoria’s Secret models look thinner in their advertisements is completely different than taking a picture and making it black and white. It’s not like Instagram has a “take off 10 pounds” feature.
KE: So is the problem here Instagram or the filters?
BS: Also, to add to that point, I do not need to see you making out with your boyfriend in “cute and spontaneous” ways, which are obviously staged. Instagram has a lot of pictures on it that are like the prequels to porn movies.
KE: I see plenty of scantily clad women on Facebook as well.
AC: Have you seen the pictures some people upload to Facebook? They’re just as bad!
AL: I so agree. I feel like when I see a picture on Facebook, it’s more natural. It’s as if Instagram makes people “pretend” their lives are more interesting than they really are. People just take random pictures, though. It’s not as staged all the time.
BS: That is true. By putting up their overly filtered food, and overly filtered love lives, the users are just trying to show their lives through a “perfect” lens.
AL: By “fun,” you mean stupid.
BS: I can hardly see how uploading pictures of food can be fun.
AC: I think that no matter what you two say, I’m going to continue to use Instagram. It’s a fast and easy way to share pictures with my friends. And I’ll continue to upload photos of my food and Frappuccinos.
AL: Enjoy eating it instead.
BS: And if you take pictures of people, you are going to put that on Facebook. That way you can tag people and comment on the photos and share the memory.
AC: You can also tag users and comment on photos on Instagram.
AL: Facebook=friendship. Instagram=hipster.
KE: You can do the same thing with Instagram friends. And I have to say, I have more friends using Instagram than ones who don’t.
AL: I am a friend. Not a hipster. Wow, Katie. Six whole friends, ay?
KE: Haha umm, 190, AND a small portion of those 190 are people who have followed me because they LIKE my pictures.
AC: I like your pictures, Katie.
KE: Thanks, Alyssa. Yours have inspired me to learn how to paint my nails.
BS: Yeah, a “small portion.” The rest are just friends who are sadly supporting your habit.
AL: Nothing says friendship like random strangers following you because that shot of your Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks looked really trendy.
KE: They’re not sadly supporting my habit if they have an Instagram account with pictures on it too!
AC: Oh, and let me add, most of the people I follow on Instagram are celebrities. And I know you two don’t care about pop culture, but I actually enjoy seeing what my favorite entertainers are doing from time to time via photos.
BS: You mean eating…