Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The social media bubble or how I became addicted to Instagram...

Last Saturday at a friend’s birthday dinner I was sat next to a very interesting young man who makes a living by assisting one of the top photographers in the fashion universe. We got chatting about this that and the other… and then he said the most incredible thing – “why would one strive to get published in print? people outside the fashion industry hardly even buy magazines anymore – it’s all online these days”. At first I was outraged… I mean what nonsense is this man talking?! Of course people still love magazines! And then I thought about the last time I read a magazine…

I stopped buying hardcopies sometime ago but I do subscribe to a few glossies through their I-pad editions – I tend to flick through them on my way to work (whilst being squashed on the tube somewhere between Bond Street station and some smelly man’s armpit). But I must say, the last couple of issues I found somewhat irritating – I remember thinking that I really wasn’t getting anything out of this issue because the only clothes staring at me from the pages were the ones which ended up there by virtue of fashion houses spending a lot of money on advertising and hence they were all established brands fighting for the limelight and none of the fresh/up-and-coming/interesting designers would ever have a chance at making an appearance. Of course this is a huge generalisation and there are magazines that are smaller-cooler-etc-etc but here I am referring to the powerhouses of fashion glossies.
Generally what tends to happen if I am unhappy with the content of a magazine is that I would try to compensate by going online and sifting through what the numerous people that I follow on Instagram/Pinterest/Bloglovin are wearing and raving about. I know that the bloggers these days are not entirely independent either but at least their content comes with a healthy dose of creativity in mixing and matching the pieces. So may be it is “all online” after all or at least moving in that general direction…. Which brings me to my next point – the direction in which the social media is moving.
I have recently discovered that (potentially due to the never-ending boredom and all-consuming lack of motivation at my day job) I have been checking my Instagram/Pinterest/Bloglovin more frequently than would be deemed healthy by your average person.
 I don’t know if it’s my stalking tendencies or what but I more and more find myself following people for the sake of knowing what they are up to rather than just what they are wearing. I guess there is no point in denying the obvious – I belong to the “reality TV” generation. For some reason this generation is just so damn nosy and interested in other random people’s lives! I mean try explaining to your mother why you are following a 100 random people who you’ve never met before on Instagram and catching up on their daily happenings with an almost hourly frequency… But wait it gets worse! I’m not talking celebrities… I’m talking random people, bloggers, unknown models and of course friends of these random people – to put it bluntly “mere mortals”. But somehow by virtue of human curiosity, I add more and more of these random people to the list of my Followed. Sometimes I catch myself thinking when scrolling through the Instagram “ah haven’t seen anything from [Mary Smith] for a while – I wonder what she’s been up to”. Are you normal??? I mean if I could give myself a piece of advice it would be GET A LIFE!!!! But for some strange reason I keep coming back for more… addiction? Call it whatever you want! The reason why the social media bubble will not burst for quite sometime is because it caters to one basic human element – CURIOSITY.   Remember when you were little and you used to have imaginary friends? Well nothing’s changed really except that now your imaginary friends live online :)