It’s no secret that social media has had an increasing impact on our day to day lives; from enabling us to keep in contact with friends from all over the world to hearing what our favourite celebrities have eaten for dinner. It has become an integral part of daily life where we struggle to do anything fun or spontaneous without actually ‘tweeting’ about it first.
Photos, and their saturation within society, have become an emerging power over the past couple of years with the likes of Instagram and Pinterest. These networks may have started as photo-sharing devices for friends and family, transforming into a powerful advertising tool which has taken over our lives. Is this really a negative though?
Instagram was launched in late 2010 and already has over 100 million users. Instead of a snappy 140-character tweet, Instagram offers you the chance to communicate your life through the art of photography.
It allows you to upload images, and edit them before posting, in order to make the dullest moments magical. Everyone gets to pretend they are Ansel Adams, even if only for a brief moment, and all on the incredibly convenient medium of your mobile phone. The iPhone really has become the new DSLR and with 40 million pictures being shared daily, there is no shortage of inspiration.
Pinterest has become a great way for companies to advertise their brands. It markets itself as “a tool for collecting and organising the things you love”. It can be used to create wishlists, diets and exercise routines, or even just to appreciate the incredible fashion and photography floating around on there.
People have gradually become oblivious to the saturation of these images and the influence they begin to have on our individual outlooks on life. When we are constantly exposed to sunset pictures of the spectacular beaches in Thailand, snaps of Kelly Slater surfing tunnels in Indonesia and the Roxy girls paddle-boarding in Kauai, it becomes impossible not to get infected with the travel bug. It begins to inspire people to do more with their lives as we sit in a stuffy office, in May, with rain pouring down the window, looking at the lives of these beautiful human beings and begin to consider: why not us?
As these images have become so accessible it creates the idea that the lifestyle isn’t actually outside of our reach; they really are only a plane ride away. These sites have provided people with a web of connections all over the world as it offers an insight into the beauty that can be found across the globe.
Instagram and Pinterest are swarming with ‘eat clean’ diets, posting colourful snaps of exotic fruits accompanied with soy nuts, chia, honey and almond milk which really steals the limelight from your bowl of weetabix. Suddenly we’re becoming more inclined to experiment with these new superfoods that you didn’t even know existed as we become sucked in to this healthy organic lifestyle which Instagram markets to us everyday. This can only have a positive effect on the UK and USA, as an obesity epidemic has taken control and this instant access to motivation could be a great contributor to sticking to a healthier lifestyle.
The filtration of other cultures lifestyle and food has been maximised by the personal effectiveness of having these sharing sites. Even the exercise routines of yoga and pilates has a huge following in the world of social media as thousands of yoga pins and posts demonstrate ‘how-to’ pictures which you can try at home.
Through these images we are being inspired by different cultures to try new experiences. It has sparked a frenzy to become ‘pinterest worthy’ and to lead a life which would be deemed ‘photographic’ and worthy of followers. Social media has often been depicted as having a negative effect on society; however, through the power of photography we have the choice to be inspired and do more with our lives, become healthier and more active as we become exposed to the adventures and beauty of lives from all over the globe, opening us up to the versatility of different cultures. These are just a couple of areas that are particularly close to my heart in which people can find inspiration, nevertheless there is something for everyone out there on these sites.