Goodbye Instagram and Social Media

In a previous post I described my exit from social media save for one holdout: Instagram. I intended to keep a presence on Instagram, at least for a while longer, because of my photography. My Instagram experiment, as I have been calling it, came to an abrupt end because of a privacy over-step on Instagram’s part. The short of it is that I received a request demand from Instagram for my phone number. My account is disabled/blocked unless I provide it.

I felt this a huge over-step on their part. I did not feel comfortable providing more personal information that I have already provided (name, email, and website). I know how this information is used abused. This is one more data point for the ad-data-engine that underpins a large part of the internet. An internet I am increasingly growing uncomfortable with.

Overall I enjoyed my time on Instagram while it lasted. I did see some beautiful and inspiring images. I appreciated the feedback I received. I did expect this image sharing experiment on Instagram to be short-lived–possibly a few more months. But the abrupt end caught me off guard. Hence I took it as a sign to bring my social media presence to an end.

I shared my thoughts on photography and the print medium in another post, but basically I view the digital output medium as inferior to the print. The consumption of on-screen photographs, especially on a limited display like a smartphone–limited in size and colour representation–does not fit with my creative expression through photography. It doesn’t represent the content in the way I’d like. Photography has always been an intensely personal and intimate outlet for me. The screen doesn’t capture that intimacy I have with it.

I will continue to take photographs digitally, but the output will continue to be mostly in print. I have some other ideas for putting my photos online (outside of this website) but I could use some suggestions. I wonder if contributing to Wikimedia Commons might be a worthwhile experiment.

Even though I’m done with social media I will still be active online through traditional discussion forums, open source software, and my personal website.

1 comment on 'Goodbye Instagram and Social Media'

  • Christopher Mackay

    while I will miss seeing your work on Instagram, I look forward to seeing them on here — and in person. My Instagram experiment continues… for now.

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