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Instagram-Schminstagram

Once, several months ago, an instagram acquaintance posted a comment about a photographer that I follow about how they didn’t think this photographer was an instagrammer.

It made me think.  It’s made me wonder where the comment was coming from.  Because I, very clearly, thought the photographer I followed WAS an instagrammer.  What was this person’s definition of the word “instagrammer”?  Was I an Instagrammer in this person’s eyes?

How does one become an instagrammer?  What’s the criteria?  Is it based on the frequency of your posts?  The number of followers?  The number of features you get from instagram hubs?  The number of likes your posts get?

I googled instagrammer and these were some of the definitions:  According to MacMillanDictionary.com, an instagrammer is a user of the Instagram social network. Slangit.com says that an Instagrammer posts images and videos on Instagram and may even comment on other people’s posts. According to the urbandictionary.com an instagrammer simply means a person who gets on Instagram. Better used for a person who gets on often or is obsessive over Instagram.

I posted a question on Instagram and I got the consensus that an instagrammer, as defined by people who have Instagram accounts, is someone who has an instagram account and uses Instagram.

I listen to Sara Tasker’s wonderful podcast Hashtag Authentic (I may have waxed lyrical about how amazing this podcast is in a blog entry) and her podcast on 25 October where she has a conversation with Tara Swiger.  One thing they discussed resonated with me so much.  Tara said that the numbers about your engagement on social media platforms does not necessarily reflect the value that you provide to the people who follow you for the right reasons. A big audience or following does not necessarily mean expertise or value.  It may reflect on the reason why you’re on the social media platform: whether you’re on it to offer a service (which means your provide expertise) or if you’re on it to receive some kind of validation (which relates to the need to pay attention to your stats) or if it’s another reason which is an amalgamation of the two.

So whether you have 100,000 followers or 100 on Instagram or Twitter, or any other social media platform, it does not matter as it doesn’t devalue the material that you post on social media.  It doesn’t make you any less of an Instagrammer if you only have a handful of followers, it just makes you less of a player of the Instafame game; as long as you use the platform you are a whatever-er (an Instagrammer, a person who Tweets, a blogger..you get the idea!).

Having said all that, it is important to remember that people’s personal definitions of ideas or concepts is completely subjective and is completely defined by their experiences.  So there isn’t really a correct or incorrect definition of what an instagrammer really is.  Our personal definitions are based on our experiences, our interactions and our motivations for being on social media.  I think what we need to remember is that we need to have is an awareness that our instinctive reactions, i.e. knee-jerk, are based on our personal experiences, definitions and biases.  If we remember this, then we avoid making sweeping generalisations and/or saying them out loud.  Brilliant, I think, for avoiding foot-in-mouth situations!

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