The Last Five Years Of It Anyway
A few days ago marked the 5th Birthday of Instagram! Yes my friends, it’s been five wonderful years of selfies, filters, and double taps. I must confess that out of all the social media platforms, Instagram is my favorite. I love being able to express myself with photography and, through five years, Instagram has never lost focus on the visual. And it’s not just me. Five years after it’s launch, Instagram has grown to 80 million users all over the world.
Here’s a fun fact: the first photo ever posted on Instagram on October 6, 2010 was that of a dog and a foot (belonging to his owner?) waiting to get some tacos. It made me curious (and a little bit hungry). I asked, “What was my first Instagram Post?”
I opened my Instagram app and scrolled way, way, way, way down. As I did it, my life was flashing before my eyes. I realized that over the course of five years as @beycay13, I had been inadvertently documenting my life and making a living history.
People argue that the vast majority of photos posted onto Instagram are of silly things like selfies, outfits of the day and food. But I would argue that these silly things are what make up the personality of our times. I mean, think about it. Archaeological anthropologists spend their careers desperately trying to piece together what everyday life was like for the ancients. And what do they want to know? What the ancients looked like, what they wore and what they ate (see how I did that there? Not so silly anymore, amirite?). I mean, it wasn’t that long ago when the headlines read, “4,000 Year-Old Noodles Discovered,” which made us all go nuts because of the discovery that the ancient chinese did, in fact, eat noodles. Well I’ll tell you what… Go to your instagram and search #noodles and you’ll discover all the anthropological evidence you need to prove that modern-day man does, in fact, eat noodles… and then posts about it.
What I realized while scrolling through five years of my life in snapshots is that the most meaningful posts were those of the seemingly mundane, could-have-been-forgotten-details of my life. The snapshots of the rose that looked so beautiful during my evening stroll, the purple-y red sunset that took my breath away in Venice Beach, the refreshing young coconut drink I had on that really hot day in April, the video of my sister and my father dancing together, and the shot I sneakily snapped of my chihuahua all snuggled up in my army poncho; these are all moments that could have disappeared from my memory. Cameraphone technology and Instagram has made it so easy to create my personal visual history.
And my first Instagram Post? A photo of my beloved pet chihuahua, Vida. She passed away last year, and to discover a photo I hadn’t seen in years, well it made this Instagrammer tear up a bit. I slowly scrolled through my feed to find an abundance of posts of her sweet little face. And even though it was Instagram’s birthday, I was given the gift of a well-documented, visual history of the life I shared with my little best friend.
So thank you Instagram and Happy Belated Birthday.