December 17, 2014




Josh from the Livity creative team ponders Instafame, and how social sharing can be a force for bad as well as good.

So I recently went to a talk by this rather excitable chap named Jason Silva, a Venezuelan-American television personality, filmmaker, and performance philosopher from LA (thanks, Google). He spoke in great detail on the argument that the Instagram generation is experiencing the present as an ‘anticipated memory’ – the notion that this generation have the need to log everything in a paper trail of digital memories, experiencing their lives whilst considering very heavily what they’ll be looking like during these collected moments.

When taking photos of these moments we actually now (with the addition of a vast array of easy-to-use filters and visual techniques) have the opportunity to amend these images how we like and mould the feeling of the image, altering how they are perceived. Interesting thought eh?

“We’re living in 2 realities at the same time”, he said. “One for us, and one for our memories. And these seem to be drifting further apart, which is kinda crazy!”

The introduction and boom of ‘digital memory saving’ via photos has made us hyper-aware that the moment will pass in the blink of an eye. We know if we miss ‘that Insta-moment’ we won’t get it back so we’re extra vigilant on capturing it forever.

What I find more interesting is the social reasoning behind our saving of these moments. Are we really doing it for ourselves like we used to with physical pics? For our friends and family? Or are we doing it for everyone else. People that we don’t even know. Are we doing it for the ‘micro fame’?

The most instinctual need of a human is to connect with other people in some way. Another key human desire is to create – to build and to better themselves in some way. Instagram tickles both these needs so it’s no wonder it has become so popular. It’s easy for people to quickly create marvellously enhanced versions of their photographs to build their popularity with their friends and followers.

The problem is when people mistake friends for followers. There is a huge problem right now of people becoming addicted to social media and slowly falling into the trap of warping their output so much that they start to embody the persona they’ve created. Their obsession becomes an unhealthy desire for fame.

The saving grace in all this, is that in the grand scheme of things, the amount of people that fall into this category are just so drastically minuscule in comparison to the regular users it’s very clear that the benefits of sharing memories with our friends and preserving them for ourselves by far outweigh the drawbacks.

That said, I do still hate selfies.

Josh Denton, Creative, 17.12.2014 


  • Sam Boggis-Rolfe

    Really interesting article. I wonder whether constantly recording what we do makes it hard to live in the moment. Are we trying to lead exciting lives so that we can capture it and reflect or so that we can enjoy the present moment?