As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am a bit of an Instagram fanatic. It even says so in my twitter bio. I wrote a post about Instagram way back in January 2011 that has received more than 60,000 hits. I tend to take this Instagram thing pretty seriously. Which I why when I saw the latest update I wanted to cry.
Instagram has (once again) brilliantly anticipated its users wishes/desires/wants/needs and added a really useful maps feature to version 3.0, which was released this morning. This feature pins your photos that have been geotagged on a map, nicely piled up in the locations you’ve been to and been dutifully Instagram-ing (is that a verb? and does it have one or two ‘m’s?) your life away.
This allows you to go back and revisit your vacations or events, or just get a birdseye view of where you’ve been, versus where you are right now which is what Instagram has always been good at. The feature allows you to see where anyone on Instagram has been, as long as they are geotagging their photos. This improves upon one of the original reasons I fell in love with Instagram…it allows you to learn more about people around the globe and get a glimpse into their lives. So the people that I follow that travel a lot, and many of them seem to, I can easily take a look and get the big picture of what their travel log looks like. I’m certainly hoping Sam Morrison (aka @samthecobra) has had his geotagging enabled this summer because he has literally been AROUND THE WORLD, and it would be a shame if that wasn’t somehow permanently etched on Instagram.
Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this post, other than to alert you to go download the new version.
I didn’t have my geotagging enabled!?!
Yes, I understand this is a #firstworldproblem. However, I’ve uploaded 1,261 photos to Instagram. I’ve travelled all over the country. Only SEVEN of my pictures have a location. So while I’m seeing my Instagram friends Anthony Quintano and dens and takinyerphoto adding literally HUNDREDS of photos to their Instagram maps, I can only add 7. This is a personal and professional mistake the likes of which I can barely comprehend. How embarrassing! Especially when that number shows up in the feed of everyone who follows you.
And I call myself an Instagrammer?
I have fixed the problem going forward, but I cannot resurrect those lost locations and now pin the photos to the map where they rightly belong. I just have to begin again.
So why does this matter?
Moments and Memories
I have heard these words, moments and memories, bandied about a lot lately. Klout is touting their new ‘Moments‘ feature although few have seen it yet. Yesterday I listened to a pitch from a startup called Scrapsule that wants to help you preserve your memories in a digital scrapbook. It seems everyone is trying to capture what used to be stored in our heads, or in frames and albums, somewhere online.
I believe that these companies are tapping into a true human need. As we’ve spent the last couple of years filling the social networks with our random thoughts, photos, videos and locations, we’ve kind of been neglecting the part where it’s all organized and neat, tucked away in a little box. Like photos used to be. Our memories, our moments and our lives are now contained in these digital words and images, and we don’t want any of them to be lost. It’s almost like if they don’t exist, if you can’t lay your hands on them, then part of you doesn’t exist.
This is what I’m feeling as I contemplate the loss of, or at least the opportunity to, have the past two years of my life neatly compartmentalized on Instagram. I would have really liked to have that option. And I don’t because I never turned on one switch on my iPhone.
You know how when people ask you what you would take with you if your house was ever on fire, and people always used to say ‘my photo albums?’ Well if the entire Internet was going to shut down tomorrow and I could only take one social network with me, it would be Instagram. That’s where my memories reside.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
In the meantime, here’s a video showing you all the latest on the update.