I am not a photographer. Let me just start with that. But, as we all know over the past several years, Instagram has made me think I'm one. I'd imagine anyone reading this is guilty of that same sentiment.
That's because Instagram is really, really good at two things:
1) It makes me look way better at taking pictures than I am.
2) It makes me feel special and validated when people tell me they like said pictures.
I'll admit it, when I heard the news that Instagram was going to change it's terms and conditions yesterday, I got sorta Debbie Downer inside.
"WHAT? DON'T TOUCH MY INSTAGRAM! DON'T YOU TOUCH MY FUCKING SOCIAL VALIDATION WOOBIE."
Then I realized that we're all a bunch of entitled assholes who need to just calm down every now and again. And here's my reasoning.
Let me start by saying this: Instagram went about what they did entirely the wrong way. I get that, as a business, you eventually have to, you know, make money, but there was a better way to do it than telling us they were going to aggressively STEAL ALL OF OUR THINGS AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, MWAHAHA! Sure, they just released a "whoops, sorry" memo that makes it pretty clear they know this, but at the end of the day that's what's coming guys, because that's what happened over on their father's website, aka Facebook.
They are a business, and to be fair, they've been letting you use their business for infinity free up until now. Do you go to work for free so that other people can use whatever it is that you work on? Probably not, and if you do, you're a horrible negotiator and need to work on that.
The people who made Instagram were a bunch of good people who made something that changed the fucking world. Millions of us started communicating through pictures, and to be fair? We did it in a beautiful, really kind way (that's right, I'm getting all hippie-dippie on you). We wanted to show each other what our lives were like, and for the most part we enjoyed "liking" other people's lives and telling them that, yeah, it looks like they're having a nice day and that makes us heart emoticon the shit out of them.
And, when the people at Instagram realized the behemoth that they had on their hands, they did what any of us would do, ever.
They made money off of it.
I wish they had done it not in the "Facebook evil empire" way that they did, but they did.
They could have had a model that offered us rights to our pictures in exchange for the use of their service if we paid them money (Flickr's model, for what it's worth) and we probably would have bitched and moaned about that as well, though. You know why?
Because at the end of the day, we're all just pissed that in some way or another, something costs money now, even if that money is just us. Maybe it's your pictures, or your info, who knows what the currency is or has to be.
But, guys, it sort of had to cost something someday. When someone comes to pick up the trash at your house? You have to pay the "pick up the trash" man and company for it. The same goes for the "unlimited access to cloud data storage" company.
I hate to be captain positivity here, but, let's try to look at this another way.
I was not a photographer, and a bunch of kids made a start-up that made me believe I was. Then, other people who use their service told me they agreed with me, and that made me feel pretty nice inside. And you know what's even funnier? It made me want to look at and like THEIR pictures and ultimately be their friend, which is the entire point of a social fucking network. Don't look now, but we're doing it right.
Instagram and its team screwed up not because they wanted to make money, but because they decided to make it like a bunch of assholes. But, if in the process of that whole thing I found out that I really like taking pictures, and I really like it when you do too? That's sort of cool, and that sort of makes them pretty good people after all.
Maybe I'll go and take pictures now and post them elsewhere. Hell, maybe i'll stick around Instagramland because, if you think I'm pretty, Instagram (twirls his hair)? You go use me in an advertisement, sugar.
It's okay to be upset about what's happening to Instagram. It really is, and you have a valid point. But let's just be honest and say what this is really about: it's not that they want you to be an advertisement, it's that you're upset that unlimited free everything is over and more importantly, you aren't gonna get that little gorgeous heart next to your picture.
You know why I'm saying that?
Because I'm probably guiltier of that sentiment than any of you.
Keep taking pictures, friends. It's not the goddamn end of the world.
It's been a long time since I've posted, so this mix is a 3-parter. Enjoy, internet.
STREAM at the links below:
DOWNLOAD ALL OF THE MP3's at the links below: