Me and 4,999,999 other people are now using Instagram. The photo-sharing, hipster-fying (but not to be confused with Hipstamatic) program hit five million users over the weekend and should have 100 million photos by week's end. If that just sounds like a bunch of numbers to you, allow me to put it in perspective: It took Flickr two years to reach that benchmark. Not bad for a company with only four employees.
My feelings about programs like Instagram and Hipstamatic are two-fold. On one hand, they're cool because I, like every other inhabitant of Brooklyn, like things that look vintage-y and quirky -- and the various filters they offer do a great job of doing just that. And Instagram offers a convenient way to share photos -- because sometimes you just need to upload that picture of your calamari alla griglia to your Facebook page. But, on the other hand, with all the advances in camera technology, why do we want every picture we take looking like a grainy piece of s**t?
It seems to come at a weird time, too, what with everybody running out to buy bulky SLR Nikons and Canons to capture their son's soccer game or their recent trip to France. Which is it, people? Do we want really clear photos, or ones that look like they narrowly escaped a house fire?
I guess the use of such apps could be because cameraphones are crappy already -- I don't care which phone you have, they are. We figure, if we can't beat 'em, join 'em? If we can't get a good, clear photo, might as well make it look artsy and cool? But probably not.
Chances are these programs are so popular right now because vintage is popular right now. From the styles we wear to the music we listen to, it's hip to be "worn." Case in point, Alexa Chung's army jackets and The Strokes' Julian Casablanca's distorted/long distance-sounding singing style. We're into old crap. Sue us. We think the '70s were cool. Sure, it seems to go against the digital world we're currently living in, but it's way better than futuristic stuff. Would you really want to see Alexa Chung in a silver space coat?
Check it out the difference:
My water bottle:
My water bottle in the 1970s:
Which do you think is cooler?
Image via philcampbell/Flickr