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Friday, 9 August 2013

Instagram: Photo-sharing for High-Flyers and Low-Lives alike

Unless you've been living in a cave on Mars for the past couple of years you'll probably be aware of this internet photo sharing thingamabobby called Instagram. It was bought by Facebook back in April for the princely sum of $1 billion and quickly caused a ruckus regarding Mark Zuckerberg suddenly having the rights to everyone's photos. Then Facebook changed the policy and everyone was happy again.

Since then, Instagram's gone from strength to strength,gaining considerable influence amongst the competitive social media marketplace. I don't usually pay too much attention to the social media platforms outside of Twitter, Facebook and Google +, but two news stories about Instagram ran this week that caught my eye, both despicable in a very different way.

The Rich Kids of Instagram

Rich Kids of Instagram compiles the extravagant lifestyles of the kids of the super wealthy as chronicled in their Instagram feeds. Yachts, man-sized bottles of champagne, fast cars and mansions are just a handful of the envy and rage-inducing images to be found.

This, of course, only exacerbates our society's obsession with celebrity, wealth and overindulgence. Adults may look at these images with disdain, but younger teenagers are arguably being given the impression that happiness comes solely through a jet set lifestyle that very few can afford.

This, however, is not hot news. What's new is that Rich Kids of Instagram has inspired a nauseating new reality TV show; creatively entitled Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. Great. What has our society come to? I'm only 25 and I'm starting to have my doubts about my own generation.

The Junkies of Instagram

Instagram's not just for those living the high life; low-lives are using it too!

There's been an alarming increase in absolute moron junkies posting pictures of their drugs and drug use on Instagram.

Just as the promotion of vanity, shallowness and materialism can be found on Instagram, so too can crime and drug abuse.

With the number of young teenagers using Instagram, is this the kind of imagery that should be floating around social media?

With media attention fixed on the suicide of Hannah Smith after horrendous cyber-bullying, will Instagram be the next social media platform to be blamed for negatively influencing our youth?

Instagram is not in and of itself a dangerous thing. It's simply a tool. How that tool is used, however, needs to be policed. Best do so now, before the damage is done.

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