I now write a weekly blog for the Times of India – Divya Palat’s Blog! So do check it out!
This week’s big news was that Facebook was acquiring the young, fun Free photo sharing application- Instagram for ONE BILLION DOLLARS!
The young co-founders are both Ex- Stanford Students- Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and this being my alma mater I naturally took a very eager interest in the sale and all the reports about it!
What is Instagram? It, very simply is a photo sharing application that adds fun, fabulous, digital filters to your photographs making them absolutely wonderful and makes you proud of sharing the most beautiful of sunsets and even the messiest of garbage cans! Instagram can make everything look cool!
And why should one billion be such a shock to writers or analysts across the world?! Today is the day of the 140 characters or less status updates where we update our Facebook status almost before we wake up every morning! It is a world where you are judged not by the actual friends you have but by the virtual followers that you possess, where a status update is more true to readers than ever actually seeing you, talking to you or even meeting you! And if status and image is so important-what’s a billion dollars for an app that can make even a dirty toilet look great?!
Today you are judged by the photos you post, by the updates you make , by the Linked In contacts you have and it’s social networking suicide to not have friend’s ‘Like’ your posts! It is a world where reality has never been less real and unfortunately despite the fact that we can connect with people we lost touch with several years ago; we are often more disconnected than we ever have been!
Phone conversations have been replaced by tweets. But there’s often a lot more going on in a person’s life which can’t be fit into a line or less but guess what if you have more to say…well often there’s nobody to hear it or read it!
Be everything you want to be except yourself….that is often the mantra of Social Networking. How else can you justify bloggers and tweeters behind pseudonyms who have hundreds of thousands of followers? Today we hide behind a mask because often we fear that our most honest thought, our most basic of feelings might be considered too simplistic, too plain or just too boring,a word that our generation fears more than life itself!
So we jazz up our thoughts, we mask our feelings and we hide our flaws behind fancy sayings and proverbs because our virtual friends must assume our virtual reality is our reality. They would most definitely leave us if they knew that our virtual reality was just virtual and nowhere close to our reality. And so the charade continues!
And so but naturally when there is an app which can make decent photographs look great, we all jumped on the band wagon! You couldn’t just mail photographs or print them – it had to be Instagramed! They made our normal reality and our actual photographs look so much cooler and so it worked! Wish there was an app that made our normal day and simple thought seem cooler. Wish there was an app to add a new colour to your black and white day…. well give it time. I’m sure there are already plans afoot to Instagram your ‘normal’ life! Kevin, Mike…thoughts?
P.s (Palat says) The week is already overwhelming me but my status update says ‘Excited! Fab, fun week ahead! Yay life!’
But on a much happier, more positive note- This week was my Malayalee New Year. So… to brighter dawns and to more fruitful tomorrows- Happy Vishu all!