Intentional Instagramming: The “New Age” Of Social Media

Over the last seven days, 21% of the time I’ve spent on my iPhone has been spent on Instagram.

I devoted five-and-half hours to scrolling through my feed, mindlessly tapping through Stories, and watching yellow labrador puppies roll around in the mud on Explore. This amounts to more time than I’ve spent checking email, listening to music, texting, and Tweeting — combined.

I found out about this because I looked at the breakdown of my iPhone’s battery usage (Settings > Battery). Soon, though, I’ll see it directly within Instagram, via a “Usage Insights” feature. TechCrunch revealed the news yesterday, and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed it with a tweet, and short explanation:

We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional.

— Kevin S. (@kevin) May 16, 2018

Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.

— Kevin S. (@kevin) May 16, 2018

Systrom’s mention of personal responsibility is similar to the language Mark Zuckerberg has used when discussing Cambridge Analytica. Facebook owns Instagram, so this resemblance is not totally surprising. However, the references to ensuring time spent is “positive and intentional” go far beyond Facebook’s talking points and are more reflective of the user wellbeing trend that’s sweeping the tech industry as a whole.

The digital detoxes you’ve read about in vacation planning articles and mindfulness guides are now being encouraged by the very companies that made them necessary in the first place. Just last week, Google executives promoted “JOMO” (the joy of missing out) and debuted new features meant to limit your time spent online. These include an app timer and a new tool called “shush”, which automatically turns on “do not disturb” when you put your phone facedown, silencing any incoming calls, texts, and push notifications. Facebook has been on its own kind of user health campaign since a former executive ‘s disparaging remarks in December, followed by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

This focus on decreasing time spent online — or ensuring the only time you do spend is intentional — is somewhat counterintuitive. In the past, the formula for business success in Silicon Valley relied heavily on time: Get people using your product, and make sure they’re using it a lot, whether it’s an app or a physical piece of hardware. Time translates to ad dollars, helping combat the lucrative TV market. Since 2014, the time spent on mobile — and social media advertising budgets — have steadily risen, as the time spent watching TV has fallen, though it still comes out on top.

Photographed by Tayler Smith.

While worries about tech’s control of our data are just beginning, the health impact has been targeted as cause for concern far longer. Numerous studies warn about …read more

Source:: Refinery29


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