So Facebook bought Instagram. I mourned. Really. I posted the “picture” above on Instagram as soon as I heard (made with a fun little iPhone app called The Amazing Type-Writer that makes typewriter sounds). I actually got sympathy e-mails, tweets, and comments from friends and family who know how passionately I hate Farcebook and love Instagram. Vincent even made the Geeks about it last week.
So a lot of the people I follow here and there threatened to leave IG (short for Instagram) and some did and some have already come back. I made no such threat, though I thought about it. The other options (and there are quite a few) are just not enticing enough (yet) to justify the change, and Facebook hasn’t fucked up Instagram (yet), so I’m hanging in there for now. IG’s still good. Too good to quit. Better than drugs.
All the tech pundits immediately began speculating on why Facebook bought IG, what they would do with it, blah blah. So I won’t bore you with my theories. It doesn’t matter anyway. What’s important is what tech toys and tools do to make our lives a better place to live.
My main concern was that Farcebook, despite my best efforts (including not having a Farcebook account, using a browser I don’t use every day if I have to go to a Facebook page, and immediately erasing all Farcebook cookies after closing the page and also any time I inadvertently land on a FB page…) would start profiling me and tracking me and poking into my business. And I don’t like those people. They’re unprincipled. I don’t want them anywhere near me.
But then I thought about it.
Instagram (supposedly) doesn’t store the info from smartphone Contacts (though maybe they will start to with their new evil overlords who seem to believe all your info are belong to them). Plenty of apps apparently do keep that contact data. So I never allowed IG (or any other apps except a VOIP phone app) to “find my friends” using my Contacts anyway. Twitter friends, yes, no problem, most of them I don’t know IRL and I don’t have Twitter friends’ home addresses and birthdays and children’s names stored in my phone…
I don’t follow any brands on IG. I don’t take pictures of brands (a couple of Vespa pics — this is Paris, after all, some gin I never heard of, McDonald’s – but that was social commentary, the Mexican chocolate I ran out of, some of which you could send me if you’re feeling kind). I’m not like IG’s many Starbuck’s worshippers, for example…Click that pic to see serious IG Starbucks lust, which I don’t get. I don’t get brand love at all, but then I’m a far cry from your perfect little consumer. Not the advertiser’s ideal target.
Facebook will probably figure out I live in Paris, even though I don’t have location on for IG. Don’t know what good that’ll do them except maybe they’ll serve me crap French ads instead of crap American ads when they start force-feeding ads to IG users…
What more could they do to me other than “add new features” (they’ve already said they would) that could ruin the simple beauty of the IG experience?
All I know is, thanks to IG, I wake up every day and see the pictures of 84 mostly strangers in France, Quebec, Hawaii, Guam, London, San Diego, Austria, Moscow, Turkey, Brazil, India, Austin, Portugal, Sweden, New York, China, the Mojave Desert, and more… My own little near-real-time National Geographic, my hand on the beating heart of the world, pure Beauty.
At this point, I don’t see how Farcebook can ruin that. But I’m sure they’ll find a way.