We are a society attached to our mobile phones. We walk down the street, sit at restaurants and shamefully drive while scrolling through our phones. There are a million apps that draw a person further away from society and into the shiny screen in her palm. Words With Friends, Angry Birds a gal could spend an entire dinner date consumed in a game and completely ignoring prince Charming across the table.
Instagram, on the other hand, pulls you back into your environment by making it the centerpiece of action. It is phone app that makes you look at the world around you and make it better. By applying filters, even the seemingly mundane is elevated to artistic proportions. This, in turn makes you notice the mundane more readily, instead of ignoring it to check your cyber status. Instagram is my Be Here Now phone app. I look at things differently. I don’t fancy myself a photographer and no amount of filtering will change that. But, suddenly a flower in my garden, my daughter’s pigtails, a hot cup of coffee have more significance. I notice them. I appreciate them. I photograph them.
Sure, the warm and fuzzy filters make those moments seem even more precious. And the ability to share and get comments from friends near and far adds to the effect. What’s wrong with that? Instagram provides the comfort of being connected, while also interacting with the world around me. It doesn’t alienate me from society by hiding behind a screen. It transforms that screen into a way to amplify the simple joys in my life. Joys that may have gone unnoticed had I been absorbed in a word game or e-mail thread. Joys that I sometimes become so absorbed in that I set my phone down without even capturing them. Imagine that, setting the phone down to savor the moment and be here now.