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Why I Love Instagram (Spoiler: Because Instagram Is Awesome)

I take a lot of photos of my kids. A lot of photos of my kids. More than I know what to do with. More than I can fit on my blog or in a Twitter stream or on my Facebook page or even in a good old fashioned hold-in-your-hands photo album. My life is, to borrow from Intel’s wonderful tag line,* a truly visual life. (I put this mom to shame. Seriously. I’ve never cried over missed photo opps, but only because I never miss a photo opp.)

And ever since I discovered Instagram I’ve been taking even more. I didn’t think that it was possible to live more visually than I already was, but it is. It’s totally possible, and then some.

Because here’s the thing about Instagram: it makes the practice of taking photographs both more fun, and more social. And it’s the ‘more social’ part that makes all the difference.

Instagram – if you don’t yet know all about it, which you totally should – is a photography-slash-social-networking application for the iPhone that allows you to take and edit photos and then post theme to a shared social stream of photos. You take your photo, or pull one from your photo library, you edit your photo (or not), you caption your photo (or not), you choose whether (or not) to also share your photo in your Twitter stream or on Facebook or on Tumblr or on Flickr, and then you post it, and it appears in the Instagram stream where people can ‘like’ it and/or comment on it. It is totally, completely addictive. I am totally addicted. I post to Instagram many, many times a day. Even when I am supposedly off the grid and shouldn’t be even thinking about posting things to my social network, I find ways to Instagram (that has, on more than one occasion, meant paddling out to the middle of a remote lake, because the 3G access is better on the water than on shore. I kid you not.)

The image below represents, like, two days. Two days spent mostly at Universal Orlando Resort, granted, so I was taking a lot of pictures, but still. You lose track of time when you view life through the lens of your iPhone.

The image below is made up of Instagram postings over, I don’t know, three days? Not many days, when you consider that’s like sixteen pictures (and remember, I still take pictures with my Nikon, and a whole host of other pictures with my iPhone that never see the light of Instagram):

I love Instagram because it allows me to tell a story in pictures – more than that, it encourages and inspires me to tell a story in pictures, or, rather, record the ongoing story of our family life and have it translated immediately into a visual story. Sure, I post pictures on my blog and integrate them into the narrative that unfolds there, but with Instagram I’m doing something just a little bit different: I’m weaving a story that is almost exclusively visual, and I’m sharing it with a community of storytellers who are doing the same thing, and together we create this fabric of interwoven stories of visual lives as they’re being lived.

Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe it.

(I’ll following up this post with a post or two about how I Instagram. Because I’m a pretty good Instagrammer, if I do say so myself, and I believe that there’s an art both to the social networking side of Instagram, and to the photo-creation and photo-sharing side of Instagram. So. Insights, I will share them!)

*Disclosure: I have a longstanding consulting relationship with Intel Canada. So, yes, I am biased. Also, this post was, in part, repurposed from an original post at my Intel-sponsored page at Her Bad Mother. Disclosure is good for your cardiovascular system, y’all.

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