If you are a shutter-happy mama like me, chances are you have already discovered Instagram video. Released last week, your colorful feed of joyful baby photos, brag-worthy mom moments, and artistic latte swirls now includes the addition of 15-second video clips. I was hooked at first click.
It took a bit of practice to figure out exactly how to capture my fast-moving toddler in my tiny Instagram video camera. And I’d be lying if the first few times I didn’t curse the 15-second limit. But after using it for a week or so, I’m happy to admit that the developers were spot on in many of their programming decisions. No one wants to scroll through photos and get stuck on a two minute video clip. But 15 seconds? That’s just enough time to capture a fun moment and not feel like you just got trapped in yet another social media time suck. (Although let’s be real—you did.)
The thing about videos is that they (obviously) capture so much more than a picture. Suddenly the strangers you follow have voices, the children have screams, and the panoramas include seagull cries and crashing waves. If a picture invites you to another place, a video actually picks you up and drops you inside of it.
As a parent, it’s so tempting to want to capture my toddler’s every move. Especially since we thousands of miles from all of our family, and this is an easy and universally accessible way to hare quick moments with people who are far away. But I know that there is a slippery slope between catching fun firsts, new milestones, and funny moments, and eventually finding yourself sharing every breakfast and daily outfit. I’m trying to be very conscious of not going down that path.
There is a much bigger topic buried here—the one concerning the protection of children’s privacy in this new age of digital sharing and accessibility. It’s something I’m hyper-aware of as a parent, and as a blogger and writer with a relatively large social presence of my own. For now, I’m having fun with the new video feature and sharing some moments here and there, but more often than not I’m still picking up our personal handicam and uploading self-indulgant videos to send to eager grandparents. There is definitely a time and a space for both.
Can any other moms weigh in? Anyone else really excited about Instagram’s new video feature?