Yesterday my Instagram feed turned into a eulogy for Vine. After its most recent update, Instagram now allows its users to post 15-second videos along with filtered photos of food. Instagram’s newest feature has led many to believe that Twitter’s Vine, which allows users to post 6-second videos, will go the way of MySpace, HD-DVD and CDs.
I was an early adopter of Vine and some feedback has suggested that Vine’s interface is better than Instagram’s. I’ve yet to post a video on Instagram, which isn’t out of the ordinary, because I rarely post videos on Vine. Come to think of it, I rarely post pictures on Instagram. Unless I’m eating a giant hamburger or my dog looks particularly cute, I don’t really do Instagram.
I don’t say that to elevate myself, like someone who doesn’t have cable because they prefer to play board games and read Shakespeare. I don’t use Instagram that much because I prefer Twitter. Plenty of people miss the world around them because they’re too busy trying to capture it on Instagram. I have the same problem except I miss the world around me because I’m trying to tweet something clever about it.
Now that Instagram has videos, instead of missing a moment, people are going to start missing 15 moments. Instead of pausing to snap a picture and throw on a filter, people are going to disengage from the world around them for an even greater amount of time. Also, checking Instagram is now a much more time consuming process; instead of just glancing at a few pictures there will be videos to watch.
Like every other social medium, Instagram can distract us from the world around us. We miss out on so much of our lives when we’re always looking at them through our phones’ cameras. I know I’ve missed out on a joke or a moment because I was too busy trying to capture the previous moment.
15 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s plenty of time to miss out on a moment that will never happen again.