Be More Interesting : Clive Thompson : Instagram

“For me, the really deep appeal of Instagram is more subtle: It changes the way I look at the world around me.

I’m not a super visual person; I do not normally take a lot of photos. But now I am, and do. Whenever you join a new social network, there’s this sudden, gentle pressure to, y’know, be more interesting. In the case of Twitter, that manifests itself as a pressure to post ever-more-cool undiscovered URLage. In the case of Instagram, it means posting ever-more-nifty snapshots. And this in turn means that I’ve begun looking at the world around me anew. I used to walk around my neighborhood blissfully — or stressfully — ignoring my surroundings, while staring at the sidewalk (or, ironically, my iphone). Now I find myself spotting unusual bits of graffiti, or patterns that fall trees make against the sky, or how super strange the robot is on Yo Gabba Gabba when my kids watch in the morning. Or that blue door on the brownstone in the picture above: How did I not notice how pretty it was?”