Depressiongrams

I first heard about the writer Jamie Keiles and her Instagram quest “to photograph something that’s usually invisible” on the excellent podcast Reply All. Here is an excerpt from her article on Medium:

The Instagram economy trades heavily in FOMO and YOLO. Instagram is a platform for people who, if not actively happy, are at least moderately invested in aggregating the happier moments of life. It is not an intuitive place for depressed people — people like me who had long accepted missing out, and instead were just hoping to die.

This mismatch didn’t stop me from gramming, multiple times a day. While my broader feed depicted friends livin’ deep and suckin’ the marrow from life, my own photos focused more on me sucking at life itself. If Instagram proper has certain conventions (aerial shots of artisanal food, latte art posed beside print media, selfies depicting compulsive leisure), then depressiongrams too have tropes: the medication tableau, the bed selfie, eerie photographs of screens that reflect too much time spent alone on the internet at night.

…On Instagram, I found a corner of the net where I was safe to shit out images of my terrible life in live time, without any imperative to express what I needed or interpret what it meant.

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