Home Is Where the Photo Booth Is: How Instagram Is Changing Our Living Spaces

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Marrujo’s party is one of a handful of private get-togethers I attended in 2018 that included a dedicated Instagram wall, where guests could take photos good enough to graduate from the Instagram Stories feed to a post on their permanent grids. For her annual holiday party, Cosmopolitan senior editor Jessica Goodman cleared out her home office and covered one of its walls with CVS wrapping paper.

The so-called social media moment—i.e., a studio-esque photo op—was once a concept companies used as a marketing tool at promotional events. But as Instagram has grown in size over the years, so has its influence on the physical world.

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He Reported on Facebook. Now He Approaches It With Caution.

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How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Nick Confessore, an investigative reporter, discussed the tech he’s using.

The social media app I really miss is Instagram. I always had a private account, and I accept requests only from real-life friends and family. So it’s an ocean of sanity and genuine relationships compared with Twitter, which is a hell of random angry people. But when I log in — once or twice a week at most, usually on my wife’s phone — I’m now hyper-conscious that every like, thumb click and scroll may go into my permanent Facebook record.

Is deleting Facebook an effective way to protect privacy?

Not in the slightest.

It may interfere with Facebook’s ability to track you as a consumer. But almost every website you visit or app you have on your phone is to some extent tracking where you go and what you do.

The Joy of #Cooking Why are Instagram-famous recipes so impossible to resist?

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Until mid-November, #TheStew was an Instagram hashtag primarily devoted to Boston hip-hop producers, filled with dimly lit shots of guys hunched over their laptops. (“Stew” is a play on “studio.”) Very quickly, though, the images featured on the hashtag transformed into shot after shot of actual stew, milky and yellow, decorated with a few chickpeas and a scattering of fresh herbs. Every image was a version of the same stew, a recipe for Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric by New York Times food columnist Alison Roman, and if you follow urbane, food-loving millenials on social media, you probably thought that everyone in the world decided to make it for dinner this winter.

In less than two months, #TheStew has taken on a life of its own, and has no doubt entered the regular cooking rotation for numerous home cooks around the country. In the days when cookbooks, food magazines, and product labels were the primary spots that people found new recipes, it could take months or even years for ideas to become universally beloved household staples… But in the age of digital word of mouth, you only need to see the same recipe pop up on your feed so many times before you feel compelled to try it — and then of course to post about it yourself. The Instagram snowball effect means a recipe can enter the home-cooking canon in a matter of days, not years. Call it the joy of hashtag cooking.

UPDATED (Feb 6): A Picture Of An Egg Beat Kylie Jenner For The Most Liked Instagram Of All Time

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Egg Gang’s account @world_record_egg first published the egg photo on Jan. 4.

“Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)! We got this,” the post says.

By Sunday morning, the egg photo had around 9 million likes; within 10 hours that number had doubled, breaking Jenner’s record. The egg appeared to be getting around a million likes per hour once it started going mega-viral on Sunday.

BuzzFeed News reached out to the mysterious egg account, and the account holder replied that it was actually being run by “Henrietta” — a chicken from the British countryside. Henrietta declined a phone interview but agreed to answer questions via email.

See also this update

UPDATE Feb 6, 2019: And more revealed about the egg, “Instagram’s most-liked egg cracks to reveal a mental health advert” (link to article on BBC).

Rediscovering My Daughter Through Instagram

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Social media has been blamed for ruining our democracy, shortening our children’s attention spans and undermining the fabric of society. But through it, I was able to be with Paulina out in the world again, to see what she sees, to virtually stand beside her and witness the people and places she moves through, in nearly real time. Not in a parent-policing role, but in a wonderful-world sort of way.

There were gorgeous landscapes from Orient on Long Island, where we’ve spent part of every August her entire life, lovingly captured with the title “My Happy Place.” Tender close-ups of Dean. A picture of her best friend bandaged in a hospital bed after a seizure last year. “I love you,” Paulina wrote under it. And photos of a trip we took upstate last winter, blue blue windows looking out onto the evening’s snowy landscape. It was the same view I had had, but perfectly archived for eternity.

Then there was the photo she posted of herself as a little girl among autumn leaves, wearing a checkered skirt, pink leotard and green high-tops.

“Wish I was still a little kid,” the caption read.

So I wasn’t the only one.

Can You Make It As an Artist in 2018 Without Constantly Plugging Yourself on Instagram?

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It can be bad for art, but it can also be bad for artists. Crespo says Instagram was negatively affecting his spirituality and mental health. The reward systems are addictive. Artist Jake Borndal quit posting to Instagram when he quit smoking. A drug analogy might seem a bit played out, but biologically a “hit” of likes isn’t all that different from a hit of nicotine. When you check your phone, a rush of dopamine floods your brain and that instant gratification can drive compulsive behavior. Social media addiction isn’t a problem for artists alone, but if the role of the artist is to create, share, and contribute beyond existing boundaries, then the question of whether Instagram offers a new way to think or just produces new limits or anxieties is especially critical.

If an artist is supposed to propose new ways of seeing and creating, it’s worrying when social media platforms feel like they’re turning us all into sycophantic clones. Borndal describes Instagram as “an unctuous platform,” with so many “pity likes.” More than just being irritated by the self-promotion and ingratiation, Borndal found that seeing and sharing on Instagram began playing with his conception of the world around him. “I started thinking everyone was thinking the same thing at the same time, that everyone was becoming more similar. It was ultimately diluting my own thoughts.”

Instagram is really “not a creative space,” as Borndal puts it.

Is Geotagging on Instagram Ruining Natural Wonders? Some Say Yes

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Sorry, Instagrammers. You are ruining Wyoming.

Last week, the Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board asked visitors to stop geotagging photographs on social media in an effort to protect the state’s pristine forests and remote lakes. Explaining the campaign, Brian Modena, a tourism-board member, suggested the landscape was under threat from visitors drawn by the beautiful vistas on Instagram.

Delta Lake, a remote refuge surrounded by the towering Grand Tetons, has become “a poster child for social media gone awry,” Mr. Modena said in an interview last week. “Influencers started posting from the top of the lake. Then it started racing through social media.” (Influencers, if you don’t know, are people with huge social media followings who sometimes make a living posting about places and products.)