Photo-Sharing:The Everyday ImageImage via Ian BrittonBy: Katherine Kopiak
Today, millions of ﬂeeting-moment/experience photos areuploaded to the World Wide Web on a daily basis throughsites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr and Apps likeInstagram.Image via Katherine Kopiak
The trend of sharing everyday images marks a shift fromcapturing and displaying rareﬁed moments with friends orfamily in person to capturing the immediate, rather ﬂeetingdiscoveries and moments and sharing them with a virtualworld online.Engaging with the everyday image has become “a more alive, immediate,and often transitory practice” –S. MurrayImage via Moyan BrennText source (for both text boxes): S. Murray,“Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and OurShifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics.”
The transition from ﬁlm to digital and the introduction of small, high-qualitydigital cameras and camera-phones has made the display and sharing ofdigital images with the world at not only possible but also very easy.Image via Katherine KopiakText source: Nancy A. Van House, “Collocated PhotoSharing, Story-telling, and the Performance of Self.”
But why is the trend so popular? Why do people loveto share photos of small, ﬂeeting moments?Images via Katherine Kopiak
For one thing, sharing one’s everyday pictures has been considered astrong form of both self-expression and self-presentation, for by doing so,one is showing others what kind of person they are.Image via Scott CawleyText source: Marc Davis et al. “The social uses ofpersonal photography: methods for projectingfuture imaging applications.”
For instance, by sharing a picture of one’s dinner at a restaurant, oneis perhaps showing their peers or viewers that they like going outfor dinner or that they are passionate about food.Image via Katherine Kopiak
Or, by uploading a picture of one spending time with their pet,someone may be showing their love for that kind of animal.Image via Katherine Kopiak
All of these instances, though many scholars have deemed theminsigniﬁcant, are all important micro-stories about someone thateventually build up to “represent data that we can then assembleinto mega-stories about our lives” –Malcolm Slaney and Jain RameshImage via H is for HomeText Source: Malcolm Slaney andJain Ramesh, “Micro Stories andMega Stories.”
Take Instagram, for instance. One single photo taken from someone’sInstagram account might not say very much about them at all.Image via Katherine Kopiak
Several pictures from one’s Instagram library, however, can say a lot about a person.Images viaKatherineKopiak
There has been much controversial feedback on thesubject of frequent photo-uploading and sharing.Image via Mark Turnauckas
For instance, it has been said that with the new photo-sharing trendthere comes a “sadness and a longing in the relationship to memoryand history that theorists such as Barthes ascribe to traditionalphotography that is not altogether present in the social constructionof popular digital photography and its communities.” –S. Murray“Many feel that such images “lack the traces of the material pastthat were so much a part of traditional photography” –S. MurrayImage via Ludie Cochrane Text source: S. Murray, “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of EverydayAesthetics.”
For instance, “photos on Facebook proﬁles have been used byemployers and law enforcement to investigate the behaviour ofindividuals” –Andrew Besmar and Heather Richter LipfordImage via Bala SivakumarPrivacy has also been a largeconcern. People are worriedthat since photos collectionsonline show so much aboutsomeone’s life, they could beused for unintended purposes. Text source (for both text boxes): Andrew Besmer and Heather RichterLipford, “Moving beyond untagging: photo privacy in a tagged world.”
Furthermore, the introduction of Google Glasses, that can takepictures with a simple command, are only increasing privacy concerns.“How will we behave in groups when the distraction of the internetis only an eye movement away?” –Charles ArthurImage via M.A. Cabrera LuengoText source: Charles Arthur, “Google Glass:is it a threat to our privacy?”
However, on the other hand, several scholars have embraced the new photo trend.For instance, it has been said that sites like Flickr that have brought millionstogether by processes such as photo tagging have provided “a workable solution forcontent organization, use and exploration for many Internet users.”-Megan WingetImage via Heidi HoopesText source: Megan Winget, “User-deﬁned classiﬁcation on the online photosharing site Flickr…or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the milliontyping monkeys.”
Companies are also beneﬁttingsigniﬁcantly from visual socialnetworking, for “brands can use visualcontent on their social media to increaseengagement and inspire sharing and viralmarketing [and…] brands that can rockvisual media will ﬁnd themselves marketleaders” -Ekaterina WalterImage via j&tplamanText Source: Ekaterina Walter, “The Riseof Visual Social Media”
Most importantly, people enjoy sharing photos as frequently as they do. It hasbeen proven through research that people share photos for some of the followingreasons: the joys of sharing with others; the thrill of responses from others; thechance to see through the eyes of others; the therapeutic feelings of healing; andthe fun of getting creative.Image via Adam FagenText source: Zachary McCune, “Consumer ProducAon in Social Media Networks: A Case Study of the ‘Instagram’ Iphone App.”
The photo-content shared online contains items that are very valuableto the users that share them and “people appreciate recollection ofthe past[, present and immediate] events and certain milestones oftheir lives”-Thomas Olsson et al.Image via Katherine KopiakText source: ThomasOlsson et al. “Userneeds and designguidelines for mobileservices for sharingdigital life memories.”
Ultimately, recording personal moments and memories not only strengthensties and social bonds but is a universal, fundamentally human phenomenonthat people enjoy participating in.Image via Jimmy BrownText source: Thomas Olsson et al. “User needs and designguidelines for mobile services for sharing digital life memories.”
Image Credits• All Images (apart from my own –Katherine Kopiak) are either licensedunder the Creative Commons Non-Commercial agreement or the CreativeCommons Share-Alike agreement (orboth) and sourced from Flickr.
Text Sources (Works Cited) Arthur, Charles. “Google Glass: Is It a Threat to Our Privacy?” The Guardian. N.p., 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 17May 2013. <http://www.gaurdian.co.uk/tehnology/2013/mar/06/google-glass-threat-to-our-privacy>.Besmer, Andrew, and Heather Richter Lipford. “Moving beyond untagging: photo privacy in a taggedworld.” Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems. ACM,2010. <http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?is=1753560.Davis, Marc et al. “The social uses of personal photography: methods for projecting future imagingapplications.” University of California, Berkeley, Working Papers 3 (2004): 2005. <http://people.ischool.berkely.edu/~vanhouse/photo_project/pubs/vanhouse_et_al2004b.pdf>.McCune, Zachary. Consumer Production in Social Media Networks: A case Study of the “Instagram”Iphone App. Thams2thayer.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. <http://thames2thayer.com/blog/wp-content/uplaods/2011/06/McCune_Instagram_Dissertation_Draft.pdf>.Murray, S. “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everday Aesthetics.” Journal ofVisual Culture 7.2 (2008): 147-63. Pdf.Olsson, Thomas, Hannu Soronen, and Kaisa Vaananen-Vainio-Mattila. “User needs and design guidelinesfor mobile services for sharing digital life memories.” Proceedings of the 10th international conferenceon Human computer interaction with mobile devices and services. ACM, 2008. <http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1409270>.
Text Sources (Work Cited) ConAnued Slaney, Malcolm, and Jain Ramesh. “Micro Stories and Mega Stories.” MultiMedia, IEEE 20.1(2013).: 86-90. IEEE Digital Explore. Web. 17 May 2013. <http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=6461362>.Van House, Nancy A. “Collocated Photo Sharing, Story-telling, and the Performance of Self.”International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 67.12 (2009): 1073-086. ScienceDirect.com.Web. 17 May 2013. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071581909001256>.Walter, Ekaterina. “The Rise of Visual Social Media.” FastCmpany 28 Aug. 2012: n. pag. Web. 17May 2013. <http:www.fastcompany.com/3000794/rise-visual-social-media>.Winget, Megan. “User-deﬁned classiﬁcation on the online photo sharing site Flickr…or, how Ilearned to stop worrying and love the million typing monkeys.” Advances in ClassiﬁcationResearch Online 17.1 (2006): 1-16 <http://journals.lib.washington.edu/index.php/acro/article/view/12496>.