Tech Savvy Researcher Feature: A Web All Our Own

By September 20, 2012Social Media

Instagram and Pinterest Assist in Curating our Digital Selves

“We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!” proclaims an overly enthusiastic, proficiently drugged-up Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker in the zeitgeist mega-production The Social Network. I found the sentiment quite poignant, didn’t you?

But we can’t overlook the notion that he was. . .well. . .absolutely right.

We’ve come a long way since aol screen names. The personas we have digitized have an increasingly significant caché. Better have a blue star and “Top-rated-seller” ribbon on ebay, or I’ll buy from the next guy. And who doesn’t have a father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate who got fired because their boss facebooked that shot of her dancing on a bar-top?

But now we delve even further. We no longer simply post content, we curate it. We modify, place and form it to project our own image, as our own art, showing the world precisely how we wish our real-life experiences to be seen digitally. Nowadays more than ever, we can juxtapose how we tweak our profile pages with our own real-life idiosyncrasies. I always tie my tie in a double-windsor and use my pinkie instead of pointer finger to show “three.” Now I can finally add to that list that I prefer the Poprocket filter when I post photos with Instagram, and that I’M the one who always checks-in everyone when we go out Friday night.

And while facebook remains by far the most heavy-hitting online social medium, a trend revealed in a study conducted by Pew Research shows that the curating sites – or sites where we can alter and organize the presentation of our content before posting it – are picking up serious ground (see graphic below). Instagram provides the wildly popular capability to alter and post photos twitter-style (while, interestingly enough, 36% of tweets are photos). Pinterest allows users to not only post the things they like, but steer, categorize, and organize them as content. For some most loyal to the website, it has even become a hobby to, well, post about their hobbies.

The study found that young adults are, of course, the most significant user-base for all networking sites. However, professionals in their 30’s to 50’s take the reins on LinkedIn. Pinterest is most popular among women.

Living on the internet may still seem a distant concept while our real shoes are still planted on the real ground, but the trend can’t be overlooked. Even in the unlikely instance that you didn’t buy the shoes online, when you showed them to your friends, it was probably using a hip new filter.

Do you curate your digital life? Let us know in the comments section below.

See links below to learn about Instagram streamlining with Hipstamatic, more on the Pew study, and a melodious, viral take on Instagram filters.





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