Social media gets a pretty bad rep sometimes, and Instagram is usually at the top of that list. And yes, some of it is fake. Yes, some accounts aren't portraying fair standards or honest depictions of beauty. Yes, some people pay for followers and some people become too easily stressed over their ratio or likes or popularity. Yes, to an extent it became a popularity contest.
But it was always, first and foremost, a tool to share photos.
And those photos link people with common interests and passions. Those photos redirect to blog posts, recipes, Pinterest boards, community events. Those photos, and the hashtags and links that follow, hold a lot of power. More than that though, those photos are beautiful. The people who took them captured something that was beautiful and wonderful from their perspective, and we get to see and agree.
I love things that are aesthetically pleasing. I love things that are beautiful. I love things that just flow nicely. It sounds a little shallow - does it really matter whether the photo is beautiful or the grid is cohesive or the colour scheme matches? Are aesthetics really that important? Is beauty something we should even be thinking about?
Someone affirmed my love for beautiful things when they reminded me that God is creative. God loves beauty. God took care in creating beauty. She said:
Beauty matters. Aesthetics matter.
It's not so shallow, when you consider how much time our Creator took in making each of us so uniquely different; uniquely beautiful; and in His image.
Nor is it shallow when you remember that that same Creator also made thousands of different species of flowers, just for our enjoyment. He paints a new sunset and new sunrise each day, just for our pleasure. He intended for different shades of blue and turquoise across the oceans because He knew that we would delight in those hues.
I desire to be creative, and sometimes that comes across in writing. But daily it comes across in the ability to capture a moment or a beautiful scene and share it. Daily it comes from finding the perfect frame, the perfect light, the right words, and sharing it with other people who also appreciate beauty. Who understand that aesthetics are important, and who celebrate in that.
I'll defend Instagram on and on and on, although it does not need my defense. I have a life outside of it and some of my favourite moments never make it onto any social media app (and I hope that is the same for you). But it matters. It's more than a popularity contest or an attempt to find affirmation and compliments. It's an outlet for remembering. For creating. For community.
So follow along; let's be friends.