Older generations constantly tease millennials for their stereotypical obsession with incessant cell-phone use and picture-taking. #Selfie. I don’t blame them. I will admit that when the waiter brings out my food, I do take that split second to kneel up on my seat and take a bird’s eye view of my kale-quinoa salad.
Pathetic, some would say. Pathetic, I would say.
But because millions of other people have the same phone, same photo-sharing application, and same exact filters, I, along with many others, are producing and posting a lot of the same exact things. The predictability and repetition of content circled in our Instagram news feeds blurs the focus on the talented content that is, unfortunately, mixed in with all the junk.
That’s why I switched photo-sharing communities, from the once beloved Instagram to Splore, and here’s why:
1) Splore Forces an Honest Opinion
An Instagram photo’s value is determined by the number of “likes”, but just because someone hit “like” for a photo does not mean that they actually like it, or even absorbed the content. For these cases, users could give zero craps about a photo but still “like” it as a result of habits of mindless scrolling and rhythmic screen-tapping.
On the other hand, Splore’s users must give each photo more attention and thought because of the app’s unique interface. When scrolling through your feed, you can tilt your phone left and right to “scan” the photo to catch a glance at smaller details. To zoom out and get the full photo, hold your finger down on the screen. You can up-vote, down-vote, or skip photos to make a judgement and move on to the next. Because of the possibility of a popularity decrease, users must be more diligent with their content to prevent down-votes from counteracting their up-votes.
This direct interaction with photos compels you to give a quick and honest opinion in the form of a vote or a skip. Sure, you could up-vote everything you see, but if you are presented with the option to down-vote something that you genuinely dislike or don’t care for, you’ll probably take it. It challenges artists to post creative and distinguishable material for likes that actually hold some weight.
No more hollow forms of online validation.
2) Content is Categorized
With Instagram, you only follow people. With Splore, you mainly follow categories, which come in the form of #hashtags. This lends itself to a few benefits for the annoyed Instagrammer.
One, it takes the focus off of the user, promoting a culture that is less about how great the user is and more about the content. While scrolling through Instagram, I often find myself zeroing in on the username, for instance “kimkardashian”, and automatically “like” her post. Don’t believe in this phenomenon? Well, I’m sure you are familiar with instances in which people buy into a product or person because of its brand name.
Splore ensures that the first thing I see when scrolling through my feed is the photo; the username blends into the background. Whatever you do over the weekend with your friends does not matter to me or any Splore user. Splore is not a blog. It’s a place where I choose what I want to see, not who.
3) NO SELFIES
This semi-ties into the above argument, but there is more to say about this.
I have only seen 2 selfies on Splore, and both of them had zero up-votes. I’m not celebrating because no one thinks they’re pretty. I’m celebrating because those types of photos aren’t given any attention on Splore. With front-facing cameras and media sharing platforms, everyone wants to be noticed online, even if it’s from people they surround themselves with in their daily lives. They want the physical proof, the numbers, to show that they are liked.
Well Splore users don’t care, because selfies do not require any skill and are a poor excuse for photography. If I see a mirror selfie pic on my Splore newsfeed, you damn right: I WILL be down-votin’ ya.
I don’t hate Instagram, just how it is sometimes used. I am more disgruntled with the fact that elementary and talentless content ubiquitously floats around the internet, fogging up one’s view towards what is worth seeing. There is definitely true talent out there on Instagram, but I have found a community the majority of which is creative and stimulating.
Remember a couple years back when it was “hipster” to use Instagram? Well, Instagram is now mainstream. So I guess it’s fair to say that it is “hipster” to use Splore!
Get Splore and see what I am talking about for yourself.
Recently launched #RISETOTHETOP photo campaign from Januel + Johnson
#RISETOTHETOP Campaign – Featured creative Torrey West, shot by CJ Johnson
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