Social Media . . . a boon or a bane?

By: Suhani Sethi, KC High school, Grade 10

Photography is all the craze these days. Social media apps like Instagram and Facebook are constantly evolving to make their platform simpler but more sophisticated for photographers of all ages to promote their work! However, the emergence of different social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter go hand in hand with improvements in personal technology. The impact that social media has had on the field of photography is quite massive. In the age of hashtags and likes, social media has been integrated into our daily lives. Social media has enabled us to communicate with people across nations and grow an online following the size of countries. We often talk about social media and its consequences, but there is one area that has been glossed over: photography. In this article, we will explore how exactly social media platforms have affected photography.

Taken on phone

Taken on camera.  (Photographs by Sri Loganathan of Madras Christian College) 

Platforms like Instagram and the improvements in our cell phone cameras have led to the rise of a generation of young photographers. Social media has made it easier to take photographs and share them with the world. You can now take a photograph and share it in just a few clicks. Some argue that social media has ruined the art of photography. With the ease of photography in today’s modern world, platforms like Instagram are flooded with badly taken photographs of caesar salads, sunsets and over-filtered selfies, possibly ‘hiding’ the work of genuine photographers under heaps of everyday pictures. 

Taken on Camera

Taken on Iphone (Photographs by Suriyan Nathan Prabu of  KC High School

On the other hand, social media platforms have also enabled professional photographers to easily display their work and gain followers who appreciate their art. It has become much easier to become a professional photographer due to the rise of social media. With Instagram and Facebook offering advertising options, it is also quite inexpensive and intuitive to advertise your work as a photographer. This makes it easier for photographers to capture their vision and effectively deliver it to the general audience, helping them build their personal brand and make a living. 

With the rise of social media, we have also seen the appearance of more fake news. With the ease of photography, it’s no wonder that photography is being used to misinterpret ideas and push false causes. On the other hand, social media has also allowed injustices like George Floyd’s case to be captured and communicated across the world, creating an aware, cell phone-equipped society ready to fight any discrimination seen.

Overall, social media has had both negative and positive influences on the field of photography, with some of the positives being how easy it is to get an image out there today and the ease of making important information public. Some of the negatives, on the other hand, are the flooding of social media with bad photos and the perpetuation of false news. It is now up to us to either choose to embrace the future of photography, or to hold on to the past.

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