In the morning at 8:00 am, at noon around 12:00 pm or rather late in the evening around 11:00 pm? Uploading digital photos on Instagram knows no limitation within the time of day, nor in mass. Whether it’s a leisurely breakfast with a girlfriend, a quick selfie or a cheeky quote, almost every detail of life seems to be shared on the digital web. But what’s the point?
Instagram now has over 200 million active users worldwide – and I’m one of them.
At the beginning I was quite unsure if this platform would be something for me, because I actually rather shy away from sharing private pictures on the World Wide Web with “everyone”. Within my blog, I also make it a point to write constructive entries to capture my thoughts, share them with others, and get into the conversation. Instagram thus seemed rather too “private” for me to link to this blog at first. I just couldn’t get rid of the thought that my blog might not be considered professional enough because of that. Well, the link is there and the appropriate reasoning is quite simple: Why not, actually? In the end, it seemed more important to me to give my readers the chance to get to know me as a private person. Yes I baked a cake today and yes today is a beautiful and sunny day and I show you by uploading a happy selfie. You may know this because I reflect on my thoughts and actions so well to be able to consciously decide what I want to share and what I don’t want to share.
Borders for young and old
But where are the boundaries with platforms like
actually? I confess: since I joined Instagram, I have not only experienced positive things. I often see pictures that shock me: Young girls posing half-naked in front of the mirror, men who expose themselves completely, or pictures in which people are obviously advised to consume intoxicants.
The parents of these mostly young people usually have little leeway to prevent the publication of such images. For the young men and women, the “hashing-for-compliments” expressed by pressing a heart, a comment or a new “follower” is usually more important than their parents’ worries and fears.
How and where should a line be drawn here? What is still “ok” and what is already going too far? At what point can I consciously decide for myself and appropriately reflect on the scope of my decision to independently share personal content of my life? Are there age limits or should there perhaps be general restrictions within the social platforms so that misuse of private information and images could be limited?
If we also take into account the aspect of women’s professional careers, further questions arise: To what extent is my employer allowed to view and evaluate my personal images and information? A half-naked picture might be going too far, but what about a selfie in an elegant and yet quite daring dress?
I would like to put these questions up for discussion, because I have already found within my own circle of friends that the sensibilities regarding the publication of digital images can differ immensely. What do you think of Instgram & Co and where do you draw clear boundaries?
About the author
Kinga Bartczak berät, coacht und schreibt zu Female Empowerment, neuer Arbeitskultur, Organisationsentwicklung systemischen Coaching, und Personal Branding.
Zudem ist sie Geschäftsführerin der UnternehmerRebellen GmbH und Herausgeberin des FemalExperts Magazins.