Cameras are powerful tools to control the memories we make. In a 2010 TED Talk, psychologist and Nobel Prize winner professor Daniel Kahneman, presented the idea that millennials see the present as an “anticipated memory.” In other words, when a person takes an Instagram picture, that person is both experiencing the present reality and actively shaping how that reality will be remembered in the future. As a result, many will argue they are betraying the present by not living in the moment. But, are the memories the real motive why the ‘Instagram generation’ is so addicted to capturing the moment?
Internet surveys indicate over 80% of social media posts to sites like Instagram, Twitter and others amount to “announcements about one’s own immediate experiences”. We post pictures of what we eat, drink, where we’ve been and calmly await for the next tsunami of likes. But what is it that makes us post those pictures on Instagram? Can’t we keep those for our private use? It is undeniable we like the attention but, why do we like the attention so much?
In 2012, Harvard University National Academy of Sciences conducted a study to assess how much people liked talking about themselves and why. The results is that Humans get a biochemical buzz from self-disclosure. We devote almost 40% of conversation sharing our own experience. Sharing personal information activates the reward areas of the brain. The same as we experience after sex, food or getting money. Talking about other people in contrast does not activate the rewarding part of the brain. What is most interesting is the findings also revealed people actually love self-disclosure if they knew people were listening. All of this goes along way toward explaining the appeal of self-promoting social-media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
What Sparks Our Fire: The power of self-disclosure on social media through pictures.
Do you agree with Daniel Kahneman’s statement or do you think this entire generation is sharing Instagram pictures with the ultimate goal of a social validation? We would like to hear your thoughts.