My Four O’clock was created to compare and contrast the everyday life of your everyday person. This digital artefact captured a moment in time from the 18th April 2015 at 4pm. Instagram allowed for this to be captured as it simply showcases the photo with a caption which gave context to what was happening. Hashtags were utilised throughout this digital artefact to showcase the photos on a wide number of feeds and share it with similar communities (#BCM112, #DigitalArtefact). Created in 2010, Instagram currently has 150 million active monthly users (Geoff, 2014). The app was originally only available for iPhone users, but through rapid success, it was developed for Android. The introduction of new features (filters, video, direct messaging, web access and tagging) is what keeps consumers interested and the app as the fastest-growing social site.
When asking around the greater public, most would simply say that Instagram is a platform to share photographs on. Although that is one of the apps functions, it is only the beginning of the theory ‘the medium is the message’ (McLuhan, 1964). Instagram’s message is different for each individual though. An artist can use Instagram as a portfolio for their work, where someone else can use it to simply post photographs of their day-to-day life. McLuhan’s theory suggests that the channels and the means in which society discusses and views messages creates a new meaning. My Four O’clock showcased this idea, as the images that were presented varied quite a lot. It acted as a travel diary to some, and a place to showcase talents for others.
My Four O’clock utilised many of Instagram’s mediums. Features and technologies, such as filters and tagging, were used for the overall aesthetic look and distribution of each photograph. The purpose of this artefact was to showcase how so many people are connected to each other without common knowledge. This was proved by a number of images that related to one another (people at work, someone watching a race from Caulfield on television while another person was working at Caulfield, people playing and watching sport, etc.). Each photograph was edited and uploaded with McLuhan’s theory in mind. Instagram’s mediums of image, text and distribution through hashtags were considered for the overall success of each individual entry. If I could develop this digital artefact further, I would try and get the message out to a larger group of people from as many different places as possible. The creation of this task was very quick and easy, but the distribution was what struggled the most.
The overall outcome of this digital artefact was achieved. Each photo represented a different person and showcased what they were doing on a particular day at a particular time. If this project were to be continued on, or recreated, a clearer set of instructions would have been presented from the start (no filters on photos, no selfies, etc.) so photographs could remain anonymous and focus specifically on the task at hand. A greater time frame would also be used to have a more diverse feed and greater number of images and subjects.
Geoff. WERSM (We Are Social Media). 2014. The Complete History of Instagram. [ONLINE]. Available at: http://wersm.com/the-complete-history-of-instagram/
Federman, M (2004). What Is The Meaning Of The Medium Is The Message? [ONLINE] Available at: http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/MeaningTheMediumistheMessage.