When Instagram first came onto the photography scene back in 2010 it was quickly hailed as the new Polaroid. Certainly, the dominant square format of Instagram, the filters that the app uses and the act of sharing are all reminiscent of what Polaroid was best known for.
Polaroid was used to document ephemeral moments in everyday life; casual snapshots of family time, social gatherings, holidays, and any other moments that are worthy of documentation. But as Polaroid cameras used film, which was quite expensive, each image taken was carefully considered to make sure it counted.
But the technology afforded by smart phones means that these casual snapshots have taken on a new direction. In the social media age, apps like Instagram, whilst replicating the Polaroid aesthetic, are even more focused on sharing. What used to be casual snapshots have become increasingly curated and styled images designed to look like everyday life but actually representing a more beautiful, more perfect existence created to gain approval from a social following.