One of Instagram's original 13 employees recently deleted her account altogether, and to hear her talk of why and how she thinks the platform has gone downhill is quite interesting and insightful.
Bailey Richardson was one of the 13 original employees at Instagram, though she eventually left the company after the Facebook acquisition (as did all but three of those original 13). Recently, she also deleted her account entirely. In an interview with The Washington Post, she details why she was driven to this point, and a lot of it centers around what she feels is the loss of an organic, human-driven community that emphasized real connections, replaced with the algorithmic, numbers-driven behemoth that places quantity and marketing above all else.
I've had my Instagram since the app was less than a year old, having created my account way back in 2011, and I certainly agree with Richardson's perspective. Before about 2015, my experience on the app was vastly different; I made a fair number of connections and friends with whom I remain in touch today. Since then, organic and meaningful connections have slowly evaporated away, and the app feels more like an idle time suck than a place I used to be excited to go to. I liken it a lot to snail mail versus email. Before 2015, an Instagram notification was like when I got snail mail as a kid — much rarer and meaningful. Today, it's like an email — I get hundreds of those a day, most entirely meaningless.
The full article is well worth reading and can be seen on the Washington Post.
Lead image by Webster2703, used under Creative Commons.