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Three Reasons You Should Try Instagram

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By now most of you have heard of Instagram. Not only did Facebook buy this fledgling company for a bazillion dollars, but for many folks it has become the social media platform of choice. The reason that I too have gravitated to Instagram might be that my Twitter and Facebook feeds are getting more and more difficult to track or that I am more a visual person, but whatever the case, I have found myself thinking Instagram first in my social networking life.

I asked some people to share why they use Instagram here and offer three more reasons you might want to give Instagram a try.

ONE: We are given the power to unleash the artsy fartsy creative monster within With all the basic Instagram app features EVERYONE can find the artist within. We each see beauty in different things whether it is architecture, food, nature or the city and now we can share those passions in a new way. Using the different editing tools: filters, focusing, brightness, etc. it does not take much to create a picture that looks very cool and better captures what we are trying to say through a particular image. Case in point, this is a picture I snapped during a recent coffee stop at Cup in the Glen Park area of San Francisco. It is just three drinks: a latte, a havana and a hot chocolate, but with a few edits... voila, artsy beyond my own true ability.

TWO: We see the world in new ways through the eyes and words of our friends.  One of the greatest surprises as I have gotten into Instagram has been being able to see another side of people I know. While Instagram allows us all to be artsy, people still have to decide what images to share. Many times a day, as I scroll through images of those I follow, I find myself thinking, "Wow, that is a really cool shot!" or "Hmmm, I had no idea that he liked X." The angles, objects and stories that people choose to capture can share a whole other side to a person's personality and perspective that we don't always see through words. For instance, if you had not known me before, you might not have known that our family is a big Oakland A's family, now you do. Go A's!

THREE: We create a scrapbook for ourselves and our families. As with Twitter and Facebook, I am most interested in the in-between moments of life that help me to see the complexity of humanity.  Through capturing images of children, pets, food, buildings, etc. we are given a glimpse into the ongoing journey of life that folks are living. As look back on my own photo feed, I am given a visual reminder of some of our memorable moments in life. Yep, that's us fishing.

Of course none of these services come without some cautions to think about. Now that Instagram is owned by Facebook, some have raised concerns about privacy, photo ownership and other issues about the general usage if both services. You can read some of that here, here and here.

In future posts I'll compile some tips/apps to enhance your Instagram experience, but until then, download the app for your iPhone of Android (Yes, it's a smart phone-only app) and dive in. Here are a few folks who I would suggest you follow as you get started.
  • @denisekendall -- For great architecture and landscape images from the Bay Area.
  • @leslieannrod -- Lots of dogs, food and life captured with a photographers eye.
  • @edunny -- Another photographer friend, captures some very cool shots.
  • @casacullen -- Great food, a new baby boy and a cute little dog.
  • @philz_coffee -- Um, because it's the best coffee in San Francisco.
  • If you would like to follow me you can find me by searching for breyeschow

So, there you have it, just a few reasons you might want to give Instagram a try. If you have other reasons, please feel free to leave them here or on my I ♥ Instagram because... photo.

Please feel free to comment here, but I'm more likely to interact if you comment on the originating post or contact me via Twitter.

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