One of my favourite ways to break up a run is to take photos of what I see along the way. As of a few months ago, I started using Instagram as yet another way of sharing them (not the only way). As shown above, I’m also often guilty of the food picture internet sin. It makes me happy, whatever.
Yesterday, the internet got its virtual panties in a bunch over a change to Instagram’s Terms & Conditions (to come into effect in January). I have been trying to figure out what people’s problem with it is but I think I’m failing. From where I stand, it looks like people complaining about Instagram handing their photos over to third parties expect to use the Instagram service for free. Instagram T&Cs don’t actually say they are going to sell your photos anyway.
When exactly did Instagram become a charity? Instagram is a business (owned by Facebook but still a business), it employs people and it needs to somehow make some money so that those employees can afford luxuries such as food and other stuff. Why shouldn’t we pay to use it, whether through a joining fee, advertising or any other way? Because we don’t wanna? Sounds a little whiny.
The number of paid apps I have ever downloaded from the Android App store (it keeps changing names, I can’t keep up) amounts to around about zero. Instagram is just one of the many free apps crashing my phone on a regular basis. Since I’m not willing to pay for it but still want to use the filters and sharing capabilities, shouldn’t I be charged in some other way? Absolutely. What a self-entitled prick would I be otherwise.
Perhaps the solution would be to offer users a choice – a different set of T&Cs for those who agree to pay a fee to use the service. I know I would rather allow Instagram to hand my photos over to whoever wants them, especially because chances are no one wants dozens of photos of my cat anyway. And please, for the love of all #catsofinstagram, stop saying Instagram wants to hand over your photos “without your consent”. By using a website, you abide by that website’s set of terms and conditions (in case of supergenericgirl.com, there’s only one condition: no bad words about cats, brownie or Ryan Gosling). It’s not Instagram’s (or any website’s) fault that we’re lazy users who never bother to read those things.
One way or another, we should all pay for the services we get to use. Stop expecting free shit. If you want to #quitinstagram or #boycottinstagram or #whateverotherangryhashtag, go ahead. Plenty of other services out there you can use. But don’t be silly to think that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Or a free snapshot of your lunch.
Also, aren’t we all supposed to die on Friday anyway? Chill out, internet.