It’s bad, but it’s getting worse. I am instagram obsessed. You’ll find snaps of my art, cups of coffee I have consumed, scenery often captured in the middle of a run and the occasional shameless selfie. Most of all, though, you’ll see food.
Quick thrown together salads at lunch-time, bowls of breakfast (yoghurt, fresh fruit and homemade granola piled high) and smoothies are amongst the worst culprits. Friends and family usually know what they’re getting in for when we eat out – “Nobody start eating until Emily’s photographed your plate.” When my obsession began I’ll admit that framing a shot whilst hovering above our table in a diner-crowded restaurant, using empty water glasses as an ‘image stabiliser’ in the low light was something that made me a little nervous. Did other diners think me strange? Were restaurant staff watching, struggling to contain fits of giggles at my precision? Nowadays, though, the compulsion to capture the moment is far too strong to even worry about looking like a fool.
55 million photographs of food are shared on Instagram daily. According to the ‘Journal of Psychological Science’, posting pictures of your food might make it taste better. I’m going to vouch for this as an excuse for my embarrassing habit. While most restaurants encourage food photography (hey, free advertising), some restaurants have banned customers from photographing their meals. I won’t be going to any of these places in my lifetime, as an aside note.
Recording our food in a visual form is not a modern thing, though, if we think back to still life paintings of fruit and feasts. The simplicity and accessibility of social media (I’m looking at you, Instagram) has naturally aided this food-sharing revolution. In my opinion, sharing life’s pleasures through social media brings people closer, and that’s a good enough reason not to break that habit for me.