Curate, Post. Then Delete Everywhere?
It’s no mystery at this point that social media feeds are highly curated and represent only a fraction of reality. While some users are challenging this and making a point to live more transparently online, Instagram is about to release an update helping those that want only the best version of themselves online.
Currently, in testing and expected to roll out soon, Instagram’s new “Delete Everywhere” feature allows users to delete all instances of a Story across Instagram and Facebook with a single tap, leaving their curated image even more curated. This new feature acknowledges the difference and value between timely and timeless content as well as the extreme degree in which we curate our social-selves several times over.
(REMINDER: Instagram Stories was born out of Snapchat’s popularity; specifically the casual and “more authentic” nature of the content.)
Let’s pause for a moment and imagine a different world, one where Instagram removes the delete button altogether, forcing content to live forever. How would this change the volume of content posted? How would this change the tone of what we post? How would this change the way we interact IRL?
I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I do think it’s worth thinking about counter-features to better understand where social media is going. For better or worse, the new feature is “Delete Everywhere” not “Post Eternally” but perhaps one day there will be an update that causes users to curate with more thoughtfulness, and intentionally, and not with a safety net.