A little while ago I wrote a bit about how we may use social media to curate an identity. In that post I was mostly talking about my use of Facebook. I recently started using Instagram again. Like Facebook, I think using Instagram carries the temptation to seek attention, but one of the things I wonder about Instagram is whether it can also help us to pay attention.
I wonder about what we’re doing when we post pictures of our food online? The cynical part of my mind thinks that we’re seeking to show off how good our cooking or choice in restaurants is (curating an identity as a connoisseur) and I think there would be truth in that.
But I also wonder about whether our desire to share pictures of our food is related to our tendency to eat alone? Even in my household, where we have someone cooking dinner for the whole household each weeknight, I’m still often eating on my own at breakfast or lunch time. Could it be that we have an inbuilt need to share our food?
Another thing I was wondering about is whether looking at our food through the lens of a smartphone is an opportunity to pay attention to what we are eating and how we are caring for ourselves. For breakfast this morning I had some toast with butter, Vegemite and tomatoes. (Is that bogan, or is it ironic bogan hipster?) It’s a pretty simple meal, but I took a photo because I was eating some fruit. I often don’t bother to eat fruit, even though when I do I find that I really enjoy it. Taking a photo was an opportunity to take note of something that was good for me and made me feel cared for.