But Richardson isn’t a bystander reckoning with the ills of technology: She was one of the 13 original employees working at Instagram in 2012 when Facebook bought the viral photo-sharing app for $1 billion. She and four others from that small group now say the sense of intimacy, artistry and discovery that defined early Instagram and led to its success has given way to a celebrity-driven marketplace that is engineered to sap users’ time and attention at the cost of their well-being.
“In the early days, you felt your post was seen by people who cared about you and that you cared about,” said Richardson, who left Instagram in 2014 and later founded a start-up. “That feeling is completely gone for me now.”
Quitting Instagram: She’s one of the millions disillusioned with social media. But she also helped create it
Instagram used to be this special place where you could go and sometimes see beautiful pictures of interesting places and things. Over the years it changed somewhat, I initially thought all the food shots were ridiculous, but I joined the fray with my own banal photos of latté’s and some such. Lately my feed has been inundated with extremely long diary-like posts, ill suited to the format, and a seemingly endless stream of self-help style entries. If I see another post telling me how awesome I am or encouraging me to take action on some “thing”, … well I think it’s just time to leave the platform. Most of it just seems like a marketing or sales channel, and almost every budding entrepreneur or local “marketing expert” all tout it as being so. A demographic shift has occurred and it doesn’t include me.
While I won’t join Bailey Richardson in deleting my account, I for some reason don’t feel comfortable doing so, I will delete the app and waste my time elsewhere.