3690: A Journal of First-Year Student Research Writing

Article Title



MLA, Writing


Overview: Capturing pictures helps to preserve memories that will be saved forever, and looking at them allows someone to take a journey back in time to when any given picture was taken. In this day and age, smartphones such as Androids and iPhones help to make picture taking quick and easy. With the swipe of a finger and a tap on the screen, a picture can be taken and saved on a camera roll in mere seconds. But it doesn't stop there, with the smartphone application (app) called Instagram, photography can be taken to the next level. Instagram is a website, and also a free app, compatible with most smartphones. It is a form of social media in which users create a profile, including their name and a small biography about themselves. It allows them to upload and post pictures or short fifteen-second videos of anything they please and include a caption that goes with it. Both gender and age play defining roles in how the user actually uses the app. When looking at gender, it is interesting to explore the differences between what men and women post and how often they post. It is suspected there are differences in their usage because of cultural context. In general, women like to share with others what is going on with their lives and men are usually more reserved. This could potentially explain why women post more often, so their followers know what they are experiencing. Age is also something that impacts usage. When looking at the younger generations compared to the older, there is a difference in what and how often they post as well, so it would be interesting to explore why in fact there is this inconsistency in posting rates. Different ages have different audiences, so this could play into why they post what they do. Maybe the younger generation posts more to look cool, and maybe the older generation does not post as much, because they are consumed with more important things, such as work or school. I want to illustrate a clear picture about why there is this split through asking questions about purpose of usage, why they post, and why they post what they post. In summary, I want to uncover what kind of identity they are forming for themselves based on their Instagram activity, and how what they post and like shows others who they are in the social media world.

Additional Files