I've long believed (sorry, the article is in Greek) that we are getting better and better at using a visual language to express ourselves: There is a whole visual vocabulary and grammar and conventions and symbolisms that includes the subject of the photo, the photo itself, the filters (or lack of) applied, the time it was taken, the location, the tags and so on, that we use to express feelings and thoughts —and we have become so good at it, we don't even consider it something special.
But when I look at my Instagram feed, it's obvious. People are making comments, are taking sides on debates, are making statements about themselves, their life, their cities.
In most cases, these photos are not isolated, but are part of a personal narrative: P. is traveling a lot lately, C. is proud to live close to nature, V. is proud of her looks, A. is into art, M. likes food, K. is excited to be looking for a new job in the UK, S. is excited to discover new places, K. is back in shape, T. is trying to look at his city in a different way, A. is a new mother. And each one of them, usually tells more than one narratives, interweaved in complex ways.
These are not the photos your parents used to shoot to capture a moment on a Polaroid. These are carefully selected images to share emotions, ideas, thoughts, to make statements, to tell stories.
And —at least as far as the people I follow are concerned— when I compare my Facebook feed, where most original posts are written with words, to my Instagram feed, where image is king, it seems that people can express more interesting things using photos than words.