“We’re forever on a quest to take a moment and record it forever in time,” Systrom said. “It’s our collective belief that the world is better off captured and shared more permanently. That’s what Instagram is.”
The best reading on this constant conflict of capturing moments and being in them is probably Susan Sontag’s On Photography.
She connects our desires for capturing moments with our desire to constantly produce and work, something that has engulfed us over the past few decades.
By now, these desires have engulfed us so fully that it is often impossible imagine an alternative way of being. The old debate about phones and cameras at concerts barely makes sense today because some can’t even enjoy the show if they can’t get a quick video from the crowd.
The idea of being in the moment has been transformed into something different. It’s not something we can simply undo, but understanding why this all happened can help us break out, at least for a moment.