Instagram, Phallic Symbols and the Importance of the Review Process

***EDIT October 1, 2011***
It seems a lot of people are coming to this post while searching for “instagram symbols” and similar phrases. What you are really looking for is how to activate the Emoji keyboard on your iPhone. Check out this post for a concise tutorial:…
If you found this helpful, shoot me a comment on instagram using a symbol! (Nerd validation is an underrated commodity).  Instagram: @acegoulet

Earlier today I found myself working a table at the Mamaroneck Harbor Fest in Mamaroneck, NY. In the course of the day I decided to finally check out Instagram, inspired by some of the more ridiculous things I was seeing. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with cell phone camera apps that add filters and the like. Part of me still feels they are kind of cheesy, but I am coming to appreciate them as a pretty handy tool. Cell phones take terrible picture, bottom line. The drama/emotion of a moment that inspires you to pull out your phone and document it is often washed away and made stale by the poor quality of the camera itself. What Instagram (and the multitude of similar apps) accomplish is to give the user tools with which to inject some of that feeling back into a photo and make it into something that might actually be of interest to other viewers.

Here are a few shots I took today using Instagram (the third being the obligatory first photo made with Instagram: a self portrait):

I was also reminded of the great importance of the review process when I came across a banner displayed next to a booth advertising a chiropractic practice. Clearly the designer missed the questionable nature of one of the photos they chose to include, so perhaps having a couple more people give feedback wouldn’t have been the worst idea in the world.