Instagram and its influence have spread faster than ‘Rona at a house party and it is time to talk about its impact as the social media platform reaches its 10-year anniversary. The fact that Instagram has become a huge platform on which most millennials and younger generations depend on is no surprise to anyone. Even so, Instagram has somewhat shaped modern language and the way humans express themselves and I believe this phenomenon has come to stay. Luckily for us, the top-selling language app, Babbel, led some research to help the world understand the current status of the language worldwide.
When thinking about language, most entertain the thought of it as the expression of words in different dialects. It is very important to master this form of expression, and even more important, to be able to communicate with people from all around the world in their native tongue. Regardless, language is any system that allows living creatures to communicate. In a world where technology is at the peak of any human’s priorities, language has become greatly affected by it. According to Cornelia Lahmann, a Didactics Project Manager at the language learning app Babbel, Instagram has shaped and changed the language, as well as the way we communicate with others.
Research performed by Babbel shows that some heavily relied on aspects of language in Instagram involve:
• Deeply emphasizing on images for communication and expression. Memes are a great example of this concept.
• Liking and commenting as a way of communicating.
• Linear layout of the platform which encourages “scrolling”.
• The use of filters to enhance posts.
• Adding information or “captions” below an image.
• Informal spelling consisting of abbreviations and misspelled words, plus, made-up ones as well.
• Sharing temporary clips of personal life through stories and short, creative clips through reels.
• Inserting hashtags to posts in order to further its reach. These have been useful when it comes to exposing a social movement or a person’s/company’s product and service. Regardless, hashtags have been and can be used for basically everything and anything.
• Consuming media from all around the world through the “Explore” feature.
• Use of emojis to express emotions.
These widely used and appreciated features of Instagram have not necessarily been created by the platform itself. A lot more social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have also taken the task of delivering catchy traits that make up this relatively new and modern language. Even though Instagram has not made this change single-handedly, the app’s popularity enables said language to reach billions of people and appeal to the use of this globalized and universal language. Social networks have been impacting language and expression throughout the years but because of Instagram’s never-ending trendiness, this global network takes the cake.