Feeding Ourselves: Exploring the relationship between Instagram users of Edinburgh and the food they eat
“We need to relearn the food experiences that first shaped us” (Wilson 2015, p.23). With more than 383 million posts on #food alone on Instagram, and vast more tags that are food-related with each of them linking to more posts, the platform is saturated with an abundance of content on the topic of food. Instagram is one of the most popular social networking platforms and it is an infrastructure filled with aestheticism of all kinds, which includes the grand digital food scale. This abundance of food-related posts on Instagram, are we to relearn our food experiences through a screen? This paper will attempt to explore the relationship between Instagram users in Edinburgh and the food they eat. This attempt will be made with consideration to Instagram’s design functions (such as hashtags, visual posts, geolocations) that frame digital food contents and also by understanding Instagram users’ motivations. The research will take on a digital ethnographic approach, where data will be collected directly from the use of Instagram, along with the contribution of consented interview participants that reveal their experiences and thoughts on digital food consumption through Instagram. Through the use of quantitative but mainly qualitative data, the paper will attempt to discuss these observations as a way of revealing the effects of digital food consumption to the real world.