CONCLUSION: RETHINKING THE POSSIBILITIES
Through this “exploration” of Instagram and the detailed analysis of each feature, we can see not only how Instagram serves as a useful and effective way for ordinary people to create and share their personal stories digitally, but also how Instagram echoes and includes many elements of Joe Lambert’s official Digital Storytelling brand. While it’s certainly possible for people’s Instagram accounts to be random “jumbles of information” or non-cohesive data points just like Facebook status updates offer no coherent narrative, the form and the features of Instagram clearly facilitate storytelling and make it easy for people to reflect on their lives and select the stories they want to share. Lambert insists that his workshops and method help ordinary people believe they have a worthwhile story to share and that his approach to digital storytelling enables them to find their unique voice, but it’s obvious that ordinary people already believe their lives are full of stories that people actually care to see and read. Above all, digital storytelling through Instagram works because people believe that there is meaning in everyday life—they don’t need a huge event to share with the world because Christmas preparations or a weight loss journey is enough. Participants in Lambert’s workshops might feel pressured to think of a dramatic narrative, but Instagram opens up the possibility that normal occurrences are interesting in their own right and can help individuals develop their personal identity. We haven’t stopped believing that we have an important story to tell, we haven’t lost our ability to tell a coherent, conversational story, and we haven’t stopped finding meaning in the everyday events of our lives. We just use different tools and approaches to do so.