When Instagram was first… ‘invented’ (?) it went from 0 registered users to 1 million users in the first 2 months of … ‘inventedness’ (not a real word now a real word as far as I am concerned). To those of you who have been in a deep sleep since 2010, I will briefly explain my understanding of Instagram, how it works, how other people use it (not just for millennials, I discovered) the birth of the ‘selfie’ and indeed the introduction of the word ‘selfie’ into languages. A new word that is proper official like (unlike ‘inventedness’). Indeed, it was word of the year in 2013. More of the selfie shortlie (see what I did there?).
Instagram is essentially a photograph sharing social media platform. While Twitter offers 140 characters (and the option of an image), Instagram offers primarily the image, and then the option of words – which are often redundant when a picture is provided. So how can a translation agency use an image-based social media platform to share with followers? Well, there’s the selfie – I won’t cover that just yet. Hold your horses….
Given that there are nearly seven thousand languages on our lovely little planet that covers a lot of ground. Many, many countries and cultures to learn about. Who speaks what? And where? And what do they look like? What do they see when they wake up? What world do they live in, that we have never experienced?
Connected through Pictures
This is where Instagram can come alive and bring us together. This social media platform allows me to really explore language quirks, cool, untranslatable words used by indigenous people from around our world, as well as Atlas ‘backstage’, and I can share all this with our followers. There won’t be a this-morning’s-frappe-latte-mochiata. And there won’t be any selfies, at least not of me. Although there may be photos (yes, there’s a difference, be patient!).
I will post pics of our team, our translators, our clients, maybe even our nights out. I want Instagram to allow us here at Atlas to represent the polar opposite of machine translation in every sense of the word. We want you to meet us, see who we are, where we are and what we do. Putting faces to the words-behind-an-email or a voice-down-the-phone makes a huge difference to working relationships. While we may be a business based on language and words, we are actually more about *communication* – and sometimes that may just be in the form of a picture on Instagram (as well as all my Twitter musings etc).
The party-pooper in me is slightly irked by the concept of the selfie (selfy, surely?) as it is not something I would feel particularly comfortable in developing a habit in doing too often. I am not averse to them and I certainly don’t mind other people’s selfies. Not at all. I just feel self-conscious when taking them and am more comfortable on the other side of the lens, so there may be infrequent pics of me ‘out there’ [points to murky fog of cyber-land]. Any pictures of me will be taken by team members (and vice versa) – technically not a selfie as the definition is:
– “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”.
To go off tangent, the term selfie was first used in Australian student on a drunken night out. The bloke in question, known as Hopey, suffered a lip injury and took a ‘selfie’ of the injury for the purpose of seeking medical advice (a doctor or nurse or an A&E department would be my first port of call), but I predate the term ‘millennial’ and I certainly post-date ‘babyboomer’. Upon further research, I have learnt that I fall into ‘Generation X’. That sounds too cool. I am surely more “Generation Game”. And on that note, Farewell Brucie! Saturday nights won’t be the same.
Follow us on Instagram and we will follow you back!