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The Instagrammable outdoors – Investigating the sharing of nature experiences through visual social media

Arts, Irma and Fischer, Anke and Duckett, Dominic and Van Der Wal, René (2021). The Instagrammable outdoors – Investigating the sharing of nature experiences through visual social media. People and Nature. 3 , 1244-1256
[Research article]

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Abstract

1. Despite the growing popularity of Instagram as a medium to portray nature and the outdoors, there remains limited research available exploring its influence on people's experiences in nature. We investigate Instagram as a three-way negotiation between users, the platform's affordances and social norms associated with both Instagram use and outdoor experiences.

2. Moving beyond polarized, conceptual debates situating social media affordances within dystopias and eutopias, we provide empirical insight from the lived experiences of everyday Instagram users reflecting upon their mediated outdoor activities.

3. We found that participants shared special moments, beautiful landscapes and happy memories while they struggled with notions of authenticity associated with these experiences. They perceived certain scenes as more ‘Instagrammable’ than others, and this led to sharing homogenous stories and visual representations of the outdoors.

4. At the same time, participants actively reflected on this standardization and aestheticization of the landscape and their experiences, and highlighted strategies to counter this, such as actively following voices normally under-represented in media portraying outdoor activities or posting pictures that were not ‘polished’.

5. We conclude that to understand modern-day interactions with nature and move beyond purely theoretical discussions about the flaws or merits of social media, we need to look at users' own strategies that integrate visual social media into their outdoor activities, while taking into account how platform features and social norms contribute to the construction of these activities

Authors/Creators:Arts, Irma and Fischer, Anke and Duckett, Dominic and Van Der Wal, René
Title:The Instagrammable outdoors – Investigating the sharing of nature experiences through visual social media
Series Name/Journal:People and Nature
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:3
Page range:1244-1256
Number of Pages:13
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 508 Media and Communications > Communication Studies
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 507 Social and Economic Geography > Human Geography
Keywords:environmental communication, Instagram, mobile media technology, nature experience, outdoor recreation, photography, social media, sociomateriality
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114686
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114686
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/pan3.10239
ID Code:26298
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 Dec 2021 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:10 Dec 2021 13:31

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