Is social media killing originality?

September 26, 2018—Scroll through Instagram and, for all the millions of photographs there, you’ll see a remarkable homogeneity. Not just the same or similar locations, but the same compositions. All the more noticeable if you deliberately collage these like-minded images together, as a site called Insta Repeat has. In pursuit of an ideal, the site suggests, we’ve become mimics.

But is this really new? The primary theme of art history, after all, is that originality is the exception, not the rule. Until fairly recently most artists worked within well-defined genres, with a narrow set of subjects. The Smoker was one of those memes—in Mia’s collection alone are half a dozen artworks from the 1600s to the 1800s depicting a colorful character smoking an elaborate pipe, all called The Smoker.

Image credit: Insta Repeat

News source: “The Alarming Homogeneity of Instagram Travel Photos,” Hyperallergic, September 22, 2018