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Over the past decade, Instagram has emerged as one of the world’s most important social media platforms. Especially young people use it as a vehicle to share defining moments. The app has become a focal point for establishing and revising social relations and personalities. Our project seeks to understand how users craft and negotiate their Instagram presence in relation to proximate and distant audiences. Choosing depth over breadth, we aim to interview 20 frequent Instagram users. To focus our research, we will recruit our respondents from students enrolled in research master programs at the University of Amsterdam. How do they reflect on the perils and joys of online, visual self-presentation? How do they reflect on their own development as they compose their messages and curate their feeds? And how do students juggle the different expectations from – proximate and distant – audiences in their online presence?

Richard Rogers is Professor of New Media & Digital Culture, Media Studies, and Director of the Digital Methods Initiative, known for its summer and winter schools. 

Justus Uitermark is Professor of Urban Geography. His research interests include digital platforms, rapid urbanization, and urban policy.