The Sun Rises and Sets on Instagram

by susanedotcohen

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The Statue of Liberty Amidst The Sunset
      Photo taken by Kirby Wetzel

The sun rises and sets on Instagram. There is even a hashtag for the sun on the app  – sunstagram. Instagram is sort of – a big emphasis on sort of – like Louis XIV. I am trying to make the connection, but it may not be there.

Now, taking photos of sunrises and sunsets is nothing new. Instagram certainly did not start a sun photographic trend. What is new is that posting pictures of the sun – especially sunsets – has become a daily habit for many Instagram users. This is a byproduct of the app’s design.

Instagram encourages users to go out and share the visual experience. Each photo inspires the next one. The design of the app has certainly encouraged its users to see the world differently and capture it.  Instagrammers have chosen the sunset as an important visual experience that needs to be shared. Yesterday is a prime example of this point.

I missed the sunset yesterday. Prior to Instagram, I probably would not have thought much about missing a sunset on a Tuesday in November. I would have just accepted it as reality of the time of the year. I am less likely to be outside when the sun sets earlier in the day. However, yesterday was different. Several photos on Instagram made it clear that I missed an absolutely beautiful show in the sky.

Even though I missed the sunset, I had the chance to experience it from different vantage points in New York because of what Instagram encourages its users to do. Looking through the photos, I realized that I want to seek out beauty in the world each day.  I want to experience that beauty, especially the sunset.  I want to thank Instragram and Instagrammers for reminding me to interact with nature as much as possible.

In case you missed the sunset too, here are several spectacular photos taken by my friend Kirby. I hope they inspire you too!

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