On the evening of Sept. 26, Bailey Richardson logged in to Instagram for the last time.
“The time has come for me to delete my Instagram,” she wrote to her 20,000 followers, using her white pants as a canvas. “Thanks for all the kindnesses over the years.”
Richardson’s decision isn’t novel: 68 percent of Americans have either quit or taken a break from social media this year, according to the Pew Research Center.
But Richardson isn’t a bystander reckoning with the ills of technology: She was one of the 13 original employees working at Instagram in 2012 when Facebook bought the viral photo-sharing app for $1 billion. She and four others from that small group now say the sense of intimacy, artistry and discovery that defined early Instagram and led to its success has given way to a celebrity-driven marketplace that is engineered to sap users’ time and attention at the cost of their well-being.
“In the early days, you felt your post was seen by people who cared about you and that you cared about,” said Richardson, who left Instagram in 2014 and later founded a start-up. “That feeling is completely gone for me now.”
The catalyst for Richardson’s decision to quit Instagram came when its co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, unexpectedly announced that they were leaving the company. With their exit, Richardson and other former Instagram employees worried Facebook would squash whatever independent identity the company had managed to retain.
She sent her goodbye to Instagram the next day.https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/14/quitting-instagram-shes-one-millions-disillusioned-with-social-media-she-also-helped-create-it/