ELVIN NG’s had a tough year. Which got a little tougher when 8 DAYS ‘forced’ him to set up an Instagram account. But like the trooper that he is, the 31-year-old snapped to it, and this story is the result.
If you judge Elvin by the photos on these pages, you’d think he was deliriously happy, living life with a big grin plastered on his handsome mug, having a blast. But of course, these are just pictures. Real life is, alas, less technicolored; more 50 shades of grey than rainbows every day. Just like how Instagram, the social networking app du jour, makes things look more awesome than they really are, our pictures of Elvin make it look like he’s glad, when he’s actually kinda sad. The man is still grieving for his dad, who passed away suddenly in February, and having to film back-to-back dramas means he hasn’t had a real break to process the tragedy. In fact, he tells us he is “on the brink of depression,” which makes us want to stop our interview, cancel the shoot, and send him home to mummy. No, not even the 18 fantastic filters on Instagram can render life any rosier for Elvin right now. But, as they say, the show must go on.
So… Instagram. For those who’ve been living under a rock and still think Twitter is the height of social media cool, get with da Insta-program. It’s the new app to be seen tapping on. It’s the photo-sharing network that allows you to take a square-shaped photo with your phone (very Polariod-vintage; who needs real cameras anymore?), apply a filter to it (which immediately makes your picture more ‘feeling’, arty and poignant), and then share it with the world.
Of course, where there’s cam-whoring, there are celebrities. Justin Beiber has 2.4 million followers. Kim Kardashian has 2.7 million followers. Barack Obama has 1.1 million followers. Elvin Ng has 2,542 followers, at press time. It’s really very decent, considering that non-famous folks struggle to hit 100 followers and that Elvin only set up his Instagram account a month ago, at our behest. If you’re wondering why we made self-confessed technophobe Elvin Ng set up an Instagram account, instead of putting someone much more social media-savvy on the cover, it’s ’cos it makes for a more interesting story. Also, Elvin’s known to be quite the reflective, poetic soul, and we wanted to see what he would make of this very instant way of sharing a piece of yourself. Would he put an ocean of thought and feeling into each photo and pour a river of emotion into each accompanying caption? Or would he, like most others in this increasingly-TMI world, shoot first and think later, or maybe not even think at all?
For the full cover story, read this week's issue of 8 DAYS (#1135).
PLUS: Can you judge a celeb by their instagram pictures? We poke around six celebs’ Instagram feeds, and speak to three about the cam-whoring, we mean, photo-sharing social media phenomenon.