An Economy of 'Likes': Instagram and Debord's Spectacle
Pulitzer, Jacob David
Tinkcom, Matthew J
Instagram constitutes an economy of “likes.” Users exchange “posts”—commodities in this new spectacle—for capital in the form of “likes” and comments. Instagram does not represent a new social forum, but rather a reconstitution of market forces into socio-digital space. This critique draws on the discipline Critical Theory, and especially the work of Guy Debord in Society of the Spectacle. The roots of this project spring from Marx’s critique of capitalism, Hegel’s dialectical method, and Freud’s theory of mind (psychoanalysis).