Consuming an ‘Instagrammable’ Food: Digital Foodgasm

Back in 2018-2019, this was one of the most ‘#Instragrammable‘ coffee’s in London. 

Curious to explore this further, one afternoon, I decided to go search for this coffee! The cafe was accustomed to having #customers who just wanted to #capture it and keep up with the #trend. I spent an afternoon hanging around at the cafe; #observing the happenings and spoke with many people who had also come across images of the #coffee on their #Instagram feed. 

As their coffee was served, I observed people picking up their phones, holding it in different angles and taking #pictures. They would immediately get busy on their phones for a few minutes (probably uploading it on Instagram) before putting it aside to finally #taste it. 

The #experience in its entirety can broadly be divided into two parts. 

The first being the episode of capturing and uploading this image in the #digital world. The second being  its #consumption in real time. 

Reflecting upon my own behaviour (auto #ethnographic approach), I realized that the two experiences were somehow not equal.  

The anticipation, hype and excitement were more about capturing the coffee than consuming it. The moment I uploaded the ‘story/post’ on Instagram I felt like I had completed a mission; ticked an invisible check box. I felt connected to an invisible community who had all captured this coffee on Instagram as well.  Not that I didn’t want to try this coffee, I was certainly eager and had travelled quite far looking for it. However, I realized that there was a strange ‘#pleasure’ in just capturing and uploading the #image which was distinct from the ‘pleasure’ of consuming it.

The question that we need to reflect upon here is where did one enjoy this coffee more? #Online or #Offline

Author: Rupali Kapoor

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