A group of Rochesterians joined the ninth worldwide Instagram meet up on Saturday
Despite an overcast sky and low 60-degree weather, a handful of about twenty-five Rochestarians donned light coats and fully charged iPhones before making their way to High Falls on Saturday for the first Rochester Instagram meet up.
Organized by Instagram users Tim Lampe, who was visiting from Atlanta for the weekend, and Rochesterian Steve Carter, the objective was to spark community interest in getting together and build connections through mutual interest in Instagram.
Instagram is a social media mobile app that allows users to take a photo, choose from several different filters to alter the image, and upload it to the app’s online network. From there, different users can connect and communicate regardless of how many miles separate them. On May 17, Instagram encouraged users to take part in its ninth annual WorldWide InstaMeet (#WWIM9); a day for Instagram users to unite in a central, regional location and meet face-to-face, often for the first time.
Lampe and Carter had already planned to get together over the weekend, so it made sense for them to reach out to their large follower bases to organize an Instameet in Rochester. “We were going to meet up anyways,” Lampe says. “Why not make it a community event?”
As the group of people who gathered on the Pont de Rennes Bridge in High Falls grew from less than ten to more than twenty, names, hometowns, and Instagram handles were exchanged. Even though everyone was glancing down at their phones during conversations with strangers they had just met, it wasn’t the slightest bit awkward.
“It was cool to be able to get the community together and bring a lot of different people from Rochester together,” Carter says, adding that Instagram was what everyone at the “ROCstameet” had in common. Instagram users at the event came from as far as Canandaigua, Corning, Webster, and Syracuse.
Carter credits Instagram for cool things like this, and adds that through a shared interest and appreciation for Instagram and photography in itself, it isn’t hard to build a supportive, creative community and develop lasting, worldwide friendships.
—Georgie Silvarole is a Scottsville native and a newspaper and online journalism major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is the summer 2014 editorial intern at (585).