Color Bars

Food Porn and Social Media – Sharing or Passive Aggressive Behavior?

Guilty as charged – waiting for that magic moment when my scrumdelicious food arrives at a restaurant only to snap an iPhone photo before taking a bite. As my food grows cold, I rush to post a culinary-inspired image to Facebook for all my friends to admire, discuss and drool over.

These photos range anywhere from portraits of 2 a.m. carne asada burritos to snapshots of succulent seared ahi. At the end of the day it’s difficult to reconcile why I post photos of my food via social media – am I documenting, sharing or engaging in passive aggressive behavior?

Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain recently told The Wrap, sharing your dinner via social media is a “dysfunctional, even aggressive practice.” “It’s not to share,” he continues. “It’s to make other people feel really bad. You don’t want people to be eating dinner with you when you Instagram a picture of your food. You want them to be eating a bag of Cheetos on their couch in their underpants. It’s a passive-aggressive act.”

554828_10200153752059376_394243841_nMelanie Dunea, freelance photographer and author of food blog, My Last Supper disagrees. “I don’t see it as being so mean-spirited and dystopian. I do it for fun and to share, not to show off. I use it – as it’s intended – as an ‘instant camera’ and ‘telegram’.”

Dunea goes on to discuss the power of communicating through pictures and the potential affect of iPhone photography and social media on the professional photographer in her recent Adweek article: How Passive-Aggressive is Instagramming Your Food.

Personal motivations aside, the #foodporn movement can have positive implications for brands in the agri-food space whose drool-inducing products could soon go viral. Some food brands doing it right are Chobani, Oreo and Whole Foods.

Do you take pictures of your food? If so, do you ever reference the restaurant, brand name or products you’re photographing?

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