Discussions regarding social media and the Internet regularly mention the saying, “people gain muscle behind the keyboard.” While often times this is in regards to cyber bullying, it is applicable in other ways as well.
What this saying implies at its core is that people are empowered by the keyboard and digital media. How that empowerment is manifested is what makes all the difference.
Perhaps this is why behind most shared recipes and photos of a prepared meal is a story that the author feels important to share. It is rare to find a recipe online today without a long narrative before it. Why is this? Because thanks to digital media, anyone can be an author to some degree. Anyone can be a food photographer and critic with their handheld camera phone. There is a hierarchy, of course, based on skill and perhaps even more so, the number of followers you have. Because of that follower count and because of the empowerment digital media provides, everyone can share their meal and the history behind their recipe in an instant. We have an immense amount of information at our fingertips, so it makes sense to organize and analyze it critically.
If the way a culture eats mirrors that culture itself, then what does the way we eat say about us?
The way we (mostly millennials or anyone engaged with digital media) eat today is all about sharing it digitally in visually striking ways. So, if we take a look at Instagram, SpoonU, Tasty Videos, or other food blogs, we are really looking at unintentionally curated exhibits of who we are.
For example, what does the way that American millennials eat today say about us culturally? That we often are in a hurry, some of us are drinking or changing to a healthy lifestyle, and some of us are becoming adults, perhaps too quickly for our liking. We are curious, experimental, eager to connect and share, maybe a little self righteous, conscious of what our peers want to see, and apparently very hungry.