Instagram is enjoyable, don't get me wrong — but it is also very weird! The amount of time we spend looking at others' photos* (especially those we don't know) is kind of eyebrow raising when you think about it...and director/developer Noah Levenson has clearly done that, creating a website called Weird Box to help make you think about it, too.
It's seductive, easy, and disconcerting: Enter the name of any Instagram account (it doesn't have to be yours) and the photos from the account are woven into this couple's strange discussion about the contents of a box hidden in what appears to be their shared home.
I tried it with my dog's Instagram account, and used a desktop recording app to capture the result for you to enjoy (or something).
Levenson says he "wrote it, directed it and programmed the software that makes it work." That's him on the right, co-starring with actress Katie Boland. Yeah, he's the one who considers you (or whoever's account you enter) a guru.
In their writeup of the function, Fast Company says "Over the past decade, we have normalized stalking people we barely know or don’t know at all. And the fact that the person being stalked in this instance is YOU should induce shudders." That, to me, is a bit of an overreaction...after all, stalking is not consensual, while posting photos to a public Instagram account seems like an invitation for eyes.
In fact, it seems that for many of us with public Instagram accounts, shudders are mainly induced when a photo gets no attention at all. That said, would I necessarily want some guy to print out my dog's (or my) photos and keep them in a box? Maybe not...but if anyone's bugged that much by the consumption of their images by strangers, there's nothing stopping them from making their accounts private, or getting off the platform all together.
*To the inevitable commenter who proudly announces that their life is far too rich to waste time looking at other people's photos: 1) OK, commenter and 2) yup.