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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi South chapter.

After my thirteenth time closing and opening the Reels tab on Instagram, I finally began to wonder- what is it about Instagram Reels that has made them such a popular form of media? Everyone wants to shoot, curate and share a Reel on their handles after every significant event in their social lives. Popular audios compel people to try on trending challenges. There are aesthetic Reels, funny Reels, informative Reels, and my personally hated genre, commercial Reels by big companies that try to be ‘quirky’ and ‘relatable’ for the consumers.

But the question remains: why are we obsessed with Reels?

Quick Passing Moments

Our attention span as social beings has gotten smaller over time. Instagram Reels have a time limit of 60 seconds. Many Reels are shorter and they are the ones that get a lot of engagement from the users. People enjoy bite-sized entertainment since our lives have gotten so fast-paced. We need quick recreation and we need it instantly. That is what social media platforms like Instagram offer us.

Due to this time limit, creators are forced to be more creative in their storytelling. Be it telling jokes or emotional stories or informative content, creators are being compelled to fit all their knowledge into a 60-second video. There are Instagram trends that aid the creators in putting forth their ideas in a more aesthetically organized and comprehensible manner. This does help stimulate the creative process to newer bounds and has created a whole new form of entertainment. From small Instagram accounts of amateurs to big celebrities, everyone has a chance to try their hands on Reels and put their most creative foot forward.

Unfurling the Dark Side of Reels

While the great potential of Instagram Reels cannot be ignored, in terms of its larger engagement, its democratising abilities (since it gives space to every creator) and its entertaining factor, Reels also have a downside to them which, if not taken into discretion, can prove to be quite concerning. 

  • Instagram Reels have become addictive. Like munchies for the brain, we eat them for a quick snack. If you want to consume content, all you need to do is scroll and fresh Reels will bless your eyes. Not to forget, the main audience of Instagram is young individuals who are even more susceptible to addictions. It is common knowledge, and even meme-able knowledge, that once you start watching one Reel, you might as well know that you will be spending the next thirty minutes scrolling through them all.
  • Given the minuscule time limit, people are ready to do anything to get more engagement from their audience. While it can push some people to be more creative, it also has the ability to make people reckless. Their storytelling becomes, oftentimes, redundant as they try to employ flash over quality. Their Reels become the equivalent of clickbait articles.
  • Big corporations have time and again tried to hijack social media platforms for their company’s gain. In this process, they often tend to make a fool of their brands by participating (and struggling to do it successfully) in silly trends that often downgrade their image. 

Instagram Reels are a relatively new form of social media that is luring more audiences towards it. It has the potential of creating a newer, more refreshing form of art. People tend to treat Reels like a mini-film by adding audio, transitions and captions to them. From individual users to established brands, everyone is riding the trolley train of Reels. If done right, Reels can have a big impact on the users of social media. Not only that but Instagram Reels has impacted our generation as a whole as well.


Delhi South '22

Yashica (she/her) is an undergraduate based in Delhi, India. A student of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Her poetry has been published by Sapphic Writers, The Red Megaphone, AsianZine, and The Write Order. She is also the coordinator of the creative writing society of her college. While she briefly worked as a content writer, she usually finds herself writing about the grotesque realities of the human psyche and society. Her work ranges from horror fiction to confessional poetry. She also writes about Dalit issues and her experiences as a member of the queer community.