I’ve been feeling drawn towards Instagram lately…At the end of 2018 I made it my goal to be social media free for 2019. I posted about it here. And in that post I also gave myself permission to not go the whole year without social media. I know that my goals, my growth, my desires, they change and fluctuate. The main goal behind this intention though was to become more intentional, to be more present, and to take photographs for my own self pleasure, not for the likes.
This past weekend I was in Auburn at The Pour Choice. While I was waiting in line a man two customers ahead of me looked at me as if he might know me. I didn’t recognize him at all, and honestly my first thought was, oh no, maybe he recognizes me from a dating app and is going to say something?
He placed his order, then stepped aside to wait for it to be ready. Again he looked at me and this time asked if my name was Kelly. I said yes and he proceeded with one of the most beautiful compliments I’ve ever received. He said he follows me on Instagram and loved my photography, that I capture things he never would have thought twice about looking at, but is inspired and intrigued by it. I felt so high in that moment, and also so humbled. I appreciated the bravery it took for him to actually say something to me. It felt so genuine and like encouragement from the Universe.
When I see friends they often ask me how I’m doing without social media. My first and truthful response is that I love it. I love not having the pressure to go out and do cool things so that I can post about them. I love not looking at other peoples’ lives, filtered and curated to look amazing, and feeling envy and lust.
I also feel like I miss out on some things. I’ve been putting in a lot of work lately to be social and try new things. The reality is that businesses and local events use Instagram and Facebook to promote their functions. I miss out on those events unless a friend screenshots it and sends it to me. I moved to midtown six months ago now and this was partly why - to become more social and in the heart of the action.
I have mostly toyed with the idea of getting back onto my film Instagram account. I like looking through my own page to see my adventures and my progress, to be reminded of the things that are important to me that I’ve captured through my camera. I also primarily follow film accounts and gain inspiration from those posts. I had a coffee date with a recent graduate of the high school I work at and her vote was for me to get back on Instagram. She reminded me that the population I love working with and for (adolescent girls) is on social media and looking for positive roll models. I want to share my passion with the world, I want to challenge myself in my craft, and I want to focus on using the Instagram platform for building community and connection.
The day-to-day can feel like a never ending rat-race to get to the top - to be recognized, to be complimented and validated, to be the best. My goal in getting back onto Instagram is to look at it from a macro perspective. This is a big, intricate world of people, talents, and goals. If I can stick to my own passions, maybe I can avoid the comparison and competition.
Or not. And in that case, I’ll go back to being in the dark. It’s all just trial and error!