Question: did a being a tramp used to be a good thing? Cause I mean, I’m listening and I can only say she sounds like a good egg. She doesn’t come late to the theatre! She doesn’t gossip! She also just does not bother with the people she hates, so… I don’t know guys, I think she sounds great.
I’m pretty sure these guys above are Topi, spotted on a drive through Akagera national park, our very own safari site in north/eastern Rwanda, on the border of Tanzania. I decided to start posting here again because I’m really starting to limit my time on le social networks.
Facebook, the big Faceyb, is probably actually the easier to limit, in a way, because a lot of my feed was reposts of Instagram photos, memes I’d seen on Twitter, and the odd interesting link or cute video. And a ton of ads for stuff. HEY I SEE YOU’RE MARRIED NOW HERE’S AN AD ABOUT HOW HAVING BABIES SHATTERS YOUR PELVIC FLOOR AND ALSO PREGNANCY TESTS.
The harder thing about logging out of Facebook for longer periods is knowing you’re missing the occasional big announcement or birthday…but I finally put all my favourite people’s birthdays in my calendar and our close-close folks usually text us anyway when something is going down, so really, am I actually going to miss something, or am I just scared I will?
Twitter I said buh-bye to and deleted my account a few weeks ago. The only thing I miss is the occasional ridiculous witticism from my mates – because let’s face it, you don’t text someone to tell them you just faceplanted in the tube but you’ll probably tweet it to a few hundred strangers – and the ease of article discovery. Also sometimes you’d ask the hive mind about something and they’d point you in the direction of the random thing you needed. So yeah, I do miss that a bit. But hey…whatsapp.
Which brings us to: Instagram. My achilles heel. The thing I could waste hours on, scrolling, scrolling, double-tapping, passively liking and loving and not really engaging. Then there’s the feedback loop of post a picture, click out of the app, tap back in to see a few likes, tap back out, tap back in again, tap back out. One like. Five likes. Two. I genuinely love sharing our experiences with our friends, and our looser online community. I love seeing what they’re up to and having a platform to shoot them a message of congratulations or commiserations or whatever the situation asks.
But when I asked myself why I’m on there I had two reasons:
- it’s a great creative outlet and a nudge to practice my photography.
- I love seeing what my friends are doing.
Both those things are true, but they come with flipsides:
- While I’m practicing my photography in order to post it solely to Instagram, I’m absorbing everyone else’s styles and inspirations. Eventually, everything morphs into the same 5 photographs for the sake of getting it ‘seen’ on Instagram.
- I do love seeing what my friends are doing, but while that gets me into the app, the stickiness of it has been diving far too deep into the Discovery tab and an hour later here I am, wasting my time, liking tumbling videos of olympic gymnasts gone by.
So I figured, why not fire up this platform again. Maybe I’ll write some stuff. Maybe I’ll love it enough to give this old girl a revamp. Maybe I’ll create.
I figured, to start, that I would try logging out of Instagram for a month and sharing a handful of photos at the end of each. A ‘happy’ medium perhaps: still sharing with people I love, getting weeks at a time away from it.
Maybe it’ll be exactly what I need to find instagram inspiring again without flattening my own sense of creativity. Or it’ll mean that once a month I’ll get sucked in for far too long, and I’ll just have to cold turkey forever because even a little bit is too time wasteful. Or maybe spending four weeks off and a little time on will show me it’s more boring than I think.
So, here it will be for a while.
I’ll probably definitely have no-one reading this (and that is a-ok).
I’ll probably definitely take some @Insta_repeat worthy shots (because hey, the log thing is fun, killjoys).
I’ll probably definitely lose ‘followers’ but I couldn’t care less about that any more.
Instead, I’ll raise a glass to unstopping the dam created by 9 years of endless social media feedback crack. To books and making and doing and being, unhindered by the need to show + tell + receive.
…I’m rather looking forward to it.