EDIT: I wrote this blogpost a couple of days ago but refrained from posting because I worried it make me appear...wait for it....shallow.
Look I know I am a bit but this is also an opportunity to take the michael out of myself so I'm hoping that is how it comes across....Here's hoping.
Over the last couple of days I have been struggling to come up with a witty and pithy bio for my Instagram page. How do you summarise your aesthetic in just a few carefully words so that your potential audience will understand your feed offering and find you appealing. How about:
Lipstick hoarding, eggs benedict loving dog hugger who posts on a sporadic basis. Welcome into my highly contrived visual life.
I can't come up with anything that ticks the box and through this self-inflicted angst I realise just how far my Instagram obsession has come.
When did it all get so bloody pretentious?
When I first signed up to Instagram I posted any old bollocks. Really I did. At that time it wasn't the social beast that it is now. It was akin to the early iPod days when seeing someone with white earphones resulted in a visual high-five. It was a quiet little club that saw some dodgy filter usage and a dubious reliance on bokeh.
In the years since it has transformed into a monetisation cesspit with people legitimately claiming self-employment status as a "full time Instagrammer", and with image quality cranked up to 11. Even the nomenclature has changed - in 2012 we posted photos, now we post "content".
As the standards transformed so did my attitude towards the 'gram and I realise now that as much as I tried to rally against the pretension I have proven weak and succumbed to it. Here are some examples of my futile behaviour:
1. Content Culling
I, buy now/blog later, do declare that I have deleted photos because they did not fit my feed aesthetic. Even using the word aesthetic makes me feel like a prat but yes I have removed photos because they did not work in the overall story/did not contain enough white.
Maybe I should just upload a series of white boxes and call it a day?
2. Getting performance anxiety
Tonight I am going to a wine festival and I know that the PR agency are expecting me to Instagram from said venue. It's unspoken but in exchange for consuming buckets of wine I think there is a pretty likely chance that they will want coverage. So now, even as I write this during my lunch break, I am wondering if the lighting will be good enough for a photo. It's a nighttime event so I am thinking not and I sure as hell am not going to be the person that gets the venue to change their lighting arrangement. Yes, bloggers actually do that! Will I get the picture? Oooh it's edge of your seat stuff.
Update: I did not. But I did drink a lot of good wine.
3. Whitening those whites
When those "How I edit my Instagram" videos started popping up on YouTube, I eye rolled. Hard. A ten minute-ish video on how someone vigorously uses the whitening tool on Facetune to whiten those white sheets to a whiter shade of white. How silly I thought. I won't ever do that I said. Fast forward to now and you can regularly find me swiping my phone screen in an attempt to do the same.
4. Going all VSCO cam
I have had VSCO cam for a long time but didn't understand it. What is a grid and why should I care? I decided it was too complex. It felt like Photoshop - and I hate Photoshop. This year though, because nearly all my photos are now just snapped with my phone (a move that deceptively makes me sound all casual and non-chalant), I find that those filters in the right combination can do magic. HB1, HB2 and A6 - I love you. But no, I still don't really see the point of the grid.
Now I could talk about how much I can sit down and discuss feeds with other Instagram obsessives and how often I check Instagram each day (as soon as I wake up/after every meeting/during every taxi ride/when husband is watching Daredevil in the evening) but I feel like that would reflect badly on me so I will leave it there.
In an attempt to add some depth to my shallow I'll end it with this: as much as I jest I truly find this the most inspirational of all social media channels. The quality of some of the imagery from some accounts is tantamount to art. I am not at that level and nor will I ever be but it's a fantastic platform to dip into for a creative boost. Yes some images are massively contrived but I'll still like them anyway. At the end of the day I just want to see some pretty pictures.
If you want to get inspired check out some of my latest finds:
Alabaster fox - stunning photography and lots of coffee
Sarah M Park - don't follow if you get offended by nips because she likes to get them out.
Bealubus - do not follow if hungry - the same goes for GatherandFeast
Lucy Florals - personal style blogger from Glasgow
Fashion by MNP - another blogger from Glasgow - Glasgow has it going on!
What's your take on Instagram?
How addicted are you? Or have you moved on to another platform...Snapchat?
PS. If you have a bio suggestion for me feel free to contribute below :)
Thanks for reading