Monday, 21 March 2016

Monday Miscellany - Portrait of the blogger as a young Instagrammer

I'm feeling very uninspired about my Monday posts at the moment. I don't know whether it's because I can't think of something to write about or whether I'm just not happy with the format. I'll have to think about whether my current schedule is a bit too heavy for the beginning of the week and maybe think about rearranging. Whatever the case may be, I find myself quite late on Monday night without a topic in mind. So I'm going to cop out a little and do a post I've been iffy about for a while. So it's bound to be fucking brilliant. I'm not trying to do anything revolutionary here but if it fills the hole until I can figure out what the fuck I'm doing then I'm happy.

Just over a year ago I started using Instagram for the first time, which is a bigger deal to me than it may be to other people. Instagram was always the silly social media where people called themselves an artist because they took a black and white photo of their cat and added a filter. Instagram always seemed like the jokey younger brother to Facebook and Twitter that I really didn't want to be a part of. Then I decided it might be useful for the blog to get more of a social media presence and, as someone who has always believed in the beauty of books, I wanted to show the world my precious collection of literature.

Since starting, I've had a bit of a strange relationship with it because I find myself getting really carried away for a bit before I realise my skills are pretty non-existent. There are moments when I love everything about it and take a picture every day. However, my good photos tend to be flukes and I still have no real idea if anything is any good. My sister happens to be a really talented photographer and I can't help but feel kind of silly about my random snaps of books. Especially, when my family home is full of her amazing compositions.

I also find the idea of photography pretty weird. When I was at uni I was basically the designated photographer for all of our nights out. My Facebook is full of albums of my friends and I enjoying ourselves because that's what I thought people at uni did. It got so ridiculous that I got a bit of a reputation with my friends. Then uni ended and I stopped taking photos. Mainly because I didn't feel like any situation I was in really called for it. If I'm on holiday or out for the day then I want to experience the place I'm in rather than fighting for the perfect shot. If I'm out with friends then I want to spend time with them instead of documenting our time together. Until I started my blog's Instagram account I barely had any photos on my phone. Now it's fucking full of them.

To be honest, I love being part of Instagram and the kind of silly section that is super obsessed with books. It's inspiring seeing the things other people post and I'd like to think that my skills have improved somewhat. Of course, I do find myself getting above myself and getting way too serious about how I compose photos. I'm always thinking about what looks good and always question how photogenic something is before I buy it. I've lost count of the amount of times I've gone into fucking Paperchase and bought random shit just to take one fucking photo. There are times when I don't even recognise myself.

Because, once you fall into the trap of having a handful of strangers respond to something you've done on the internet then you can't help but get carried away. Too often I've fallen down the trap of posting and new photo and desperately waiting to see if the likes come flooding in. It's great when you get some but so devastating when a pic you love is ignored. But its all so meaningless isn't it? I mean what makes a good photo good? Isn't it just the same as all art and dependent on who is viewing it? I find that most of my favourite photos are the ones that don't get the recognition that some of my least favourite ones do. So either my eye for good art is awful or I'm not hashtagging things correctly.

Which is fine if I were doing it because I wanted to but the only reason I started was the link to the blog. To get a better social media presence for it and see how successful I could be at marketing it. (In some misguided attempt to prove to myself that my desire to get into digital marketing wasn't the biggest waste of time ever.) I get why things like Instagram and Pinterest are so important these days because people respond and share pictures way more than they
do blogposts. It's quicker and more appealing to look at something pretty than read a whole ramble about something. Words are bad; photos are good. However, I still don't know if it's worth it. I did it because I wanted to experiment with publicising the blog and. really. Instagram doesn't drive traffic here. Because why would it?
People don't use Instagram to find out what film I'm reviewing this week. They want to see photos of puppies or hardbacks. So I'm not sure how successful a bookstagrammer I'll be but its been fun to play about for now.





  
     

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