Monday, 1 February 2016

on Instagram & loosing myself






Last year I was honoured to be placed on Instagram's Suggested User's list. This is IGs way of saying yay for what I was doing with my account, and loving the way I contribute as a community member. I gained approx 80,000 extra followers in 2 weeks - wow, hey!

I'm not saying this to gloat, or boast, but more to talk about 'how fame went to my head'…. HA!

While it hasn't gone to my head (entirely, I still have to wash up and change the baby's nappy), it did alter the way I view Instagram, and also….. sadly (!!) the way I post images. And that was never my aim. I went through a little stage of posting only for likes - oh golly, am I really saying this? Yep. It's true. And I don't like it. Not one little bit. For sure - this whole online thing, showing off sharing our lives is about connecting and having others 'like' what we do. Is it not? A little bit (a lot?!) for sure, it's about that. But what's the use of sharing parts that aren't real, of making things up just to show off. 

OK I never make things up, but mostly I choose to share an editing version. And I've been thinking about that. Why do I only share those views of my life and my home and my children and my making.

And this is what conclusion I've come to :
I don't want to share the messy, horrible, dirty… not because I don't want you to know about it, but because for me looking at the beautiful distilled moments bring me a little bit of joy and calm peacefulness amongst my noisy busy hectic noisy noisy day.
I've found over the past year or 18 months or so, that making the time to style and take photos has given me more than I thought. It's allowed me to spend time in my head, quiet slow soft thinking time - focussing on the faffering in front of me stills me even if only for a few very short moments. It's also showing me a creativity that I knew I had, but had never developed in this manner before; and that makes me happy and shows me potential. My potential.

This year I'd love to have the time (find / make / magic up the time!) to spend doing more styling, product shots, image-making. To make it a real thing, rather than a two-minutes 'don't touch baby' thing. I keep wondering if I have time, space, head space - could I make ti something proper?

How do you feel about Instagram? Do you sometimes get a little lost in the numbers game of it? When I go through that stage I always chat with someone else about it (mostly this person), and my family. And then I put it out of my head. I stop checking the numbers. I stop comparing myself to the other people getting lots of likes. I step back subtly and delve deeper into the image making, and the thing making, and the creating. I start making images for myself, rather than worrying about the likes it might get on IG. I keep putting it out there and stop questioning everything that I do. And really - I know that the reality of some of it that life is a popularity contest and there's no way around that. And in the end the people who are "liking" my images are the real people I want to connect with anyway. And golly - they are sweet beautiful supportive lovely real people.

Sometimes I need to remind myself that I'm a quality not quantity person - I prefer having less friends who I value and who value me.

So - note to self "Ellie… get over yourself. Just keep doing and making and taking photos and all that because you want to, because it gives you joy and pleasure. And for no other reason than that". 

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