Rethinking Instagram

There’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last couple of weeks. It’s something I may have been very wrong about.

To start, let me rewind.

So, nearly four months ago, I quit Instagram. Here’s part of the reasoning I cited at the time.

And here’s the main thing: I have a fundamental opposition to pictures being showcased more than words. It’s obstinate and it’s old school, but it’s something I’ve never come to terms with. Instagram has always made me feel like it arose because suddenly 140, then 280 characters were just too many, like words got to be too hard so we were resorting to looking at pretty things instead. That’s never felt right to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like pretty things, but I like my pretty things with a little more depth.

Interestingly, after that, I made the statement that “Instagram stories just make it worse.

Huh.

Because here’s the thing. What’s got me reconsidering my position? Instagram stories.

This summer, I’ve been working full on with some social media projects again. In all of them, I’ve started using stories to support the main posts, share extra information, show off some behind-the-scenes action. The opportunity to view the stories of others has helped me better understand what’s going on there, but it’s also made my time on the platform a lot more enjoyable.

It actually reminds me of when I first started using Twitter, back in 2008. I maintain that Twitter is still more challenging to really get, but Instagram stories came at me in a similar way. Until I got some really hands on experience with it, i couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the big deal was.

Now, I get it.

I’d also started to notice that I was missing news on some of my favourite businesses and people. Much to my dismay, not everyone uses Twitter and certainly many don’t use it like they used to. I’d love to be able to change that, but I know it isn’t easy – on the nerves or the heart sometimes.

So, I went to my counsel of two and asked, “should I get back on Instagram?”

Now, both are Instagram embracers so I kind of knew what I was going to get…and maybe that’s what I wanted. Their support.

First up, Hillary sold me on it, especially stories. Full disclosure, I’ve been keeping tabs on her via one of my business accounts and, well, it kind of started to feel a little bit creepy. She spoke to my true heart when she said that, for her, it feels like old school blogging. Anybody who knows old school blogging still has a place for it in their heart. Le sigh.

And speaking of old school blogging, my loooooong-time blogging partner in crime Rebecca chimed in this evening, also likening it to blogging. She says she liked that she can use one photo to tell a whole story in her feed while adding, “the extra authentic stuff (read: minutiae and daily random moments)” in stories. And pointed it out that it wasn’t as much work as keeping up a blog.

These two women are pretty influential for me and I trust them so I went with it and reawakened my account. (The only reason I hadn’t deleted it entirely was because I knew I wouldn’t ever be able to get my handle back.)

So, I’m going to give a shot again. I don’t really know what that looks like. I don’t know how it feels. Come find me over there and help me learn to love it. Who should I be sure to connect with? Tell me who you think I should follow and why.

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