So how’s Instagram going?

instagramaccountAnother one of those technology experiences where I am now wondering why I did not do this earlier. Like B-Pay. The whole world was using B-Pay before I got onto it. Instagram has been going since the end of 2010 so 6 years later I am onto it! I am not an earlier adopter of all things technology. The last and only time I have blogged about Instagram I explained I had set my account to private as was recommended by friends and had 6 followers. Since then I have changed the setting to public and have 46 followers and pick up followers every day. Instagram is filling the art, design, graphics gap in my online world. The UX (user experience) accounts I follow are teaching me a lot about design and presentation of graphics. There are Russian women I engage with through textile art and craft and their skills are really impressive and again , I have learned a lot. The language barrier is overcome through image sharing. There is so much colour and creativity on Instagram and so I find it a really good place to go for 5 or 10 minutes when I need a brain boost. By then I am full of creative inspiration and my thoughts have taken off again. Instagram really does bring you back to the moment and valuing the things by which you are surrounded which are fuel for creative endeavour. I have also been pleased to note that the women of Instagram have some very effective and well thought out ways of dealing with what can be considered gross misrepresentation of women in the world of graphics. They are commenting on these images in such a way that the company using the images would have to rethink what on earth they were thinking. Oddly enough, or maybe even paradoxically, even though Instagram is image based there is more being done to set right stereo types and gender profiling on that platform than on any other. Firm but fair stuff. Instagram is also the place where people find their niche. There are car and tram enthusiasts, train lovers, coffee connoisseurs, cat adorers. If you love something and are enthusiastic about it you can share your images and then find those who are like you. I would never have thought Instagram would be so positive. For businesses and organisations you get to see inside the offices and what’s on people’s desks and the views they have. You can see a meeting in progress or how they are processing their thoughts and action plans. It is really great and always gets enthusiastic feedback. And that’s the thing. Any image will immediately get effective feedback which is short , sweet and to the point but, in my experience, never rude or impolite. Suggestions for improvement are always offered in a spirit of well thought out ideas. My first 6 months on Instagram has been a real voyage of discovery. From here on in I can capitalise on that.

Do you instagram?

instagram Bit of an Instagram tragic with only 6 followers but that will change. I started off really slowly on Twitter too and have never looked back. I was advised by the people I asked to set my account to private and let others ask to follow me. I have been on Instagram since the very end of last year. It happened by accident as most social media experience does with me. It is great. A few years back , before the internet , there was a big trend in frozen moments where you could buy ornaments of milk pouring, a glass of beer and so on.

Image : Fake Food Decor

milk pouring ornamentWe have always savoured the moment as a human race: watching the waves rolling into shore, seeing birds play in the trees, watching ants crawl up the pergola post. It has always amused and soothed us. Instagram is like that for me. It values the moment. It creates something special from something ordinary. It makes you appreciate the good things in your life. Like when I was sitting out the back the other day and the sun was shining and the whole image was just beautiful. I Instagrammed it. It is a good way to learn languages because no one writes a lot and so some people use it to post things to help others learn their language and bit by bit you learn. It is used for advertising and marketing but there is something more personal and artistic about it. You get to know working people more. You can see their desks, their designs, their plants and coffee, their view from the window. It would be a good way for students to document research projects and long term pieces of work. It would be a good way for teachers to document their day  or week and reflect on it. There is more of an artistic sense on Instagram and to Instagram your day or your week without the people stuff – we have laws in SA which preclude that- would make you take a positive look at any journey through time. At the moment I am posting one photo , at least , a day. Before it was 4 a week and before that I was far too random. Reading my feed on Instagram gives me positive input . Like any social media site it is important to choose the right people to follow so your feed is an inspiration.backgarden

Instagram only runs on mobile phones and tablets and they pride themselves on that. In terms of social justice, equity and accessibility I am not sure it is a good idea to be that rigid. Having said that, I find it is making make good use of my smartphone. It is a very positive and practical use of the phone. I have used Dropbox to get photos onto my iPad or Phone so I can post them from my laptop or desktop. It has also meant I have a lot of really positive images on my phone which I can share with people when I see them. That has been a bonus spin off of Instagramming.

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