I’ll admit it, I’m really not comfortable with social media. Last year I deactivated my Facebook account, but then reactivated it earlier this summer to mine my contacts for a big cross-country road trip. That’s the awesomeness of it. But it’s rare I need that much awesome.
I recently signed up to Instagram after avoiding it for years. Actually, that’s not true. I started an account but deleted it when the we-have-all-rights-to-use-your-photos-for-anything-we-want policies were being hotly debated across many social media platforms. That may have been the trigger, but there were other reasons. I had a pretty low-budget mobile phone up until recently. 3.2mp was just never going to do it for me so I rarely used my phone for photos. Finally, I have no real inclination to “see” in a square format, unless the camera I’m using is specifically designed to produce square images. Call me a purist (I’m not). Some people like IG for exactly that reason. To each their own.
I’m not worried about image theft anymore, even though it’s more rampant than ever. (Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t go after thieves and infringers to the fullest extent my copyright registration allows.) And I’m now in the double digits in megapixels on my mobile camera. And IG has done away with the requirement to post in a square format. So okay, let’s do this.
Ah, but wait. I still hesitate. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on social media, besides playing Scrabble, which I don’t think counts. But because so many people swear by the connections they’ve made on it I’m compelled to go another round. I have a friend who has over 275,000 followers on IG. But he says he spends hours a day on the site, and he was an early adopter of the platform. It’s not something I’m interested in doing though. But that’s really how the unknown or anonymous get followers, isn’t it? Come oooon, quid pro quo following is LAME! I’m not going to do it. It doesn’t make sense to fill my feed with posts I’m really not interested in seeing. Please believe me, though, I appreciate when you connect with a photo of mine. But I feel no obligation to return the sentiment unless I really connect with your work, too.
And because I still have to find a way to feed my rebellious tendencies, I’m not going to use my IG for mobile photography at all. I’m not even going to put digitally-captured photos on it. Bam! Take that IG! Hardly a novel concept I’m sure, but IG will now be a depository for my film work only. Originally I thought it’d be a place where I’d throw up outtakes and any other oddballs, but even though the hipsters are all excited about IG’s storytelling ability, it seems to me this platform, i.e., a blog, is much better suited for the task.
Alas, I may end up like the bride at the top of this post- dancing by myself at my grand celebration of love. But fuck it. I don’t make pictures to make friends. I make pictures to communicate about the world around me, and sometimes friendships form out of that. So if you really like ’em, be my guest to “like” them. If you like a lot of them, be my guest to “follow” me. But before you do, make sure you like yourself enough to do it without expectation. After all, that’s really what sharing is about.