Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bringing Fun Back

You might have noticed that I stopped doing Instagram wrap-up posts. I haven't really been uploading anything over there that I haven't posted here first. The truth is that I've been very uninspired to take photos with my phone. I'm still taking photos with my "real" cameras, but my phone pretty much stays in my bag whenever we're out now, and I think I know what's behind my lack of motivation.

Instagram has changed, or rather, the way people use Instagram has changed a lot since I signed up a few years ago. It used to be about real-time sharing. People would upload photos of whatever they were doing, eating, watching, etc., and it was super cas. Everyone was like, "I'm using ALL THE FILTERS and doodling on every photo!" and it was so much fun.

Now, the majority of photos in my feed are "serious" photos. Most of them appear to have been taken with a DSLR, edited with Photoshop or similar software, and then uploaded to Instagram. There's nothing wrong with that--I do that too sometimes--but it's not as fun as it used to be. I miss the spontaneity of snapping a pic and uploading it without worrying too much about the quality. And I miss the personality that came through in people's feeds before. Now so many feeds look just alike that I legitimately can't always tell who's feed I'm looking at. It's all very pretty, though, and I appreciate that people want to put their best work out there.

I still browse Instagram daily and upload my own pics (not-so-daily) and will probably keep using it forever. But I've been looking for another app that's not so heavily curated, that still has a sense of random fun and realness, and the best one I've found so far is Snapchat. I only signed up a couple of weeks ago, but I can already tell that people have a lot of fun with it. I know Snapchat has been around for years, but when it first came out, I thought it was primarily to send photos or videos to friends...something I would've absolutely loved in high school and college, but I don't have much use for now. But recently, I realized you can create "stories" to share with everyone, and I love seeing how people are using it.

The fact that stories disappear in 24 hours (unless someone saves a screenshot) also takes some of the pressure off feeling like a photo needs to be perfectly composed, well-lit, and all the other "requirements" of Instagram these days. I think I might use it to share projects I'm working on that aren't ready for my shop or blog, or maybe do a 30-day drawing challenge and post snaps everyday? Who knows? I might just share pics of my house since I'll probably never get around to doing a proper "house tour" on the blog.

My username on Snapchat is @my_hideaway (same as Instagram and Twitter), if anyone wants to follow along. Also, tell me your username so I can add you! I'm looking for more people to follow. And if you have suggestions of any other accounts you like, please share in the comments! xo, Mary

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