Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Musings: On Instagramming Your Life

About a month ago I started using Instagram. I had had the app for ages, but I hadn't actually realized how it worked. When I was originally using it, I thought that I was simply filtering pictures to put on a different app that I like (Kullect). I didn't realize that I was creating a feed that was able to be viewed publicly. Oops. So, needless to say, my photos were not terribly inspirational, cohesive, or "representative." They were just random things I was doing and seeing that I wanted to remember. And I kind of thought that was what Instagram was for. But, then I realized that Instagramming was something I should be doing as a blogger to promote the blog. I started following the bloggers I like, and I realized that I needed to delete as many pictures as possible from my previously constructed feed because they were just not...up to snuff. The people I follow take beautiful photos with great light, and lovely effects, and styled backgrounds, and amazing outfits. My pictures always look blah. I love to look at Instagram because it is a window into the lives of people I respect and admire, people who have a lovely aesthetic, and people who know how to style a photo. But, I can't help but feel a little beauty burnout every now and again. Anyone know what I mean?

Lately, I've been feeling oversaturated with images of people's picture perfect lives. I know that that is what the blog world (and by extension the Twitters, Instagrams, etc. of bloggers) is for; it's an escape into another dimension where everyone always wears the right outfit, eats macaroons, and goes to Paris at least once a year. Picnics in the park are a daily occurrences as are glitter and balloon bedazzled festivities with exotic cocktails. Sometimes I want to take a picture of myself sitting on the couch watching my twelfth hour of television in a row wearing boxers I found in my brother's childhood bedroom eating a banana. Because that is what a lot of days actually look like.

As I started paying more attention to Instagram, I starting trying to style my desk, or style myself, or style my family so that they would be photograph worthy. Pictures used to be a way for people to remember beautiful moments in their lives. But, as far as I recall, life didn't always have to actually look so damn beautiful to warrant taking a picture. There are parties that happen without tablescapes and color coordinated cupcakes. There are memorable moments that occur when you are wearing sweatpants and zit cream. There are things worth remembering that don't include chevrons (guilty), and French bulldogs, and ballet flats. I love a beautiful photo as much as the next gal, but I also love memories that are real. The ones that aren't staged, or perfect, or scripted, or styled. The ones that happen when you don't even care about all that stuff.

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