My friend said this to me lately, “Beverley, when I look at your Instagram, you don’t seem to have photos of you and your friends. You make others think that you are better off living life by yourself, with your objects and whatever it is you are making.”
It was a timely thing to hear that from her, as I recently rediscover an old project that I made some time ago called Instadiaries. I made it when I started clearing my iPhone camera roll and found that there are many images I’ve captured which I had intended to share on my Instagram but I didn’t, because they didn’t fit in with the rest of the pictures I had already posted.
I would say this project makes me think about my participation on the virtual space and how that affects my way of documentation over recent years. When I write on my personal blog, I always feel that I am making conversation with a virtual abyss, and I never really feel that I had to censor myself or curate my words. If I were unhappy with myself, I could be very honest about what it is that made me unhappy and then I will read what I wrote again the following day and I could make a change about myself. I know there is not really anybody out there who is a constant reader of my blog. People are generally more interested in the pictures shared on Instagram or Facebook. But when I share a photo on my Instagram, I know that people do look at it and respond to it. And because I know it isn’t an entirely complete representation of who I am, sometimes I would rather not share at all.
Maybe some of us have experienced this phenomenon that seem to have taken over the users of Instagram at some point. We become quite particular about the way our pictures look on Instagram. Some users prefer to keep the original aspect ratios of their photos, square crops be damned. Some are really good at doing flat lays and enjoy arranging objects in a neat, stylish fashion to demonstrate their taste. The list goes on. There is nothing wrong with this, and some users have an attractive feed for their specific interests because of their careful curation. At one point, I was also very particular about how my pictures look together on Instagram, which made me wonder why I should. It is quite pretentious and honestly there were plenty of pictures that I would like to share online but I didn’t. I thought of how people enjoy the feed that I was sharing then, and something different might make them disinterested. More than that, I was ashamed to admit that I could allow social media to influence my decision in something so trivial such as sharing a photo I like a lot. So, as a result, I deleted my Instagram for a while, and made a project about it.
I collated some of my favourite photos taken in a month (the project unfortunately lasted for only about three months), and added some of the writing I made in the month as well.
Some pictures of the project:
Some poor experimentation of layout. I think this could be something I can continue to look into. I’m not so much interested in the implications of social media or looking deep into how that affects our relationship with one another, but I am definitely keen on researching how that affects the way we look and present ourself. I also want to make comparisons between this manner of sharing with what I started wit: blogging and making friends on Internet forums.