Hello there you! Here you will find stuff about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator who also creates, takes photos, faffs, teaches & hosts workshops. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, salads, travel, collecting, & dreaming make me ridiculously happy. And gardening. And op-shops. And art supplies. And the word serendipity. And you reading this. Oh and so you know, all the art & photos you see on here are done by me!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

INSTAGRAM I WANT TO PLAY! Where did the fun go on Instagram?

 INSTAGRAM I WANT TO PLAY! 
Where did the fun go on Instagram? 
(warning, may include a little blue language)


Blank squares, ready to create on

I am sad. Bloody frigging, silly sad. About Instagram. I have written about Instagram a few times I know... ( here and here especially). But just like my hair, it keeps changing all the time. And I do not forking like it. I do not like change much anyway, true, and that may be the Taurean in me, but you know, I am  actually getting better at dealing with it. But those Instagram algorithms, they just piss me off! Sad, yes, and cranky too. Real cranky pants.


Why?

I can handle not getting the likes and follows I used to. I can handle the less engagement. I have grown enough tough, calloused ugly skin that it does not phase me as it once did. As well as learning about bots... so that I am no longer as in awe of accounts the seem to have squillons of followers, because I know they are probably not all genuine. And even if they are, good luck to them. They probably work really hard at it. Yes, really, it is not these things that make me sad, or cranky. 

It is not the changing proformas, timelines, highlights, multiple accounts, special shares, pods, business accounts vs. private, the different random explore choices, the altering of how to use hashtags, the shadow bans.... although they do shit me bit. Well, a bloody lot. 


But the thing that pisses me off the most? Well when I first started Instagramming, it was a fun, happy, engaging, spontaneous, place. Sure, there was a little editing, but it was a LOT more cleanskin and innocent. You posted random shit. You posted whenever you wanted to. You did not edit the crap out of every image. You did not worry about the colour co-ordinating of your "gallery" , and which images looked best together. You did not worry about not telling the correct story, or using too many hashtags, or too few. 

There were a few apps to do things to your images, but mainly we used filters ... and I was guilty of loving Lo-Fi a bit too much! But really, as for mucking about with images, not too many things to think of. But mainly, seriously, there was lots of engagement, it felt like a real community, super friendly and super lovely. And tight.

And now? 

Scheduled posts, analytics and algorithms to determine when to post, who is looking at your posts, how old they are, where they are, and which ones engage better and why. What day do your followers prefer, what filters and subjects? And Instagram apps have multiplied and bred and spread like weeds. Are your colours and images consistent? Are your hashtags random and varied enough? Too niche? Not niche enough? Are you botting or doing it for real? Is your profile attention grabbing enough, and linked to the right sites? Are you deleting images, are you editing as you go? GAH! I could go on and on and on. Or maybe you just hand it all over and say ... go on social media manager, you deal with it all. Too hard basket.


growing like weeds and spreading

It has become so business like, so edited, EVERY image has to EARN its place. Is each image you post created and worded correctly, clarifying your story or diffusing it? REALLY. 

I get it. I do. I understand it is a powerful tool. I understand, I use it for business too. I am careful with my feed too. But the joy I used to feel... it is almost gone. It is often a chore, not a pleasure.

Tomorrow I am doing a workshop online, a training thing for how to adapt to the Facebook and Instagram changes that are happening in 2018. And I am not looking forward to it. Part of me detests it. I just chafe at all this stuff, it makes me feel so stifled and ARGGGHHHHHH!

I KNOW I probably need to schedule my posts, and it is about working smarter not harder. I KNOW it is a great way of connecting and networking. I know that as a small business owner, it is vital I get on board.  BUT...but, but, but...

But it used to be a place to PLAY, to experiment, to try new things, to be adventurous, to be off the cuff and creative. Because it is when you experiment and take risks that things can happen. And you shared the risks and the fun. And it was the feedback you got, genuine feedback, that helped to laugh, to refine, or redefine, or inspire to push more. And other peoples images too were inspiring. It really was EXPLORING. It was failing, and images looking shitty. It was over editing, and using too many filters. It was having feeds that had lots of blurs, and crazy colours and random images and subjects. It was raw and feral. 

And I damn well miss it. So bloody flippin much!


prickly and awkward, but with loveliness too, much like Instagram


Because now? All those lovely beautiful galleries. So swoony. Artistic, clever, beautifully composed. I appreciate them. I respect them. It takes work to maintain such a high standard. And willpower, and great editing. But so predictable. Like a MacDonalds meal, you know what you are going to get. I cannot handle it for too long. I prefer a varied diet. 

I want to PLAY. I want to have FUN. Without being punished by algorithms and followers and likes. So do I set up another account with a pseudonym?  Maybe. I don't know. But anyway. That's me, having an old person moment. I can't help it. I like the old stuff better than the new stuff. ( And I much preferred the old logo too, you know it!). What about you? Why do you think? Have you felt the same, or do you think I am a grumpy old fart, a real dick, who needs to move with the times? Millenials, kick my butt. BOOF! I know, I know, first world problems, I get it. Get over it. BUT....

Maybe you can tell me where to find the Instagram fun? And allow the old lady to reminisce a little bit about the good old days. Sigh.