Sunday, 25 June 2017

Instagram - And Life

By way of proper disclosure, I declare up front that I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Strava, Garmin Connect, MyAsics and Blogger.

Anyone can see me on Twitter, Instagram and Blogger however everything else is as secure as it is possible to make it.

Facebook has been fabulous particularly in keeping up with what Family in Melbourne are up to and getting back in contact with long lost friends from Secondary school and more recently, my first place of work.

I am aware of many people who plan their activity and actions around what they will post to their Social Media sites and then measure their worth based on the number of “likes” or similar they receive.

I am amazed at the number of “likes” I get after posting a photo to Instagram and just how quickly these pop up. Given the number of responses coming within seconds, I am sure they are not all from ‘real people’.

If I receive 45 responses to my latest sunrise photo of which 40 are total strangers, what does it mean? Not much.

And in total contradiction, I get a real kick out of someone re-tweeting one of my tweets, particularly if it relates to a Blog Post. I have a similarly strong reaction when a friend on Facebook shares a Blog related status update with their friends.

So, why do I have a totally different feeling to a stranger acknowledging an Instagram post and a stranger re-tweeting?

I put it down to the relative effort or emotional investment I may have made in the respective posts.

For Instagram, I see a scene I like, point the phone, take the shot and with another couple of screen touches, it is on my page. However, a Blog related share or re-tweet represents a much greater investment of time, effort, emotion and dare I say, vulnerability.

Recording and publishing a written piece including opinions, observations, daily or weekly personal happenings is an emotional investment of sorts and open up the potential of vulnerability.

I guess the same applies in all walks of life. The more we invest of ourselves in something, the greater the emotional reaction.

If we invest fully in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, we feel the other person's pain and their pleasure. We commiserate with them and celebrate for them. We are invested.

If we believe in the work we do and invest in that above and beyond the material benefits it may provide for us, we are vulnerable to loss, but more importantly, we allow ourselves to experience great satisfaction.

Whenever we hold back and go down the conservative path or the route of self-preservation, we also deny ourselves the chance to achieve our full potential.

Perhaps my use of Instagram is a metaphor for life itself. Because I am the only person who truly knows my lack of effort and lack of emotional investment when posting a photo on Instagram, any responses or reactions I receive are meaningless.

It seems to me this is not a great way to conduct this life of ours and my challenge is to reduce and eliminate all the “Instagram” events.

Based on my definition, what are your Instagram Moments?

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