storytelling and sharing over social media

I used to understand intellectually why blogland was fading - instagram, facebook - but my heart was in this space and so I continued to struggle with the issue. Now that I have instagram myself, I understand at deeper levels. Those other forms of socia media have a flexibility and a convenience that are very desirable. People talk about how addictive social media can be, but I find it a lot easier to put down the phone in the middle of posting a photo, in order to attend to someone in my real life, than I do to stop in the middle of a blogpost composition.

I also find there is a greater and more lively degree of engagement with others. Commenting on blogs has for the most part gone out of fashion. I know the big popular places still get a lot of comments, but I imagine that's representative of how many readers they have. (I'd be interested to know the percentage of readers to commenters.) Instagram doesn't necessarily involve a lot of commenting or discussion, but there is very much a sense of being in community. Whereas blogging is, to me, these days, a rather solitary venture. The days of cross-blog conversations appear over, probably because I'm not part of a particular niche anymore. No doubt such conversations still happen amongst political blogs and others.

Another discovery is that, while blogging used to be my space for sharing life experiences and creative visions, instagram is actually a better place for that, at least in the first instance because it allows a person to revel in life without impeding on actually living that life. A photograph with caption takes about five minutes to post. A blog post can take up to an hour. Which is fine if you use blogging to reflect upon your thoughts and day's experiences, but is more difficult when you are trying to write something creative. There's not only the writing but the editing and spell-checking and image adding and then linking the post with other sites like facebook ...

I thought, when I began using instagram, that it would be like facebook and twitter always have been - an adjunct to blogging, a way to serve my posts. But I see now that the inverse is true. I will always keep a weblog. But it will be, as it has increasingly become, the servant of my other ventures. The showplace for my books. The space where I can expand upon an instagram caption or express the spirit of an image as words; where I can explore deeper ideas and unravel my dreams. And a place where I can share wonderful links I find on facebook and twitter. No longer my front door - now, my sitting room.

Besides, the fact is that I love photography as much as I love writing, although I am not very good at it. Kerri-Anne Pink recently wrote something I perfectly relate to :

Photography for me is not just snapping a picture. It is a way of storytelling. A way to create moments and to capture memories that will otherwise get lost and forgotten. It is a way to create something beautiful that can touch so many people. It is such a big big part of my life and soul. To create, to capture and to tell a story. That is how it will always be.
I am a storyteller and a dreamer.

I would add that photography is a challenge for me - I strive to improve (despite having a cheap camera and no photoshop suite) and to define what visual language is most natural for me. In this way it adds a depth and luxury of experience to my creative process, keeping me always awake to inspiration that I might photograph or write about. It shows me over and again which stories are important to me.

This post has taken almost an hour to prepare. I have dishes to do, floors to sweep, a book to compose. So I will forsake a proper conclusion, and wish you good days ahead. I'll write again soon.