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.


17 comments:

  1. Thank you for continue to share nevertheless, I have been flip flopping on this myself for quite some time. There is a time and a place for everything, I think.

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  2. So much of what you say here, I frequently ponder also. I struggle with photography, but I'm just not that way inclined. I think your photos are really beautiful. It's quite amazing what you conjure without all the bells and whistles. x

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  3. While I can't use Instagram for what I like to do with my blog, I do find that it seems pointless to revive my Photoblog AND Instagram, as they basically do the same.

    I hate typing on my phone, so it will never be my primary medium however, but I'm beginning to enjoy it as itself.

    I read your blog, but often it's simply too poetic to release any kind of coherent wordy response, because I don't have THAT in me. A like button would get some action. ;-)

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  4. I think you are mistaken in regards to your photography ability.
    I do find Instagram easier, because life keeps us busy. (Just like everyone.) It is easy to take a photo while I am out in my garden in the morning or evening. our kitties and poodles... and so on... I often respond on Instagram using my computer. I am not so good at typing on my phone. My I-pad is easier to post from than my phone, but then I need access to internet. xoxo Su

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  5. I see almost all the bloggers I love gradually moving over to Instagram and it makes me sad. I don´t have the equipment needed to join Instagram (I have an old phone without the smart and an old computer and I won´t be buying new ones while the old ones still work), I can see the photos if they´re public but I can´t follow, like or comment and I can´t publish photos of my own. It makes me feel quite left out. I still read the few blogs remaining and I post on my own blog, and I think I´ll keep doing that until maybe one day I will have the equipment needed to join Instagram (although I think by then Instagram will be a thing from the past as well and there will be some newer and better and shinier option instead.) And while I can´t comment on your Instagram-accounts I can say it here: I love your photography, I think it´s beautiful and haunting and absolutely lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you :)

      I used to be in the same position and felt just as you do. For that reason (as well as others) I will never abandon my weblog. I love words too much, anyway :) This post was my way of working through my struggle and clarifying it for myself even more than for any readers, but I hope I didn't give the impression i will be closing it down. :)

      If you start an Instagram account on your computer, you may not be able to easily publish your own photos, although I believe there are ways, but you will be able to like and comment. I often do so from my laptop. Infact I started one account from my computer. I hope this small thing helps. Thank you so much for your comment xx

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    2. Ditto Hilja. Although I have an instagram account (started on my computer) and can follow people, there's no way I can post images. (It is not easy to set up a way to do so from your computer; pay no attention to what Chrome tells you). My phone is too old. What that means is that I seldom check to see what people are posting over there. And yes, I feel left out. Sometimes it feels like a way of weeding out all us poor folks - lol!

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    3. I have to add my two-penneth, as I feel the same - left out of the IG generation... Blog posts ARE time-consuming, especially as I have to do everything one-handed, but it's the only medium I can use (FB makes me dizzy, I have a non-smart phone, have NO desire to tweet...). I am so glad you commented Hilja, may you know you are not alone :) x
      And thank YOU, Sarah, for the post - please don't ever abandon blogging - I'd miss you too much!!

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  6. Indeed! You've put into words something that I've noticed and have been exploring in recent months. Kerri-Anne's quote is beautiful.

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  7. Thank you everyone. I am typing on my phone in bed in the dark so will have to give this one reply to you all. I appreciate hearing from you :) I will always blog here, I love the platform and I love my readers. Hugs to everyone.

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  8. I understand your feelings. My blog is for me, basically. I love the creative ways we can make a blog truly our own, as well as welcome friends to visit.
    I'm on facebook, come friend me through the fb link on my blog. I'd love that!

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  9. i love the magic in your words, and your photography. and that you are here and there.

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  10. although I do not have instagram or much of any social media but what you said is exactly I how feel. okay, so blogs are not that popular these days and maybe I only have three readers but I continue on because it's the only platform that I truly love.

    I like to perfect my posts so it does take longer than say posting a photo to instagram. I do take time to read other people's posts even if I do not leave comments.

    I think your photography is quite wonderful, makes me think of magical things and days go by.

    have a lovely day.

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  11. I really enjoy your photos. They make me feel all dreamy and flowy. I have many times not commented on posts, when I wanted to, because I have trouble expressing my thoughts properly. (see dreamy and flowy, above) :-)

    Anyway, I like both Instagram and blogging equally. And I'll enjoy reading your words and viewing your photos on both as you post.
    blessings
    ~*~

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  12. I think your photos are gorgeous--outstanding. I wish I could be on Instagram, but I don't even own a cell phone. LOL! Oddly, when I click on your Instagram icon below, I can't even get to your account; there is a message that says, "Sorry this page isn't available." I am very, very glad that you still keep your blog. ♥

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  13. Thank you. I changed the name of the account. It's now www.instagram.com/afternoon.rain

    Thank you everyone for your lovely comments :)

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