This post is adapted from an original post on Instagram. After a near three month break I realised the truth behind my online absence was not lack of time; in reality I had fallen out of love with Instagram. Here’s why.
This week I joined a community group to explore The Artist’s Way, a book by Julia Cameron for anyone seeking to unblock their creativity. The group is hosted on a different platform to IG. And as I’ve used it this week I’ve realised, I’m excited to log on. It dawned on me that I haven’t felt that same excitement about opening Instagram for, hmm, quite a while. First I told myself I wasn’t posting because of school holidays. Then it was because I needed to recharge after the chaos of two kids 24/7 for two months. Then because I had no decent photos. But this week, as I excitedly opened this other app, I realised something; I’ve just been feeling a bit meh about Instagram lately.
It’s not the people on IG that I’m feeling meh about or who I don’t want to connect with. I desperately do. But perhaps the joy that I’ve felt at logging in elsewhere is because we are actively doing something together. Perhaps that’s why I’ve fallen out of love with Instagram. Perhaps that’s what is missing for me lately. A purpose.
Sara Tasker and Naomi Bulger spoke about purpose on a recent episode of #HashtagAuthentic; understand why you want to make your thoughts public in the first place. And for me the answer is to have conversations with other women about the things that matter to me. Conversations that you might not have in the playground, or the office, or at home because – well – you might get a few funny looks. And that means that all the advice about finding a niche and sticking to it doesn’t work for my purpose. The conversations I want to have are not all about one thing. Whether it’s about creativity, or working at home, or careers or the challenges women face in society; I am a patchwork of different threads and a bag of penny mix sweets. I am not a niche.
Perhaps some other app will come along and sweep us away in the next evolution of social media? Perhaps. But until that happens, I still want to connect with the amazing women here. And that means I need to change the way I look at Instagram. Worry less about the right time to post, the right picture to have, the best grid I can create. And focus more on speaking from the heart, sharing what I love and talking about life, to women like you.