Far Too Connected

This entry is one I’ve been composing in my head for many months now. It is a collection of thoughts I have been pondering in private and in good company.

Today, we are talking about my decision to begin unplugging from Instagram. Social media is good for many things and it is not going away any time soon. With that, I feel as if my place in Instagram’s scope is no longer needed/relevant.

I operate an Instagram account for Good Rats Barbershop, one for my photography, one for my music, and my original mash account Mr_Phil_80, I have laid to hiatus.

Minimal use of the Good Rats Barbershop account these days is made up of checking stories, interacting with friends’ posts with a like or quick comment, and simply checking in on what Reuzel/Schorem is up to.

I hardly draw inspiration or motivation from the greater pool of anonymous posters, strangers, and creators that fill my feed.

Rarely do I post photos to the Good Rats Instagram. Yet, new people continue to find the barbershop and continue to join our ranks. The lack of interaction with my Instagram account shows to me, Good Rats Barbershop does not require Instagram to boost growth.

The Instagram for my photography is 100% hobby driven as I never want to be a paid or hired photographer ever again. I post 1 or 2 photo shoot images from time to time…my photoshoot schedule is sporadic toward when I feel interested/motivated enough to host photo taking sessions. I have watched sessions go from regular bookings to the now random schedule I keep.

So much of my photography interest has nothing to do with posting on, interacting with, or staying active with Instagram. I am overwhelmed by everything that Instagram is. These days, I take photos for simple reasons…and displaying them on social media seems to be the point of resistance for me. I actually feel as if editing/tagging/posting/sharing photos for Instagram is super laborious and contrived.

The mere act of keeping the photo account up and running drains what little patience and energy I have for it from my body. Completing a set of edits feels accomplished only to be defeated by the notion that in modern times, we as artists create simply to “hit that share button”.

Art is no longer lasting as it is scrollable and forgettable once our digital galleries of Instagram host creations. I take so little interest in the news feed fodder, aside from the occasional posts shared by people I know personally.

I am overwhelmed with all that saturates my news feed. It is never ceasing…and it seems to be increasingly bringing down my real world interactions as I wonder what, how, when, and how much to post/interact with.

It is tiring. I wonder often…..”what would happen if I totally deleted my photo Instagram?”….who would notice long term once its gone? And would anyone really care….most of all me?

What I really feel….is that Instagram hastens our insecurities, promotes fear of missing out and truly creates false facts that creators are not valid enough unless they’re pitting post schedules against their cultivated content aesthetic. You see, its all for show…its all for instant and ever passing replayable simplistic external validation. The joke…is on us.

The point is this, while we spend hours, days, weeks on planning and executing photo projects…Instagram has made it so hurried to display and forget imagery. The superficiality of likes/shares/tags has really bored me.

I once was accused of constantly sharing my distaste with Instagram via my own Instagram. Oh the irony….I was shamed for using my own Instagram how I please!

And that is one of the many reasons I am aiming to shutting down the photo page…I’m tired of the bored self righteous wiser-than-I Instagrammers who infect my postings with irrelevant and unsolicited drivel that criticizes my rights as an artist to create/share/cultivate what I please.

And just as quickly as a post is shared….this blog will soon fall into the oblivion to be replaced in your feeds by something else.

The irony….the digital age allows us to store infinite content for the world to see…..only for it to fall into forgotten archives quicker than ever.

So if you should see the lights go dark on my photo Instagram, may you remember fondly what it once was…or may you forget it as quickly as the next feed scrolls by. Either way, I bid you good night.

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