Robin Wood just wrote a new blog post about how he uses Instagram. As always, it was thorough, articulate, and generous. And something about it didn't sit with me right.
If I try to put my finger on it, it stems from the idea that Instagram rewards those who post only once a day, and also that if you are operating a business through Instagram then it's important to maintain the integrity of of the top nine posts, making sure they are on message and form a cohesive whole. The thing is, I think both of these things are true. I think Instagram DOES reward people who post once, and I think it is easier to amass a large following if you only post about one thing. Spoons, for instance.
I also think it's deadly boring.
When I follow someone, I LIKE knowing a bit about their life. I LIKE that my feed has captured personal moments (not private moments, there is a difference) that are the most meaningful things.
I try to post three times a day. One for me, one to promote something I'm doing, and one to provide educational value to my community.
What is Instagram for, anyway? If it is just to amass a large following, and if that comes at the price of creating a body of work that renders me more distant from my community, more one-dimensional, then count me out. That sounds like a recipe for getting stuck. I've seen it, seen people who feel like they CAN'T share more of themselves for fear of alienating a following built of people who aren't interested in all the other parts of themselves.
We run the risk of becoming caricatures of ourselves.
Is my approach slower? You bet.
Is it sometimes hard to feel like I could do things differently and get more followers, build momentum I see other people amassing? (Leaving aside for the moment the ridiculousness of comparing ourselves to other people who are living completely different lives, started in different places and have different goals). Yes, it is hard.
Is it tempting to think of how I can game the system rather than focusing on how I can make Instagram valuable to me? It sure is.
But at the end of the day, I have this one life. I have one moment, the present, to try to make a difference in the world. I have only right now, and one thing for sure I know is that I want Instagram, and ANY social media or technology I use, to work FOR ME, not twist myself to fit it.
So if you visit my feed and see something that's not a spoon, deal with it. If I post more than you're interested in, that's fine; it wasn't for you. It was for me. And you can take it or leave it.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.