COLUMN : how instagram changed my life

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it’s easy to sneer at instagram and other social media. we’re often told that we spend too much time documenting our lives, and too little actually living it. taking pics of our dinner, taking pics of places we see, taking pics of people we meet, taking pics of ourselves in the bathroom mirror, and all these endless pics of our cats doing semi-cute stuff.

have we gone to far ? maybe. i’m not saying we haven’t.

what i am saying though, is that we can’t just add up the negatives without also reflecting on the positives. instagram – this text is in your defence.

i admit i’m an instagram junkie. i take photos of just about everything. it would probably do me some good to have phone free days. i might try that sometime. however, i came into instagramming sort of reluctantly. before instagram, the only pictures i was taking were pics of me wearing clothes that we were selling on our (now on a break) clothing website mind the mustard. clear product images. photos with a purpose. that i’d start using instagram was a request from the followers of our clothing line. that i’d share more personal stuff. just pics of my everyday life. it felt a bit weird but i aim to please.

what i didn’t expect was for instagram to have such an impact on my perspective. taking those square pics of things i saw, made me actually see those things quite differently. to make the photos of my home nicer, i made it cleaner and clearer. i started presenting my food nicer on the plate. dressing nicer even when only working from home, to take cuter selfies. really looking for beauty everywhere, to be able to share it. making an effort to present my life more beautifully.

after a while this became habit. instagramming or no instagramming – the state of my food, home and self just got more attention. i started seeing the world from an instagrammer’s perspective; framing views, either with a camera or only with my memory.

the world is more beautiful as an instagrammer. i am more calm and content with my surroundings, and more appreciative of new places i see. i make an effort to make my life match my feed. with varying results. life has – of course – one more dimension to take into account. and a whole lot less filters to choose from.

but it’s not the result that in the end has improved my life. it’s the effort itself. valuing my life enough to care about the details. the finishing touches. the light, the frame, the shadows. the instagramness. whether i’m taking a pic or not, that is unimportant.

thank you instagram and followers, you’ve changed my life.

love // jenny

p.s. then i found VSCO, but that’s a whole other love story.


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