In high school and early college, I was admittedly behind the times when it came to social media – especially Instagram. I did have Facebook and was up to speed enough to know tagging your friends and posting weird/funny statuses was what the “cool” kids did. I had learned about Pinterest through friends… everyone was creating boards and finding these beautifully curated photos of models, dreamy bucket list destinations, and picturesque moments that would make anyone drool. These photos were being discovered by millions of people, shared to thousands of boards, saved as screen savers and desktop backgrounds… I loved these photos so much I printed a lot of them out to make my first ever collage wall.
Then Instagram came along.. all I knew about Instagram was that it was a place to post photos, follow friends, and put a cool filter on your photos. I think I actually got an Instagram in early college. I wasn’t anti social media HAH I loved commenting on Facebook posts on a daily basis. Social media just didn’t stick enough with me to revolve my life around it.
In college, I didn’t follow bloggers. To be honest I didn’t even know what a blogger was. I loved fashion and beauty products, I read magazines and shopped a lot (working at Nordstrom does that to you), but I was never looking at social media for inspiration or day to day people to follow for new ideas.
I still used Pinterest during college. It was an escape for me and a place made me think: how can I actually live in these moments… where does one even begin to find these places, photos, outfits, looks… everything. I came to a point where I stopped using Pinterest after while because I hit a wall where I became sad and depressed as these images were unobtainable to recreate and actually live through.. so I stopped using Pinterest all together.
At the same time, Instagram was turning into a simple platform to share moments of my life. Nothing special but just simple. Why discover photos on Pinterest that make me depressed when I can post photos with people that make me happy? Duh. At the same time, Pinterest was slowly erupting as a business platform for bloggers. When I turned away from Pinterest, it was just reaching its peak of people realizing there was more to life than pretty photos, recipes and travel destinations.
Fast forward to right now. Instagram is a platform where users can reach millions of people and everyday people are choosing to share everything about their life.. and they have a chance to make a profit too.
Now, Instagram is the tool that brings these at once unobtainable, photos to life, within arms distance.
Influencers who you and I know and follow are the ones creating these photos that at once no one ever knew where they came from or who they were created by.
Pinterest is a place for inspiration, Instagram is where you make it happen.
On Instagram, I can easily put a name to the face, I can house all my favorite photos in one place, I can keep tabs on other’s day to day without having to fully invest in them, and I can also save photos on the platform to look back on at a later time.
So why does all of this matter? The goal of the social media infused millennial generation to have the best and most creative photo is daunting, the fact that people can make a profit off of the clothes they wear is intimidating and the thought of people almost preferring to be on their phones in a quiet room, connecting with others, as opposed to putting themselves in external situations is disheartening.
Social media isn’t over oh no.. it is just getting started. The (now) American dream to curate a perfect life as opposed to actually living your own is eating people at the core is a bug that people cannot let go. I am guilty of this. I chose to be a creator, an influencer, and while I do not regret it, I am just as guilty. Instead of perfection, I choose to recognize that there is no competition when it comes to creativity. There is no perfect photo or lifestyle but only the desire to create content that is different and that makes me happy.
I am not dissing social media – I am simply stating my observations and thoughts of what society is coming to and it is something that I choose to be open about. I realize it’s a mix of emotions because I myself am a blogger, but I also work in public relations – an industry that keeps the digital landscape front of mind on a daily basis. I use social media because really that’s all I know and if I want people to hear my thoughts, the only way I know how is to talk about it and write about it. I choose to post photos on Instagram and share information about my life because it’s fun and I get to be creative with how I express myself. If people want to follow along great and if not, that’s ok too, no hard feelings.
Pinterest was used for inspiration, pretty things, and a healthy mental state of mind. Instagram has it’s perks but is this whole influencer era really benefiting society? When it’s not perfect, I think it can benefit others. I like to think I myself am inspiring people with every day looks/styles.. but in a fun and creative way. I choose to create because of my entrepreneurial spirit, my drive to be different and because I want to stand out. I want to stand out in everything I do, but this is no walk in the park. I love fashion, adventures and memorable experiences… I am human! I choose to create because I stopped hitting a wall after seeing beautiful photos on Instagram and telling myself that would never be me.
So what now? I am throwing away the American Dream 2.0 and focusing on who I am for a minute. I am a creator. We all are! Artistic photos highlighting style and adventure is my expertise. The drive to be more creative each and every day is a challenge that I choose to take on head first. I want to make those dreamy Pinterest boards my life and that is what I am striving for, while staying true to myself in every which way. I’m curious to know your thoughts, influencer or not, and how you choose to create.