April 24, 2016

I Don't Care

I was scrolling instagram this morning, as we all do. I stumbled upon the account of a girl I have been quietly watching over the last year. I remember she used to be very engaged on my profile. I noticed she always commented on my images as well as many others'. Her account was fairly new at that point and I knew what she was doing. Any of us that have attempted running a business through social media knows how it goes. You have to be super engaged and comment and like and be seen. Eventually your follower count will get up and you wont have to be so noticed, but the beginning is crucial. There is a particular formula for popularity on the internet: pretty girl, attractive husband (with a beard if you can get it), beautiful home and accessories, great fashion sense, travel to beautiful places, maybe throw a baby in there, and the prettiest pictures you can muster. This girl was doing everything right and within a year she has gained almost 300,000 followers. I first saw her when she had less than 5,000 and knew she was going to do well.

As I was looking at her profile today I thought to myself, "I just don't care". I mean, good for her. She figured out the formula and found a way to make it work for her. I know the formula very well and I know how it has to work, but I just don't care. At one point I did care. It worked for a little while. And might I point out? It was working at a time of my life that was very low everywhere else except the internet. It was nice to have that outlet then. But I don't care anymore. 

I am not a competitive person (unless board games are involved and I am working on that). But I genuinely don't feel competition with my friends or fellow social media people. The pressure I feel to only post pretty, interesting images is a pressure I put on myself. I feel the need to keep people interested. But my ever dropping follower count can tell you that I am not and I am finally in a place where I don't care. Have I said that too many times? 

I take pictures, I document, I create. Not for you, not for him, not for her...for me! And for my future children and all the people I love. I have a tradition of compiling my images from the year into a book every December. It is my favorite thing. I want those books to accurately show me and the nice and quiet and wonderful and not so wonderful things I get to live. I don't need them be a perfectly curated collection of internet worthy images. I just need them to be real.

So I don't care if you unfollow me. I don't care if you don't want to see a picture of my husband and me, or my sisters. I don't care if you don't like posts about the amazing salad I made, or the pretty sky I saw that day. I don't care if you want to follow the formula, or not. I just don't care. *sigh*

11 comments:

  1. You've definitely touched upon something that is so prevalent in our culture: Internet popularity and the desire to create the illusion of a "perfect" life. Good for you for not caring! I think more people need to let go of that pressure. Not every moment in life is picture perfect, and that's ok. We are broken; life is broken. I attempted running my own Instagram account a year or so ago, but deleted it (twice, hehe) because I couldn't handle the stress. I've found that the less I look at everyone else's images on social media, the more I'm at peace with my own life, and where I'm at. Thank you for posting this :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. High fives!
    p.s. when did your hair get so long

    ReplyDelete
  3. I for one like the things you post

    ReplyDelete
  4. If there's a reason I follow your content at all, it's because of how I feel your personality comes across through your work. You self-curate smartly; your effort shows. I dunno. I don't even know if you consider your content as one cohesive body of work (including your videos, old blog, new blog, and photography), but I do. And I follow it because I like it. I like your aesthetic vision and the way it relates to your life (or at least the aspect of which you choose to share). If you were to compromise all that for something more mainstreamily digestible–and you can, I mean, the sovereignty over your work is yours, after all–but if you did, I think you'd lose the main draw of your content, which at least I have always interpreted as earnest and genuine....

    Bah, this is all to say you've inspired me to consider the totality of someone's internet persona as a new kind of artform. It's something like an evolution of like, memoir or autobiography... an extension of what otherwise might be just a photography portfolio (in your case), lovely but devoid of context. It's the fact that there's a personality present not only in your photography but in the rest of the stuff you post that gives your photography that context, that edge, that sense of individuality and uniqueness. It's all very cool stuff to me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a follower of your Instagram, I have to say that I am so glad you have this perspective. I don't "fangirl follow" you, thinking your life is perfect and idolizing you. I follow you because I think you bring something genuine to the table, because I am also a musician and I enjoy the work you do (keep doing it!), and because you have a creative soul that many people can relate to. Those are just things that I admire about you and I like having a small view into your creativity and even your struggles when you post about them. You are relatable, and I think the majority of your followers keep following you because they can sense that.

    All this to say: I'm glad you don't care! :) None of us should take our social media presence too seriously. Keep doing what you do. - Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  6. I relate to this, a lot. I used to care. I used to work hard to engage with other bloggers. These days, I don't have enough time to truly be as engaged as I was. And I too, just don't care anymore. It's kind of a relief.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Keep not caring. But I care! I stopped following most blogs, but I pop into yours once every couple weeks to catch up because I genuinely think you're pretty rad and you're a breath of fresh air... why? Because you don't care. Keep on keepin' on, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Keep not caring. But I care! I stopped following most blogs, but I pop into yours once every couple weeks to catch up because I genuinely think you're pretty rad and you're a breath of fresh air... why? Because you don't care. Keep on keepin' on, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amen. Obsessed with you always hitting on things so perfectly! I feel like I need to talk about blogger world/social media world things, but it's hard to find people who are on the same page ya know? It's refreshing to hear this!

    ReplyDelete
  10. YUP - took me so so long to figure this out, i used to have an instagram account quite a while back which i was constantly so stressed over, and i always put so much pressure on myself to take the nicest photos and create an aesthetic that i thought would get a big following, after a long break from social media i'm back and now i'm just creating for myself, and the followers don't bother me at all because my aim is to share what i love with people i love - who cares about the strangers!

    safah

    ReplyDelete