Instagram, Baby

I discovered Instagram this week. Ok, so maybe that is not entirely true. The truth is I have had Instagram on my phone for ages, and periodically check out what my 13-year-old is doing. There are some memes, ten trillion sneaker pics, a soccer goal or two, and chats that consist of “hey” and “do you like so-and-so?” Nothing there that compelled me to use the platform myself.

ThreecrazycorgisAnd then, thanks to the Carolina Romance Writers, I attended a talk on Instagram led by Laura Russell of @threecrazycorgis. Ms. Russell is witty and engaging and her talk inspired me to check it out. And check it out I did. In one week I have become enthralled.

I started with book nerds like myself and found SO MANY. And with lovely, lovely pictures of books and books and books! Check out @theromancelibrarian, @ig_reading_qh, @beverageandbook, and @ofpensandpages.

Then I started following authors I love and discovered that they post things un-book related that make me squee. Which ratchets up my fan status more than a bit. Check out @sallythorneauthor and her colorful pics of books, strawberries, lipstick and even a turquoise CareBear.

As a newbie author, I can see that gaining a following will be challenging. While I occasionally hit a combination of words that make me feel like an actual writer, I have never, and don’t expect to ever, have a talent for creating beautiful photography. But I know what I like when I see it. So I’ll just keep my fingers crossed for now.

My husband, seeing my instant adoration for Instagram, texted me an article whose title initially looked like Instagram ranked worst social network for youwhich cut off the full title and was more about the mental health of young people than it was about my husband and Instagram. A quick Google search will reveal many more articles like that one –and they are completely right. I am certain that in the hands of teenagers, Instagram could be utilized in a thoroughly confidence-shattering, mean and inappropriate way. So why am I still so enamored?

The Telegraph writers hit on one key point that explains it. Instagram is “positive in terms of self-expression and self-identity”. BINGO – I have found my people! I mean where else would people literally talk #bookboyfriends, #willsumner, and #maxstella or dress up like Lucy in The Hating Game, quote the fabulous banter, and post pictures?! (@peachyqueencosplay).

Maybe it’s because I’m an adult, or I’m using Instagram for my writing life, which I try to keep modestly separate from other aspects of my life; or maybe it’s because I don’t post pictures of myself, which would certainly make me hyper critical of my nose and the aging process. But I look forward to pictures of unique, colorful, beautiful and creative things (check out @preppykitchen, @sublimeforceofnature and #fashionillustration).

And I now have a penchant for little pandas rolling down hills. Cutest thing EVER.

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