Social media

So… social media….if you’ve read the last few entries, you’ll know that I’ve been somewhat absent from this blog lately. But, on the other hand, I have been fairly regular in posting photos on Instagram. (If you want to have a look at what I’ve been doing you can click on the Instagram icon on my home page). This is an ideal medium to use while you’re on the move as all you need is your phone and a minute or two to share a photograph. It requires no planning, minimal time and little thought. So, what’s not to like?

Well, nothing really, except that I can see that enthusiasm for Instagram could conceivably get out of hand. What’s gratifying about it is the feedback which is almost instantaneous in some cases. When you’ve spent some time working on something as labour-intensive as hand embroidery, it’s wonderfully affirming and validating to get somebody ‘liking’ what you’ve produced. It’s also very satisfying and interesting to see what the people you follow are up to, so that you can ‘like’ what they’ve been working on. It’s a kind of virtuous circle where you can keep up with work you like, whilst also receiving some recognition for your own. And yet….. I can see how it could easily become obsessive.

A few weeks ago, I read an interesting post on a blog that I follow. It was about Facebook, and the blogger detailed her concerns about her habit of looking far too frequently at Facebook for updates, and to receive validation of what she’d been doing. I found this very interesting and spent a bit of time constructing a suitable comment. But then, when I accessed the blog again, a couple of hours later, I found that the original post about Facebook had disappeared. The blogger must have thought better of it, and must have taken it down. I find this even more interesting. Perhaps it just felt too…. revealing? I won’t, of course, say who it was, but I found it interesting that even someone who is well-known in her field and who is a sober and thoughtful commentator, would feel the need for constant validation via Facebook. I had supposed that the gratification I get from Instagram would diminish over time if I got more followers and more ‘likes’ because it would all become very familiar. But what if it doesn’t? What if it becomes a bad habit? Clearly, I’m going to have to watch myself. And, perhaps, I need to avoid Facebook. I’ve been tempted from time to time to set up on Facebook, but have not done so, because I can see it would waste even more time that I haven’t got, for dubious benefits.

In the meantime, here is one of the photos I shared a while back on Instagram:Running stitch, colour