I still remember when Instagram came out. I had no idea how to use it, and didn’t understand that people could see your feed. You know when you take a selfie and you have loads of the same photo basically on your camera roll, but only post one? Well, that is basically what my IG feed was because I had no idea it was public. But then, I realized just how amazing Instagram really is. No, I’m not talking about it’s amazing filters. I’m talking about the connectivity and human interaction IG has given us.
Sure, IG and social media has a bad rep. We’re always on it, people are editing, having fake lives, etc. But for once, let’s not talk about all the bad, because there is good, too.
Instagram has become Google for the creatives. There are some people, and by people, I mean complete strangers, I have watched since the day I joined Instagram. We didn’t know one another, but from the beginning, there we were liking each other’s photos and rooting each other on. For example I have been following @tayeanita since day 1 of the IG. We shared a common interest of fashion and styling, and had the same vibes. I watched her design her own brand, grow, and become a big person in the fashion industry.
Scroll through many years later, and guess what she’s doing now? She is a spin instructor with an unreal soul and a bad a$$ empowering woman, who I still have loads of commons interest in. I’ve never met her. I have never had a phone conversation with her. But we have followed each other’s break ups, make ups, careers, changing paths and have connected simply through that. And, it’s all because of the Gram.
When making a serious life change, there’s another thing I do that has made my life easier. I hashtag it, and I reach out. For example, after facing a potential life threatening decision and surgery, the first thing I did was look for a hashtag. Then, I shamelessly found someone I felt connected through with the hashtag and stalked the sh*t out of their photos to see where they were at today and their story. Finally, I reached out. I reached on DM with no regret, and the best part? They were happy to answer questions and reply.
In return, I have received DM’s of people, complete strangers with struggles asking questions to my DM. In which, I also replied and helped out as much as I could without ever thinking twice.
Finally, it helps you find like-minded people – even if that means you will never meet them. You can instantly get inspiration from someone else’s feed. And, the crazy thing? They have no idea just grateful you are for them and those tiny boxes you see on your mobile device.
While technology gets more fierce and constant changes are being made, there’s one thing IG has always done that we can be grateful for. It has always connected us and when used correctly, it can benefit us all in major ways. So before we bash the new features and complain about what we have to learn about next, let’s remember where I started, with posting photos I thought only I could see … And look how far it has brought me, now.