Last year I had a goal in mind. To spend the whole year creating things worth looking back at. To be able to look back at it, I had set out to document it. Every trip, every story, every meetup. For a while, this was the spark I needed to take those trips, create those stories and get out of my comfort zone to meet new people. Then, it started to become a part of me. I wasn’t forcing myself to go places and talk to strangers. This became the norm. I looked forward to planning trips even when it seemed monetarily impossible. I started accepting every invitation to sit down for coffee because, coffee never hurt anyone and wow… do creatives love their coffee! Stories were not something I seeked, they just started happening.
With that, came the urge to share it all! Keeping these moments gets easier by the minute. With a camera in my phone, I could snap every single thing. Social media will certainly remind you a couple years later what you did or missed out on. You can pretty much scroll back into your life and relive memories and our friend’s special moments can also be traced back. Anything and everything becomes a trigger or in a more positive light, it can become a way to keep us in check. But, who are we kidding? We scroll back to find the perfect throwback photo. Not to make sure we are keeping up with our goals… and if you’re one of those people, please show me the secrets.
But, have you ever wondered why we choose what we choose to share? I’ve been asking myself and others this question for a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two sides to this. One, to seek approval from likeminded people. This is not to say, you upload something just for the likes. It’s more of seeing places, meeting people and doing things “for the ‘gram”. regardless of likes. For that feeling you get right after hitting that share button after perfectly selecting the words, tags and hashtags that go along with it. Yes, there come the likes. But, whenever I see those likes from people who’s work I admire, it’s instant validation that I’m not the only one who saw that it was a moment worth sharing. The work, the road trip, the cute flatlay has been validated by my peers and now it’s time to find other moments to share. Likes and comments from strangers are the cherry on top!
The other side of sharing is the side everyone knows and acts like it’s not important. It’s when you know you are posting because you want that attention. When you are home in PJs and have the urge to post the ultimate beach sunset photo because you know it will get an awesome reaction. In return, you’ll feel better about yourself. You are not there and it’s most definitely not an instant-gram. But, nothing like that matters. The attention feels good and you bask in it. I’ve been the person who says, I’ll post that at night because it gets better engagement or I’ll choose a photo specifically similar to something I have posted before that has done well in order to remind my followers I still “have it”. Whatever that means… It’s a numbers game, it’s a mind game and we are all guilty.
Can we be two people at once? Can someone be interested in sharing their work, their life in an honest genuine manner and at the same time care about likes? This year, the tables have turned. Honesty has been fueling the choices I’m making and it’s truly made everything a lot less stressful. So, instant or not, let’s make some honest memories. Regardless if we post them a month later when we are bored or we completely edit someone’s shirt because the color doesn’t “go with the grid”. Here’s to a simpler more honest year.