I am someone who ‘gave up’ Facebook and haven’t looked back. Those that matter the most to me, we are in touch regularly without Facebook and that is what really counts.
When I set up my blog, I tentatively joined Instagram, solely as a tool to work alongside my blog, I love photography and knew it would work perfectly for me. It has been claimed that Instagram’s popularity is mainly down to the rise of the smartphones and enabling users to easily create and share beautiful photos. I believe, however, that there is something else at the very heart of Instagram’s success…
…I believe that the real secret to Instagram’s success is good old fashioned friendship and community.
In the few months I have been on Instagram, I have made some lovely friendships:
- There are people who send words of encouragement, both publicly and in private.
- There are those, who post things that make me scream with laughter (check out @meandlukeskywalker feed, it is absolute genius!)
- There are those who post genuine, honest, open thoughts on motherhood and life in general, and it is those posts that make you feel that you’re not alone.
It is a community based simply on connecting with people with mutual passions.
Nowadays, the stigma of online dating has more or less disappeared, however, mention your ‘Instagram Friend’ or a ‘Insta-meet’ that you are going to, to someone who knows you in the ‘real world’ and there is an instant look of confusion and concern on their face.
I totally get it, we all need to be bloody careful these days, but then I explain; Instagram for me, has connected me with more people with similar likes, passions and creative drive as me. It is the perfect place for creatives and mums to bounce ideas off each other, to ‘natter’ about things, to gather ideas and support. It is almost like the modern day equivalent of ‘the village’. If someone is going through the mill, there is a gaggle of women who rush in to pick them up, or help work things through, there is always someone to chuckle with, someone to encourage, someone to collaborate with…
Don’t get me wrong, I am not someone who locks myself in my home and doesn’t have friends in the real world. I do, I have many friendships and incredible friends locally, who I have so many shared interests with; these are the friendships that I really cherish and the ones I can truly rely on.
On Instagram, I have met women who of course love their children and/or husband as much as I love my own, but there is also SO much more going on in their lives. Motherhood for them is more than enough to make them happy, but these women are always striving for more for themselves as women, much like my local mums in the ‘real world’, in my ‘insta mates’ I have really clicked with like-minded folk.
As I have said before, I am someone who chose to stay at home with my daughter out of choice as well as necessity, but I love to work, I have a passion to make things and build a self sufficient life and that takes a lot of dreams and hard work. I always have a project on, it is just the way I am, and those are the types of people I want to be friends with; creatives, not women who literally only want to sit around indoors, drinking tea, talking about babies bowel movements, holidays, cars and clothes all flipping day.
Take @luluandherflowers for example, a happy life with her husband, two beautiful little girls, a lovely home and on top of this, she set up @a_little_white_space because she has a passion for photography and capturing other people’s special moments.
Then there’s, @littlemaldod, who runs around after her gorgeous brood, and then spends her evenings working on packing up orders, sourcing new stock. She even found the time to send me a little note with so much love and warmth it lifted my spirits for weeks!
@booandmaddie who I connected with on Twitter years and years ago, after she advertised for someone to do some design work for her. She has the day job in London, and on top of that blogs, renovates her home, and runs her successful business @daisychainbaby.
There are so many women I have connected with… literally so many I could be here all night listing them… they know who they are, in fact two of them I STILL need to reply to their last emails (sorry!!) there is such a good feeling in my newly established online community. I know, I know, in this day and age, one does need to be very careful and I really am, I spend a huge amount of time checking through new followers as I know some of my lovely Insta-mums who have had problems with content being used by someone else.
So, in my opinion (for what it’s worth!), I truly believe, that yes, Instagram is a fabulous ‘tool’ for photography, I really love it for that, however I do think that the real reason for Instagram’s success, is it’s superiority as a tool for networking with like minded people.
Thank you Instagram and thank you to all my amazing followers and to all my new found friendships, I appreciate every single one of you x