Instagram marketing

The world of Instagram and Pinterest? It isn't real.

Yes, I do like and use a few social media platforms on a regular basis. Facebook is a habit. Pinterest is a great way to feed my obsessive collecting need without actually collecting things that take up space in my home or studio. Instagram is a fascinating scroll through the lives of the beautiful. The images are for the most part gorgeous. But don't you think there must be a pile of crap just out of the frame? I mean, does anyone really have a studio that looks like it stepped out of a high-budget Hollywood production? (If, say, there were art studios in high-budget Hollywood productions...)

Nope. I am absolutely sure there is a bin of unentered receipts under the desk and six empty tea cups on the bookshelf just out of view of the camera. And that etherial, white, floaty-feeling is created by a filter slapped right over reality.

I have felt a great deal of distress centered around Instagram in the last few weeks. It wasn't really an identifiable "I'm upset because this is not what I believe about the world of art" kind of distress (though there was some of that too). It was an amorphous unrest that started when choosing my photo for my daily post and intensified when I scrolled through my feed. I finally had to stop and ask myself what the heck was going on.

The truth is, Instagram is fiction. (Thanks to Kim Werker for giving me those words, only I think she said, "Pinterest is fiction"). IG photos are lovely. The worlds they represent are shiny and happy and people are having fun making things (or cooking or raising sheep or whatever you are interested in following). I just want to remind all of us myself that this world is created with Photoshop and that there are piles of unfinished projects behind the closet door, a drift of un-inventoried tapestry tools in the corner, and a pile of receipts that you haven't entered into Quickbooks because you haven't figured out how to categorize them (and you feel like a complete freakin' failure because of this little fact).

I think the truth is that we learn the most from getting it wrong first. Maybe for a very long time. Why can't we, as humans, admit that this is true? Is our culture so much about being perfect that we have forgotten we are human and we need each other? The pressure I put on myself to do massive amounts of work and to do it "perfectly" is intense (maybe even insane). I do not believe I am that far from the norm of small business owners/entrepreneurs in this country. Instagram is not helping me in my twelve-step program to overcome perfectionism. Not one little bit.

So I will continue to try to keep the piles of crap out of my Instagram photos, but if some creep in, please celebrate them with me. And for goodness sake, don't forget that even those networking geniuses with 57k followers have hairballs the cat coughed up under the dresser. I am just sure of it.