For this week’s art experience, I posted these four pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #art110s16.
My boyfriend who goes to college in Washington is on his spring break and came to visit me for the day. I took a couple of pictures and posted them @beachybananaz, an Instagram that I made yesterday morning exclusively for this class assignment.
In addition to these four pictures, I also posted five other photos that I felt matched my Instagram grid’s overall aesthetic.
I felt as though this week’s assignment struck a chord with me on a more personal level than any prior ones. I started using Instagram in middle school and much like a majority of the people my age, I was hooked. As a somewhat timid person, I spent a majority of my teenage years online and running away from my own insecurities. To me it was so much easier to be able to control other’s perceptions of me than to be real and embrace every aspect of myself… whether it was good or bad.
As Instagram and social media in general started to grow, so did my need to change myself to fit in. I started to develop this unsettling paranoia/anxiety whenever I posted something. I felt as though I needed to not only be consistent with my posts, but also portray my life as constantly perfect and happy when in reality it was far from that. I realize that many people who use social media don’t feel this way, but for me it had begun to take away from living my life. Rather than thoroughly enjoying meaningful or beautiful moments in life, I spent my time trying to capture them from behind the camera of my phone. A huge portion of my day was spent checking my feed and fretting about my number of likes and followers.
About two months ago I deleted my Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. And honestly, it was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I have so much more time to focus on things that actually matter… like my friends, family, and grades. Making an Instagram again for the sole purpose of this assignment presented me with an opportunity to reflect on the importance of going “off the grid.”
Although I’m definitely going to delete this Instagram account after a week, I’m glad I had a chance to make it and participate in our class’s “group portrait.” Looking through our class tag helped me appreciate how many different people are in our class and that somehow despite all our differences, we all wound up taking the same course together.