I had a brilliant idea during #sewphotohop, inspired by the cacaphony on Instagram, and the crickets on blogs. It was "The UNstagram Challenge." The goal was to write, instead of squeezing life into a snap, a blurb, and 800 hashtags.
And then my cat died.
That challenge never happened, partly because I felt that I was being mean to Instagram (see above for the rest of the reason). I pictured an UNstagram button on the sidebar, pointing its accusatory finger at the happy little social media platform, and it made me feel bad for the app. (Because obviously, inanimate objects and pieces of code have feelings. See; Kenny, Ellie, Ricky, Lucille, George.) And besides which, I love Instagram! Hell, I've been looking forward to #sewvember since last November! So, I abandoned the idea.
And counteracted the stress of obsessing over the sick critter on the couch by posting fabric filled shots.
Yesterday, I went to get my quick fix of inspiration and pleasing life moments, and the first six shots were advertisements. Not IG sponsored stuff--I mean shots that were swiped from the web and reposted, or carefully composed colorful text, or GIFs shimmying and shaking in a little square box. Announcements, links, reposts. I think of them as Fakegrams. This is all fine, of course, as Digital Underground so rightly crooned, dowhatchaLIIIIIIIIIKE, but I think this shift might be what knocks IG out of its current first place standing in social media. There are fewer and fewer Actual Life Moments, snapped and posted within minutes. Now, even when one does go old school, that Moment needs to be masterfully edited, if the preponderance of tutorials meant to help you beautify your pics have anything to say about it.
(Don't get me wrong, I'm totally guilty of throwing a fakegram up on IG when I post here. I'm fakegramming at a level, oh, I'd say, three? Haven't been able to bring myself to use text yet. That gets you to like, an eight. No shame if you're a ten. And I love photo editing!!! In fact, I'm seriously considering throwing down a whole two dollars for SKCRWT, an app designed to correct lens distortion on your phone. What?! I would go on to say, WHO AM I, but let's face it, I have nine photo editing apps already, and it makes total sense.)
When we lost our big guy this past Labor Day, I posted a shot of an organized thread drawer. It was how I spent Labor Day, but it was how I spent Labor Day because despite our best efforts to keep him from any suffering, our cat of 16 years took a major turn for the worse over a holiday weekend, when there was nothing to do but wait to give him a way out.
Oddly enough, for all my talk about wanting to get back to blogging and sharing Actual Moments with each other, many of you probably don't even know we had a cat. We've had five, actually. The most we've had at one time is three. Those three cats made cross country road trips, forced us to keep feline hours in doorless apartments, and gave us incredible amounts of happiness. Cody was our last musketeer. I stopped posting about them long ago, because it was too hard to post about them when they were gone. It sucks, and pet people get it, and non-pet people (sometimes) don't. It's super fun when the response to No, he's not here is When are you getting another. Easier to not bring the subject up, but I'm bringing it up anyways, because it was a quiet reminder of what deserves concern.
The rise of Instagram! The demise of blogging! Cars that drive themselves and Amazon Obelisks that will spit out everything you need to know! It's a little silly, isn't it? I don't think that any of it is cause for true concern (save for the fact that the machines will one day take over, and they'll be ruling a whole generation of people who will have completely lost the ability to hold an off-screen conversation, no biggie). Social media, in whatever form earns our passion, shouldn't gain our everyday thought. It can't replace real life. (But, it can be real cool. Example: the wonder of color in the second shot, that brightened some very sad days, was a gift from Lusty Wench, who I met on...you guessed it...Instagram.)
I don't have any specific snazzy questions to end this post, but I'd love to know what you think. About pretty much anything. You're more interesting than a blurb has room for.