(I published this post yesterday afternoon, received a handful of comments on it, and then I went to check my blog today, the post had totally vanished. ?!?!?! I am now rewriting the post (UGH) and wondering what in the world happened. Number one suspect: JUNE.)
Last night I was scrolling instagram and I had an epiphany. In instapiphany if you will.
For months I have had this weird internal conflict with instagram. It seems to be THE social media outlet when it comes to connecting, networking, getting your name out there. And I have read a lot of stuff about how to increase your following, how to double your likes. There are correct hashtags to use, there is correct lighting to be considered, there are painted nails and starbucks cups and brightly colored walls and there is so much to do make sure more and more people like your instagram!
I have kind of done some of those things. But I'm not too good at staged shots. My shots of random products on a big piece of white cardboard look like- well, a bunch of random products on a big piece of white cardboard. My fashion shoots look like a regular person in regular clothes posing awkwardly in front of a garage. I don't think I'll ever have what it takes to win the instagram game.
This is manifest in my somewhat stagnant instagram following. I do an occasional loop giveaway to try to find a new crop of followers but they inevitably unfollow when 1) the realize the didn't win $100,000 to anthropologie and 2) they realize my pictures are of a pretty normal person living a pretty normal life. I don't really have what it takes to retain a bunch of instragram strangers. I think they see right through my white cardboard set up.
Then, last night, when I was feeling a bit sad about totally non related things, I started scrolling through pictures of the last 18 months of my Instagram. From pregnant Bon in Germany with Greg, to brand new baby June to Christmas morning to French teenager to best friends to Mexico with my siblings to baby unicorns in my garage. Instagram has often been accused of being a "highlight reel" and not a real representation of our lives, but I was suddenly so grateful for that highlight reel. The last year has been extremely trying for Greg and I for a variety of reasons and it was this huge little blessing to be able to look at my Instagram and see all those highlights. In a year of growth, of difficulty, of struggle there they all were for me to see- my bright, happy days, my laughter, my fun times... everything that I live for right there boxed up in a nice little app.
And then I started thinking about how crazy that all was. That I basically have a little online scrapbook of all my happiest moments, my most loved people, my favorite things. And I have that little scrapbook in my pocket with me at all times and it's accessible at any moment of every day. And suddenly my less than perfect staged shots of diet coke and books didn't seem so stupid anymore. Because I love diet coke and I love books and pictures of those things bring me joy. I love my imperfect family and my messy house and my crazy students who say the craziest things in their essays.
That was it. That moment. My instapiphany. A sudden realization that maybe instagram doesn't need to serve the purpose for me that the internet keeps telling me it needs to serve. And that I should stop trying to make it serve perfect blogger bright blue wall purpose. Because June giggles and cuddles in bed and hilarious things my students say are the things that are really bringing me happiness in this little life.
And really, is there anything in this world greater than a unicorn welcoming crowd?
P.S. If you want to follow my very regular life on Instagram (@thelifeofbon) click here.
P.P.S. If you want to follow my dainty little jewelry line on Instagram (@heyjuneshop) click here.
P.P.P.S. Today (Saturday) is the last day to get your birthstone bracelet 20% off at Hey June. Use code BRACELET20 at check out. And while you're there you can add stud cube or bar earrings for only $5. Holler! Click here for shop.
P.P.P.P.S. Oh, and if you need something to keep you entertained this weekend, this is the greatest new show on television right now... maybe it can replace my Bachelor addiction