My struggle with Instagram (and social media)

I struggle with social media. Particularly with Instagram.

It’s been going on for years now. More than once, I wrote a draft for a blog post about it, but never posted any of them. It gradually became worse, but it felt like it couldn’t get any worse during this summer.

I still check Instagram multiple times a day. However, each time I scroll the app on my phone, I feel the same: there’s barely anything interesting. I feel completely disengaged from the platform as a viewer.

Continue reading “My struggle with Instagram (and social media)”

The photos no one will ever see

I struggle with social media. I talked about it recently, here and on my own blog.

It’s been over a year now that I’ve had trouble finding the motivation to keep on with the various social media platforms I use(d).

Social Media Tiredness

I’ve been struggling with being active on social media as a viewer.

After a few years, a part of me feels like it’s always the same. I often find myself scrolling through Instagram, simply double tapping a few photos that caught my attention for more than half a second, and then directly jumping to the next one.

There are still many photos that amaze me. At the same time, there are so many photos out there that it’s hard to truly enjoy everything. It takes too much time.

Social media has become to me the fast-food of photography. It has nothing to do with the quality of the photos, but rather the way we consume it. Like fast food, social media is made to be consumed quickly and it doesn’t encourage you to spend enough time to truly enjoy someone else’s photography.

(For enjoying others’ photography, I find meeting with them in the real world, exchanging prints and hanging them at home to be more effective.)

Continue reading “The photos no one will ever see”

A G+ Primer

So you’ve been thinking about setting up a G+ account, but the platform is confusing. As a veteran of the platform I’m here to try to demystify it for you. Why? Because G+ is a powerful social media platform that deserves a second look.

In the past G+ was organized around Circles which were confusing to say the least. More than a year ago the team behind G+ started organizing the platform around Collections and more recently Communities.  Let me try to break down these two major components of G+ and how to use them. Continue reading “A G+ Primer”

Why am I doing this?

There is a question that haunts me all the time and that is: Why am I doing this? I have asked myself this over and over again, because I think that I may share my toy-photographs in the wrong context. I suspect that I only share my still life photography because I am flattered to be a “stationary” blogger Stuckinplastic. And when I look at it objectively, I believe that there ought to be a different reason as well? Continue reading “Why am I doing this?”

Instagram Has Changed and Not For the Better

Instagram has changed and not for the better. It used to be a fun platform to post pictures to as well as view photos from my favorite Instagram users. But sometime in the past few weeks (months?) it has become unbearable. What changed, you ask? In one word: ads.

We all knew this day would arrive eventually. When Facebook purchased Instagram in April, 2012, we all knew this amazing community we all loved would change, we knew in our heart of hearts that ads were coming. But honestly, I never thought it would be this bad.

Ads have been a part of social media for years and it hasn’t been a problem. Facebook positions their ads to the side, Twitter disguises their ads as user generated content and Google+ is ad free, but Instagram is different. When that ad scrolls by I am a captive audience and the experience is much more intrusive.  I can’t scroll through my Instagram feed more than a few posts before I encounter an ad, there are that many. My typical experience looks like this: 3 photos, 1 ad, 12 photos, 1 ad, 10 photos , 1 ad, 11 photos, 1 ad, 8 photos, 1 ad, 11 photos … You get the picture.

I can take this for about five minutes then I get frustrated and I put my phone down. I want to stay on Instagram and see what people are posting, I want to hangout and like a few photos and see what my friends are up to, but it’s nearly impossible for me with the increase in ads.

For the moment I have a couple of viable options to avoid ads both of which mean I can only access Instagram through my desktop computer. Both Instagram and Iconosquare (a third party app) are ad free the last time I checked. So far this has been a lifesaver.  With either of these apps, I can scroll my feed free of annoying ads. I can concentrate on the amazing photos of my fellow photographers and not the onslaught of advertising.

~ xxSJC

Have you noticed an increase in ads on Instagram? If you have, how do you feel about it? Has the increase in ads changed your viewing habits? Would you pay Instagram a fee to be ad free?

I apologize for ranting about Instagram rather than writing about photography, lately I have been discouraged by current events and distracted by the holidays. If you have a topic you would like me to address, feel free to make a note in the comments. 

Google+ is not a Wasteland

I want to let you in on a little secret: Google+ is not a social media wasteland. It’s actually alive and well! I know you are shaking your head in disbelief, but really, you have to trust me on this one. And if you don’t believe me, you can ask East Mountain or InkBlot Photo.

I started posting to Google+ almost two years ago when we first started StuckinPlastic. Me2 and I divided up the social media duties and he took on Facebook and I said I would monitor and try to build an audience on Google+. I have to say it’s been slow going for both my own photography as well as our Google+ StuckinPlastic family. (I think most of the people we have met through G+ have moved over to Instagram.) But with the changes that Google has been rolling out over the last few months, this has all changed. Continue reading “Google+ is not a Wasteland”