I have managed to do something terrible. Something utterly unacceptable. Something completely horrible.
I dropped my phone and smashed my screen.
It may take a while to get over it!
I’ve never been a spectator…not really. I’ve always had an opinion and more often than not, I opened my mouth to express it and I have, on occasion inserted my foot in my mouth. It hasn’t stopped me from expressing my opinion though.
In the process, I’ve hurt feelings and lost friendships that I valued. I thought I’d learn from the mistakes and keep my opinions to myself, let other people say what I wanted to say. It was only recently that I’ve allowed myself to step back, or hold my tongue and keep schtumm. But last night, I couldn’t keep quiet.
One of my pet peeves is people taking credit for something that they didn’t do. I’ve always tried to credit people when they’ve done something clever or if they’ve helped me do something clever. I’ve always tried to say thank you.
Last night, Alan’s photo was grabbed by someone, posted on their Instagram feed without acknowledging that it was Alan’s photo. I posted a couple of stories to protest the injustice. Once that was done, and we saw that the “borrowed” photos started disappearing from the account’s feed.
I woke up to find the comments section of the photo I posted before 8:30 last night turned into a chatroom for Instagram bot accounts. I would laugh if it wasn’t frustrating. To top it all off, a few people who follow me on Instagram were messaging that the account that grabbed Alan’s photo was claiming that they took the original photo of the look-down view of the rollercoaster in Winter Wonderland that I posted.
I took to Instagram stories again to just get things off my chest. I told my story, and shared my thoughts.
It is certainly a sad commentary on our times when people think it’s acceptable to take other people’s work and pass it off as their own to gain followers and popularity on social media.
I know that I took the photo they’re claiming is theirs. I have the original. I posted it hours before they did and putting a banner of their instagram name across the photo doesn’t prove ownership.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone – whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not!
I am thankful for so many things – the joys, the blessings, the sorrows and the pain. All these experiences have helped me further learn who I am and how strong I can be.
I am thankful for everyone in my life, family, whether immediate and nuclear or extended and several times removed – you are the steel in my backbone that allows me to conquer the challenges I face daily; and friends – old, new, near, far, faithful and fairweather – your presence in my life, whether permanent or fleeting, have helped me learn what my boundaries are, what my limits are and how much of my heart I am actually able to give – for that I am truly grateful. This is not some flippant remark. For all the experiences, for everyone who has been in my life, I am thankful for you. TRULY.
I am thankful for the esoteric and the banal things in my life. Because without all of these my life wouldn’t be rich and varied and oh-so-colourful. There is so much to be thankful for. If you sit down and start listing things, from the smallest to the most fantastical of things, you wouldn’t be able to stop. I remember Sarah Ban Breathnach saying that if you concentrate on being grateful every single day, you wouldn’t recognise yourself only two weeks into the exercise.
“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today.”
~John Maxwell Edmonds
For those who fight to to preserve the peace, for those who give their lives so we can live ours, for those who stand against the wall so we have the freedom expand our horizons, we can never thank you enough.
I rarely take photos of myself. No wait. That’s a lie. I take selfies. But rarely post them. I have loads that I’ve taken, saved and never ever looked at again. In the same vein, I usually don’t like having my picture taken. I will take photos of other people but I will very rarely take a portrait shot of me seriously! I’m almost always pulling faces!
I do love this photo though. It was taken by my friend Anila. She’s quite clever ninja with the camera and I particularly love her portraits. She kept asking me to do star jumps (which incidentally are also known as jumping jacks!). I wasn’t going to because I’m such a klutz! I’m more likely to slip on landing and break something vital! So this was the closest Anila was going to get capturing me in a star jump pose!
I am (awkwardly) posing under Anish Kapoor’s At the Edge of the World II at the Everything at Once exhibition at the Store Studios at 180 Strand.
You’ve got to look at Anila’s amazing photos. She’s @sparkle71h on Instagram and her gorgeous portraits account is @akhussainphotography. I love her ballerina photos (you half expect the ballerinas to start pirouetting) and her portraits (I love how she captures the light in a person’s eye, it’s just magical!). She’s also generous with her camera knowledge. I know for sure that my light trail photos are much better after her tips! Give her Flickr page a visit!❤️
Once, several months ago, an instagram acquaintance posted a comment about a photographer that I follow about how they didn’t think this photographer was an instagrammer.
It made me think. It’s made me wonder where the comment was coming from. Because I, very clearly, thought the photographer I followed WAS an instagrammer. What was this person’s definition of the word “instagrammer”? Was I an Instagrammer in this person’s eyes?
How does one become an instagrammer? What’s the criteria? Is it based on the frequency of your posts? The number of followers? The number of features you get from instagram hubs? The number of likes your posts get?
I googled instagrammer and these were some of the definitions: According to MacMillanDictionary.com, an instagrammer is a user of the Instagram social network. Slangit.com says that an Instagrammer posts images and videos on Instagram and may even comment on other people’s posts. According to the urbandictionary.com an instagrammer simply means a person who gets on Instagram. Better used for a person who gets on often or is obsessive over Instagram.
I posted a question on Instagram and I got the consensus that an instagrammer, as defined by people who have Instagram accounts, is someone who has an instagram account and uses Instagram.
I listen to Sara Tasker’s wonderful podcast Hashtag Authentic (I may have waxed lyrical about how amazing this podcast is in a blog entry) and her podcast on 25 October where she has a conversation with Tara Swiger. One thing they discussed resonated with me so much. Tara said that the numbers about your engagement on social media platforms does not necessarily reflect the value that you provide to the people who follow you for the right reasons. A big audience or following does not necessarily mean expertise or value. It may reflect on the reason why you’re on the social media platform: whether you’re on it to offer a service (which means your provide expertise) or if you’re on it to receive some kind of validation (which relates to the need to pay attention to your stats) or if it’s another reason which is an amalgamation of the two.
So whether you have 100,000 followers or 100 on Instagram or Twitter, or any other social media platform, it does not matter as it doesn’t devalue the material that you post on social media. It doesn’t make you any less of an Instagrammer if you only have a handful of followers, it just makes you less of a player of the Instafame game; as long as you use the platform you are a whatever-er (an Instagrammer, a person who Tweets, a blogger..you get the idea!).
Having said all that, it is important to remember that people’s personal definitions of ideas or concepts is completely subjective and is completely defined by their experiences. So there isn’t really a correct or incorrect definition of what an instagrammer really is. Our personal definitions are based on our experiences, our interactions and our motivations for being on social media. I think what we need to remember is that we need to have is an awareness that our instinctive reactions, i.e. knee-jerk, are based on our personal experiences, definitions and biases. If we remember this, then we avoid making sweeping generalisations and/or saying them out loud. Brilliant, I think, for avoiding foot-in-mouth situations!