In 2022, Instagram almost feels like a chore if you are an artist trying to get discovered. Some people say you should post once a day to gain traction and start a following of your work. But what about when I post a photo I am incredibly proud of and it doesn’t receive the attention I thought it deserved? I can’t help but take it personally. I can blame the algorithm, I can blame some random component like the time of day that I posted or I can blame myself and my capabilities, sending myself into a downward spiral of negativity. It is hard to try and scope the content that is out there and thriving without directly comparing it to my own work.
I am trying to be somewhat vulnerable and spontaneous with what I post on Instagram. I plug in my hard drive and jump down a rabbit hole of tiny blue folders until I see something that I remember fondly; I airdrop it to my phone, come up with some meaningless caption and send it off to the masses. I never know what kind of response it will receive. I just know that I am sharing it because it is something meaningful to me. Since graduating, I haven’t found a space like critiques where people can openly discuss my work with me and Instagram seems to be the next best thing. Validation and feedback now takes the form of likes and shares, or lack thereof.
If you start to think about how Instagram started, with people posting their meals and other notable daily occurrences, and then think about where we are now… how do we get back to this careless mentality that now remains out of sight? I have thought that if i start posting random photos that i might lose my following, but it all comes back to me and this strange fear of losing something I can’t even touch with my own two hands. Fear of losing the followers. And once you really start to think about it, and take it out of perspective, it all begins to feel very strange.
but it all comes back to me, and this strange fear of losing something I can’t even touch with my own two hands.
You have these strangers willingly subscribing to content about your life and you are worried that they might look away if you share something out of the ordinary? Who cares! Gen Z is wrapped up in some conundrum of their own self worth which correlates directly to content validation. I just think if we all posted what made us happy, we would feel a lot better. Being carefree and vulnerable with what you choose to post means you are expressing yourself in the most genuine way.