There’s something intriguing about the lives we lead online. Think about it, just 15 years ago our stories didn’t exist on the global level that they do today. When I was in high school (for reference, I’m positively ancient in the eyes of my 18-year-old students) the best way to know what was going on in someone’s life was to pass a brilliantly crafted, multi-colored note in AP US History that was artfully origami-ed into the shape of a heart. There were no hourly status updates and no beautiful images of your last trip to Let’s Make Everyone Jealous, USA. In fact, the only place to store your most precious photos (which were most likely taken by a disposable camera and developed at the 1-hour photo counter in Target) was in a scrapbook or a photo album. You know, the tangible kind you could hold in your hand.
And when high school was over? Well, for the most part you lost touch with people, only getting the chance to hear their story during a run in at the grocery store or maybe at the ten year reunion (if you even bothered to go).
Enter Social Media. A one stop shop to making our stories go totally viral and connecting with people who used to be too far out of our reach. It has its positives and negatives, but I’d like to focus on what makes it engaging and beautiful. It gives us a medium for telling the world who we are. It gives us a unique opportunity to find our individual voices and to express ourselves in new and adventurous ways. I absolutely love that businesses and marketers are finally understanding the benefit of weaving a story to connect with their consumers. What’s even better is there is no right or wrong way to use it. Sure, people (read: marketers and SEO specialists) have their ideas of “best practices,” but the rules go out the window when a truly creative idea comes to bat. What we choose to share with our friends or our followers becomes more than a photo of a gourmet meal or an engagement ring; it becomes a device to pull people into the story we each want to tell.
As you know, I recently began an interesting project. 365 days of Instagram pictures; a photo a day for an entire year. In all honesty, it began as (what I naively assumed would be) an easy resolution for the New Year. How hard can it be to simply snap a picture a day, right? Well, I’m barely 2 days in and it’s actually a lot harder than I thought. Apparently, it’s not as simple as point, click, post. If this project goes as planned then these images, in their entirety, will be my story for 2014. They’ll capture the moment I turn thirty, my spring camping trip with my family, at least two weddings and two births, and those are just the moments I know are coming. There are still so many plot twists that are yet to be uncovered.
As I was traipsing through the shrubbery outside of my office this afternoon, trying to capture an interesting photo to represent Jan 2, I couldn’t help but think about how far I’ve come since the days of passing notes discreetly under desks. I couldn’t help but wonder what my next story will turn out to be. Wherever the year takes me, I’m thrilled to be documenting the journey in such a memorable way.
Follow my 365 days of Instagram here.