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Instagramania
June 4, 2014
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Instagramania

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Instagram has just issued version 6.0 and it looks to me like it’s come of age. I feel a mix of feelings (much as I do with my own childrens’ growing up ) I miss those simple, heady days when it was just snap and go- the naive thrill of those instant, retro filters, and the self conscious but enthusiastic sharing amongst Instagram’s early adopters. But actually those filters that have brought sophisticated editing techniques to our eager fingertips have turned out to be clunky, samey and actually, come to think of it with  hindsight and overuse, not at all sophisticated! Looking through my Instagram timeline I found I could play Insta- bingo (or spot the filter) ; Valencia! Rise! oh- Inkwell! Eeeooow- Brannan! (does anyone use Brannan?!)

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{Note; I realise if you are not an Instagram user you won’t have a pretty clue what I’m on about. Many of you who do may still not….Please skip through and look at the pretty pictures :) ]

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Fairly soon I abandoned the IG filters in favour of the fine tuning possibilities offered by alternative photo editing apps such as Snapseed, returning the image to Instagram to share with the outstandingly supportive community there. Now Instagram has developed its own sophisticated editing capabilities, and it’s looking great. (I will do a post on how these can be used in the near future). But for now I just wanted to record why I am such a gram-fan.

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Looking back at the (more than a thousand) images I have posted, I see that I have used Instagram as a daily mindfulness and gratitude practice, as well as a regular creativity habit, and a means of connecting with an encouraging and inspiring community of like minded people.

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The camera’s lens  brings me into the moment. Through it I will often see detail or nuances that I wouldn’t otherwise have noticed. I actively look for the beauty. Often, it’s not the high days and holidays that I post, it’s the quiet, thrilling moments in between. There is a fine balance between living in the moment and being distracted by recording it, but when we all carry phone cameras and can snap a scene in a matter of seconds, why would we not do both? See, savour, pause, capture… and enjoy for posterity. My Instagram archive anchors me back to so many precious feelings and experiences. It’s like a little scrolling shot of tiny square endorphins :)

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Many of us record our images with the hashtag #gratitude. A regular habit of recording gratitude is known to improve wellbeing. Like learning to play the piano, there’s no shortcut -we must practice daily! Using IG to record the things you are grateful for is quick, easy to fit into our lives, and enduring.

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My iPhone is always with me so I’m ready to snap; it’s almost a reflex action! Even responding to others’ sharing, evidence of the highs and lows of life,cries for help or expressions of daily joy, is a form of gratitude. Giving and receiving feedback and support is a huge part of IG. I love to see my friends record change in our lives; our artwork and craft projects, our diets, exercise plans, house renovations, our growing babies ; our growing confidence in ourselves as we post our selfies, and in our creative skills as we take more and better photographs…..

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I can look back over time and even at my lowest ebb I can’t deny how amazing and beautiful my life is. Yes, I choose to highlight the best bits, why do I not? I know Facebook gets criticised for just that, and indeed, I am NOT a Facebook fan- I find it leaves me flat, judgemental and discontented- but Instagram never fails to uplift, inspire, touch, amuse and engage me.

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Are you an IG lover? Tell me why! And if not, why not?! Pretty soon I’ll be publishing a downloadable guide on how to get the most from your iPhone camera. Let me know  in the comments if you’d be interested :)

Maz x  @lightandday

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9 Responses

  1. loved your post about Instagram /Facebook/creativity and gratitude.
    Love your creative and bsutiful mind and how you make sure to until use it in the best possible way.

    giselaxxx

    1. Maz

      Gisela- bless you, you always say the sweetest things, and it means a great deal to me :) xx

  2. michelle

    absolutely love this! and yes please to learning more about my iPhone…as i now have one!
    xxxxx

    1. Maz

      Hurrah Michelle! I’m *still* working on it- darn these perfectionist tendencies! x

  3. I’ve had an IG account for ages and used it when IG was the new baby on the block. I moved away but spurred on by my actual babies have just come back and I’m loving it. FB leaves me agitated and irritated much of the time and I am consciously moving away, IG seems less intense . It makes me happy not heavy. That’s how I like to live my life – why wouldn’t i?

    1. Maz

      Hi Fiona- thank you for your comment- I’ve just belatedly found you on IG and am enjoying the vibrancy of your colourful French world :) You sum it up so well- happy not heavy, yes. And that should reflect our lives generally, for sure. x

  4. I am as always loving your delicious pictures. Your ability to make the phone do amazing things astounds me. My stuff is utter pants in comparison but then that is why you made it as a professional photographer frankly! Also Can I be nosy and ask is that your turquoise side board…. am LOVIN it! x

  5. ps you know i am IG obsessed so i dint think i needed to sing its praises 😀

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