Last Thursday, our activity for Art 110 was to post 4 pictures on Instagram throughout the day. I was really ecstatic for this activity since it was the reason I found out about the course last semester. One day, I saw some classmates posting multiple times on the same day, and found out from the hashtag that it was for a GE course. Coming into Long Beach as a Business major, I was really hoping to find some art GE’s to take since I knew that none would be required for my major. It also helps that I love to use Instagram!
I’ve definitely heard about the whole one-post-per-day rule. My friends always made a big deal about it if others, or even their own selves, ended up double posting in one day. I think that there is some unspoken disapproval in posting too much on Instagram, as it could come off as excessive bragging, or “not having a life”. I’ve considered these before and felt self-conscious about posting multiple times a day, or even two days in a row. While I think it’s unnecessary to excessively post everything you are doing, I’ve come to a point where I fully support when individuals Instagram whatever & whenever they want, regardless of how it may affect their follower count. For me, Instagram is a way to express myself in the pictures I take, or document meaningful memories. Why would I want to limit that based on the interests of my followers? I would feel that only some posts would be intriguing to the mass public and consequently not have much freedom in what I want to Instagram. Posting based on my own preferences is a reminder to not idolize attention from social media, and that it’s OKAY to lose followers if I put up something they don’t like, for example too many food/selfie/landscape photos.
Looking through the hashtag of all the Instagram posts last Thursday, it initially felt like I was just looking through photos of strangers in the same location. I didn’t recognize a majority of the people. But I started to feel a sense of community when I saw some pictures of the art galleries, or photos of campus. I shared a common experience with the meals and snacks people were eating throughout the day, or being in the same place, such as on a bus or in a classroom. In that way, I felt connected to students of the same campus and city. Yet I was shocked to see how vastly different the lives of other students were. I wouldn’t expect people on a Thursday (in the midst of a school semester) to be boarding a flight at LAX, or going to the beach. This way of thinking comes from my competitive high school, where students mostly studied during their spare time, and if they did go out, it would be on the weekend. But it’s much different in college, where many students don’t have classes on Friday, and there are thousands of commuters who can easily drive somewhere to have fun and kick off their weekend. I related with the routines of a college student (aka classes, eating, hanging out with friends) but was surprised to see what people were doing and where they were going after their classes were over.