Late To The Instagram Party

Several years ago, Sugar Daddy said to me, "You post so many pictures on Facebook, you should get on Instagram. I think you'd really like it." At the time, I was a heavy Facebook user, still active on Twitter and barely finding time to post to this blog so I decided to forgo another potential online obsession.

Fast forward a while and a friend of mine suggested (and I take her suggestions as commands) that I join her in doing the Photo A Day activity started by Fat Mum Slim (FMS), an Australian blogger. The short story is that FMS gives you a theme for each day along with its designated hashtags and you post a picture of your interpretation of the theme with said hashtags.

While my friend bailed on the exercise early on, I stuck to it for the month and posted all of my entries to Facebook and continued for intermittent months until April of this year when I decided to commit back to it for the long haul. A few of my Facebook friends had started contributing as well and we may have hit a tipping point because there are several of us posting daily.

However, hashtag searching on Facebook is not the best designed so if I don't see my friends' pics the same day, I'm not likely to see them at all.  Also, my friends don't all get the idea of hashtags so they're not all using them.

A visit to FMS' website where I read about a free app that will allow you to edit your pictures, apply filters, add text and automatically include your hashtags for you convinced me to go the app path. (And, yes I realize you can do that in Instagram but the auto hashtag adding sold me.) From there, it's an easy jump to Instagram and Facebook all at the same time. Bonus is that I can hashtag search all of Instagram and see what people around the world are posting for the daily theme.

What I've learned from being on Instagram:

  • Nearly everyone is a better photographer than I am. Oh, well.
  • People are really creative and I find that inspiring.
  • Everyone in the world loves Disney. Seriously.
  • Australia is beautiful and everyone seems to be at the beach. Since FMS started there, many of the participants are from there as well (and New Zealand and the UK). Their pictures are gorgeous!
  • Follow @natgeo and you will see amazing photos from all over our planet and of our skies. They're all gems and I love the informative stories that go with them.
  • I was right to be worried that it would become an online obsession. It has. My morning routine now includes a good chunk of time not only planning and posting my picture but seeing what everyone else has put out there.
  • Even a poor photographer can be included in the Instagram Top Posts by hashtag. I know because I've been there twice and was inordinately thrilled. Clearly, they need to tweak their algorithm. 

My #fms_hat picture is the third one down on the left.

My fms_postcard picture is the second one down on the right. 
TOP POSTS, people! I had TOP POSTS! 

Safe to say I'm hooked.

A few weeks ago, I said to Sugar Daddy, "I don't know why you didn't tell me to go on Instagram ages ago. I love it!" It was fun watching him take a few moments to roll from "But, I did!" to "Ah, I get the joke."


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