When I was first starting out as an actor, I had to hustle. And I did. I was once described as the busiest performer in Central Florida. I don’t know how true it was, but I was always on the go.
That changed following a family tragedy and subsequent illness that left me – for several years – somewhat debilitated. Now that my health has improved (not to where I was, but better than I had been doing after the diagnosis), I find myself much less inclined to hustle.
Self-promoting, especially now in the prevalent culture of social media, could easily eat up all of your time. I know actors who are devoting around a fifth of their time to keeping connected with their followers.
On the one hand, you have to keep a steady stream of communication to maintain engagement. On the other hand, it certainly will lead to burn out.
I don’t like the hustle anymore. In my twenties, maybe I didn’t mind it. I felt like it was going to get me somewhere. Now, instead, I come to the table with a strong work ethic, and motivation. Not as sexy as an Instagram stream, but it keeps me busy, working, and happy. And I think that’s what’s important, at least to me.
There’s a certain joy of democratization of photography that Instagram offers. The only problem is Instagram as a platform has been used to further the vanity of our need-obsessed culture, rather than to express the joy of image – a joy which feels to me that perhaps the programmers had originally intended.
Rather than have an annual edition of Time or NatGeo showcasing the year’s best photographs, here’s a platform with real updates of the greatest photos at this time. Only, we fall short because we find the lowest common denominators. Of course it isn’t that the content is limited on Instagram, but it’s designed in such a way to engage our time – and that’s time that could be spent elsewhere.
I don’t care about Instagram. And it isn’t because it isn’t cool/hip, or useful. It’s not because the pictures some people post aren’t moving, or awesome, or don’t right mind-blowing. And it isn’t because some people spend hours upon hours looking through their feeds.
It just wasn’t made for me. I’m not the market.
I could try and force myself to be the market – to use Instagram as a business tool, or as social interaction. Yes, I put up pictures every now and then. But the pictures I take are of skies and clouds. These are the things that grab my attention – wide open spaces that look untouched by any but divine hands.
So no, I don’t care about Instagram. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
I was clearing out some old files last night. I hard drive used for backups, old documents, scrambled writings, a ton of music, and pictures.
Some pictures made me happy. Some nostalgic. Others brought tears to my eyes.
Pictures are snapshots of a moment. Pictures may tell a thousand words, but they hide ten times as many. Because those snapshots of moments aren’t the moment themselves. They are representations. The moment was ephemeral, the snapshot a forgery.
In You Are A Badass, Jennifer Sincero says something like, “Focusing on the past is depression. Focusing on the future is anxiety. Focusing on the present is peace.” (Looking it up, she was quoting Lao Tzu.)
Though wonderful reminders, photos are the past. Even the ones your friends (and occasionally I) post on Facebook and Instagram. Lingering on them will only cause depression.
(The title comes from The Botanist Gin that I was drinking while clearing out folders. If you like gin, I recommend it.)