If you were to write my epitaph based on my Instagram feed, what would it say about me?
She loved accent walls and dream catchers. Their windows were bare. She collected pottery and had a small but special treasure of rings. The light streaming into their home was lovely. She unabashedly paired boyfriend jeans and scarves almost daily.
Or something more like…
The desert fed her soul. So did movement. They woke early to climb on weekdays. She ate well but simply. Her bests (David, Eisley, Bodhi) were her life. They were happiest outside. She was often happy, which meant she was outside often.
From time to time I snap a screenshot of my IG feed. I find reassurance in what this snippet of my days says about my life.
Recently I’ve taken note of daily challenges on IG – participated even – and been left with the question of my intention behind IG. Prompts kindle a different creative spark; they were a clever way to share our experiences in Bali without posting a million vacation snapshots. I knew my un-styled photos weren’t the type to be featured, which was fine until the moment it wasn’t. The instance it bothered me, I stepped back and had to ask, “why am I on Instagram in the first place?”
What do I gain? What do I enjoy most? What do I have to share? To contribute?
It seems like the word intention is being thrown around a bit, so perhaps it’s losing value…or maybe it’s seen as passive to most – “oh, she was good-intentioned and all” – but I’ve found the word popping into my vocabulary often over the past few years in an active way. Being intentional means being deliberate with my choices and engaging with every aspect of my life.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stylized nature of Instagram, and then edit our lives to participate. Design. Fashion. Papery things. DIY. Material possessions arranged just so…
Ultimately, I’m less inspired by stuff.
Stuff can certainly grab my attention and linger as a distraction, but what gets to my bones is experience, honesty, wildest passions, adventure…
When you share the ways you nourish your soul and reveal the essence of your human experience through experience, I see it. I feel it. And I, in a way, am nourished by it too. Your adventures and collection of moments nudge me farther from the shallow end into the depths of my own experience. They are a reminder that life is active, and not a lifeless arrangement on the perfect white backdrop.
I Instagram to connect over shared passions. Dynamic hashtags, landscapes from your trail run, your climbing shots in Thailand, local exploration, homemade meals…inspire me to collect moments. I share my own adventures, whether epic or inserted into my weekdays, with the desire to inspire others to seek out passions and put energy into experiences over things. I stick to IG as my preferred social, because I can share and get back to the experience rather smoothly and quickly.
This is why I Instagram; it isn’t a mandate to anyone other than myself. What I urge is for you to claim your actions and not simply fall into gazing at others’ lives longingly and mimic them without cuing in to your desires.
I’ve started a couple hashtag projects over on IG to celebrate what I find not only inspiring but essential to happy living.
Hop on over, and if these resonate with you, slap them on related images - share, share, share - then immerse yourself back into the moments that make your life.