WIT :: of digital immigrants and Instagram


So the more observant of you readers out there may have noticed a new icon on my social media sidebar. And yes, what you see is true: I finally surrendered and got me an Instagram account.

I figured it was about time to join the digital age for real. None of this pussy-footing nonsense anymore. Because sure, I’ve long since abandoned my Livejournal (are they even still around?!) account in favor of the more in-the-now WordPress. And sure, I know my way around Pinterest and Facebook like a boss. But the more frenetically-paced social media vehicles like Vine and Twitter and Instagram confounded this digital immigrant so much that I avoided them deliberately.

And I justified my head-in-the-sand approach by telling myself that I wasn’t in this blog biz for money or fame. I wasn’t doing this and waiting with bated breath for my book deal. This was a hobby, something to keep me occupied when I was in between book series or grading papers.

But then Alex @ Undergraduate Style inveigled me to join her giveaway two weeks ago. If any of you are familiar with Rafflecopter, you know that there are multiple ways to enter, but all the ways involve some form of social media or another. I thought I was covered with Bloglovin’ and Facebook (even though my FB page is personal and I really ought to create a separate one for this blog). But when Alex asked for 5 links (an arbitrary number I’m sure and I know she didn’t mean to make me feel pressured), I was at a loss.

She was kind enough to make suggestions – link to Pinterest, to my Storenvy store, etc. – but overshadowing those options were the twin monsters of Twitter and Instagram, those ubiquitous behemoths that lord it over all. All the other gals who contributed to Alex’s giveaway had them, and all of a sudden, the adolescent in me came out and I just had. to. have. it.

I’m not a Twitter gal, though, as you all know from this blog; I’m too much of a wordaholic to be able to distill my thoughts in 140 characters. But Instagram – well, that’s another story. I’m already pretty handy with my smartphone and photo apps; isn’t Instagram just the most logical next step? thought I.

And I did so want to be one of the cool kids on Alex’s giveaway Rafflecopter…

So I downloaded the app to my phone and created an account. And what I thought would be a heinous yet necessary undertaking ended up being not so bad. The captioning is probably just as limiting as Twitter, but somehow, if I think of it as a caption instead of a message, I’m okay with minimal words. I’m also playing with hashtags and working through the intricacies of Instagram etiquette.

Thank goodness for tech savvy students and patient intrepid TAs. They gave me some starter tip gems like “Don’t use more than 3 hashtags per post; anything more is just annoying.” or “Don’t post more than 3 things a day; anything more is just annoying.” or “Don’t worry about that collage on your Instagram profile page; the pictures will come once you have more posts.”

I have yet to truly delve into this new world; it’s enough that I manage to post at least one pic a day with relevant captions. I don’t know whether this new social media vehicle will garner me more followers, but I have noticed that people who don’t necessarily comment on my blog will consistently engage and “like” my posts on Instagram.

And this got me to thinking about the plethora of ways we can communicate anymore and how each way appeals to a variety of people. Because someone may be a more visual learner and be perfectly willing to interact with pictures but that same person may be turned off by too many words. So it really is to my advantage to offer as many platforms of interaction as possible for my readers, isn’t it? Regardless of whether I want to grow my readership or not.

I suppose it’s kinda like teaching. As educators, we must have the ability to address different modes of learning in order to reach a greater amount of students.

I love it when my personal life achieves synchronicity with my professional life.


26 thoughts on “WIT :: of digital immigrants and Instagram

  1. Val S says:

    Wow, I just decided to start an Instagram account after meeting a couple bloggers who suggested it. We all were talking about how we don’t always have time for reading and writing posts, but we like to see the photos. I’ll be looking for you as soon as I get set up and figure it out!

    • mtsedwards says:

      Lemme know, my friend, and I can reciprocate the follow.

      I, too, find myself sharing the love via Instagram when I like the photo but have nothing of import to say about it. Somehow, liking on Instagram is a lot less obnoxious than liking on the actual blog. But I think that’s just me. ;p

  2. Yay! A new friend to follow on Instagram! I just broke down a few months ago and started mine. Peer pressure, I tell ya…ha!

  3. Started to follow you on Instagram.

  4. Tiina L says:

    I don’t even want to think about Instagram now… I do have an account, but nobody can find it, myself included, which is ok, as the whole thing is a bit of a mystery to me (and somehow the only pic I managed to upload was one I accidentally took on my iPad, it shows the top of my head…). Maybe one day… Ditto facebook (I must be the only person on the planet without a facebook account). And I don’t ‘follow’ anyone, either (bloglovin etc), I simply bookmark the blogs I read. I guess I prefer a more informal and casual approach… And I onky link up with blogs that I read anyway, and that make sense from my point of view. But then again, I’m still new at blogging, learning the ropes… And I definitely learn by doing, trial and error kind of thing.

    • Tiina – you’re not the only one. Technically, I have a Facebook account, but I only created so I could view my Homeowner’s Association’s page. Facebook was the one and only way to find information about that organization.
      Also, I “follow” like you do, by just regularly visiting the blogs I enjoy. I’ve tried following via email, or with my WordPress account, but both ways seem to have a lot of glitches.

      • mtsedwards says:

        LOL! I only used FB for the virtual pet games that Aly got me into. Anymore since I started my blog and haven’t looked at a virtual pet game in ages, I useFB primarily to touch base with former students and with far-flung family members. I’m probably not utilizing it to its fullest potential for the purposes of this blog, but I can’t be bovvered about it. ;p

        I do like Bloglovin’ for my daily digest of blogs. It’s easier for me to have it all in a central location and sometimes, the blogs I follow don’t give me the email option.

    • mtsedwards says:

      Tiina! Thank you! You may have inadvertently given me the topic for my next WIT feature! Muchos besos! I promise to respond to your comment more thoroughly in that post. πŸ˜€

  5. Anne the SpyGirl says:

    Ha. I love Instagram! @Annembray
    If you want to get wordy, there’s no limit like on Twitter.

  6. This is precisely why I don’t like giveaways, and so politely declined to participate in Alex’s (or is it Alex’?).

    I also don’t like link ups that require you to follow the hosts – I’m glad we don’t do that with T3. I guess I really don’t care about growing my readership. πŸ˜›

    • mtsedwards says:

      I think it’s “Alex’s”.

      And, huh. I didn’t know that was the reason. You shoulda told me and we could’ve been solidarity sisters together. πŸ˜€ But you are still contributing to her blog, right? When she leaves for camp?

      I see what you mean about requiring follows on linkups. But the way I see it, there are so many linkups out there that if I wanted to participate regularly, I HAVE to follow the blog or else the linkup would get lost in the shuffle. As it is, both my Tuesday and Friday linkups are still on shaky ground with me. I guess because I have yet to connect with the women who host them? Maybe I ought to just stick with Patti and Caitlin and Judith and you with T3. I just wish more of my true blog friends hosted linkups. Even Seeker @ Searching the Inner Me has gone in hiding. 😦

    • Whew! My precise thoughts also. I’m glad I’m not the only one that is turned off by *giveaways*. And ditto on the link-ups that require following hosts, especially multiple hosts.

      • Good to know I’m not alone! I have no problem with people having giveaways, I just don’t want to join in.

        • mtsedwards says:

          I wonder how many readers stay readers after they sign up for the giveaways? I’m beginning to realize that I’d rather have a small but strong readership than be one of those mammoth beasts that have bazillions followers but feels impersonal and anonymous in tone and scope.

          • I want my readership to be small enough that I can respond to comments. I wouldn’t know how to handle a blog with tons of comments per post.
            I like your blog and my friend Melissa’s blog, because you both have a smallish, loyal following, and most of the comments are interesting.

      • mtsedwards says:

        Multiple host linkups confound me too. I don’t know the protocol – am I supposed to follow everyone? Am I suppose to leave my link on everyone’s? What if I’m not relating to the rest of the hosts?


        I hope Selah and I are similar enough that our linkup doesn’t intimidate people.

        • I like that we don’t request follows, and that we only request a link back to one of our blogs (although several people link to both). I know you don’t love the separate inlinkz page, but I think it actually works nicely for a multi-host link up.

          When I said above that I don’t care about growing my readership, I meant to crazy big numbers. I love connecting with new people and building relationships.

  7. Marsha Banks says:

    I, too, caved to the Instagram lure in irder to enter a contest (didn’t win). I check in occasionally, but I just don’t get it’s allure. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my oftentimes blurred pictures…nah, it’s my intimidation meter zinging like crazy! Those I follow are SERIOUS about what they’re photographing! I’m just grabbing a couple shots of things to interest my granddaughter…like ice miracles (icicles in Emmy talk) and things I like. But, I love your blog so please don’t abandon those of us who crave your daily wit! But, I’d surely like to follow you on Instagram…though I haven’t a clue how to really find you…but I’m going to go try!

    • mtsedwards says:

      Oh, like minds! I love when something in my life resonates with someone else in the exact same way. Darn these contests anyhow, eh, Marsha? And of course I would never abandon this blog – I love words and my loyal readers too much. But if you truly wanted to find me on Instagram, I believe “myclosetcatalogue” is my user name. See, I don’t even know that much. LOL!

      • Marsha Banks says:

        I did find you and I’m “following” you. Of all the blogs I stalk, yours is the best! I think I need to start one if just for the exercise it will bring my brain! Since retiring from teaching, I feel like my brain has gone on hiatus and left the rest of me behind…most likely on purpose!

        • mtsedwards says:

          Oh, you should! I’d love to have another bloggy friend, especially a fellow educator! And thanks for the Instagram follow; I reciprocated in kind. πŸ™‚

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