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There has been much debate in the past few years about why blogging doesn’t seem to be a “thing” anymore. It’s common to blame the existence and popularity of Facebook for not only being able to share a quick little story with your self-selected group of friends and family but also for the ease in commenting and participating in conversation about said post on that platform. There are some crazy stats about Facebook on this page, if you’re into numbers and also perhaps into feeling bad or guilty about how much time you use Facebook yourself.
I have blamed Facebook too, however I recently realized that for me it’s only part of the problem. The other platform that has stunted my blog activity is Instagram.
I post at least one picture on Instagram almost every day. Instagram is quick, easy, and very visual. Editing is minimal. It’s easy to access. Blogging takes more time and effort, so it’s a no-brainer. Check out these examples of my having taken the easy way out by using Instagram, when years ago I would have created a full blog post:
I went a little out of my way in September when Jim and I were in Oklahoma, just to see some of the attractions on Route 66. The Blue Whale of Catoosa was definitely one of the highlights. If I had blogged about it I would have written how amazing it was not only to see in person but also to have the place all to myself at 8:00 in the morning. The little beach alongside the water is where I stood to take the picture and on that beach sat the cutest cement tables and colorful whale table/stool sets.
Everything about the whale and surrounding area looked every bit like it had been there since the early 1970’s when it was installed, and I was in love with the kitsch completely. To me, this WAS Route 66. I loved being able to walk through the whale, even with its rickety wood floor planks, and as I ventured into the mouth I imagined it teeming with children and their exhausted-from-the-road-trip parents who probably had to beg those kids to come out of the whale and sit down at the tables to eat their lunch.
When I was traveling last month, I posted this picture of my breakfast at Huey’s, a New Orleans-style restaurant on the Savannah waterfront. If I had blogged about it I would have mentioned that the one time I was in New Orleans years ago, we didn’t get to go to Cafe du Monde to sample their famous beignets. It has always been one of my biggest travel regrets, believe it or not, and that’s what sold me on the breakfast at Huey’s. I would have written about how I had no problem sitting in a full-service restaurant alone, and I definitely would have mentioned that little black cup of pecan sauce that they brought out with those beignets (I forgot to describe it on Instagram!). It was all to-die-for, and sitting there at 7:45 on a bright Thursday morning enjoying a mimosa with my breakfast as I chatted with the server was one of the most decadent experiences I’ve had in ages. By the way, had I blogged about it I also would have mentioned my last-minute decision to order a small cup of their famous Parmesan garlic grits (not pictured), which was so delicious that the experience of eating it turned the instant grits with cheddar cheese I often eat for breakfast at home into a very depressing meal.
In having this realization about Instagram being a blog paralyzer, I’m moving forward committed to asking myself before every Instagram post, “Would this be a better blog post?”
If the answer is yes and I have the time to do it, I’m going back to writing about my experiences. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I want to use ’em up.
So SO often I think, “Why would I put this on my blog, where like 2 people are going to see it, [especially since I moved my site] instead of on Facebook, where LOTS of people are going to see it?”
LOVE this! Also would have loved to visit the whale 🙂
Love this insight. I don’t know WHERE my writing is going. Drafting fiction is eating into my sharing of anything else 🙁
I find myself wanting to do both lately. A photo on Instagram and then a full post about it too. I’m ridiculous.
So, so true. Social media definitely makes it easier to connect with and hear from people, and I am guilty of using IG as a sort of mini-blog. I sure do miss the blogging of yesteryear, though – and even though I still blog now, so much about the game has changed. I want to bring blogging (as I knew it) back!
I love Instagram, but I love it for different kinds of snippets, I guess. And for a reminder that people are out there SEEING me and I’m seeing them. But I get this, and I think that we’re all prone to the “like” and nothing beyond that, or maybe the <3 on FB/IG and moving along. I love reading ALL the things, though. And I'm thrilled NaBloPoMo has connected me w. people in a different way again.