Monday, October 22, 2018

Dipping Your Toe in Instagram

INGRID THOFT

The Reds have recently been contemplating Instagram, the social media platform that focuses on pictures, and is the favored platform for kids today, meaning everyone under forty!  There will always be debate about the benefits and drawbacks of any one social media platform, but there's no denying that Instagram is a treasure trove of amazing images and the potential to connect users with shared interests no matter where they live.

Even if you have no interest in posting on IG, you can set up an account and look and lurk to your heart's content.  No matter your interests, you'll find instagrammers who are on the same wavelength.  Obviously, you can find everything and anything book-related, but rather than play favorites, here are some of my favorites beyond the realm of books.


@atlasobscura

Dedicated to the world's "strange and wondrous side," @atlasobscura features places you'd love to visit and even some you wouldn't.  If you have wanderlust or like to rubberneck in front of your phone or computer, this account is one to follow.



@thepetpark

Okay, full disclosure, I'm friends with the guy who owns this account, but I'd love it even if I weren't.  @thepetpark aggregates the funniest, cutest, most jaw dropping pet pics and videos.  If I'm on my phone, and I burst out laughing, chances are, I'm catching up on The Pet Park feed.  Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.



@theroyalfamily

This account also puts a smile on my face, and not just because of the Duke and Duchess (and their baby on-the-way.)  @theroyalfamily features a variety of family members and is focused on their charitable works.  Have any doubt that the Queen is one of the hardest working women in the world?  You won't after a couple of weeks following her on IG.




@dinneralovestory

I've long been a fan of Jenny Rosenstrach's blog and cookbooks, which offer recipes and meal planning for the non-Martha Stewarts among us.  Rosenstrach's IG account offers meal ideas, great guests, and terrific travel posts that will point you to the best restaurants in town.  




@divingpassport

Even if you don't like to wade out past your ankles, it's hard not to be wowed by the amazing photographs on @divingpassport.  The colors, exotic locations, and sheer variety in sea life, always make me itch to get back in the water.




Do you have any Instagram favorites?  Or are you looking for some suggestions?  Stop by the comments and weigh in!





46 comments:

  1. I have an Instagram account, Ingrid, but I really only set it up so that I could look at the pictures my granddaughter posts. So I have to admit that I know next to nothing about it. Lurking sounds good to me . . . .

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  2. Instagram haunts me. It does so because I keep intending to learn how to use it better, especially for my Reading Room blog. I enjoy seeing posts from others, but I have to admit that I don't often visit the Instagram site. I'm looking forward to what everyone says today about this social media platform and how to fully utilize it. I should be visiting it at least to see family pics and my goat accounts I follow. Please Reds and commenters, enlighten me.

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    1. Don't let it haunt you Kathy, it's a time sink like all social media and you should only worry about learning it if you love the concept.

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    2. That's a great way to look at it, Lucy. Thanks.

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  3. I have an Instagram account. I haven't logged in for months, and I don't know that I've posted any pictures to it. I had some down time earlier this year, and I was going to learn how to use the site during that time. I failed.

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    1. It took me some time to get on there, Mark. I'm still not great about posting, but I have to admit that I love seeing what other people post!

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  4. If I could post to Instagram from my laptop, I'd use it a lot more! It's a very (completely?) phone-centric app. I seriously wonder what the health effects of everyone bending their head to peer at a small screen for hours on end will be. You know? After years of trying to set up exactly the right ergonomics for sitting and working at a desk, I worry about these things.

    That said, I'm trying. And those sites you include are amazing, Ingrid.

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    1. You should be able to post from your computer, Edith, but granted, IG doesn't make it easy. I think there will be neck replacements in the future for all those ruined upper spines!

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    2. Actually, Edith, chiropractors are finding a significant increase in neck problems from the phone head tilt.
      Libby

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  5. I do not use Instagram. I have enough ways to waste time on the Internet, I don't need to add any more.

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    1. BTW, speaking of checking out stuff online. If you've got a few minutes to waste and don't want to go on Instagram, you could always check out my Limelight Magazine.com coverage of the New England Super Megafest Comic-Con. It now live here: https://limelightmagazine.com/2018/10/22/supermegafest2018-2/

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  6. Oh my goodness...I signed up ages ago, but haven't got into the swing of IG yet. But I really love the idea of it - all those images! I must clearly go dip my toe in a bit deeper; some of those accounts you've highlighted, Ingrid, look fun...and gorgeous!

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  7. I have an account and the one time I tried to post a picture I couldn't. Forget why now. Maybe because I don't have a smart phone. But I sometimes like looking at pictures from various people even if I'm not sure what the picture is. Don't folks usually at least put a caption?
    All that said, I tend to agree with Jay.

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  8. I do like Insta and use it to follow book people, foodie people, and random friends. Couldn't resist sharing this from for_reading-addicts this morning:

    PLEASE NOTE: THE POST-APOCALYPTICAL FICTION SECTION HAS BEEN MOVED TO CURRENT AFFAIRS...

    IF you are an Insta user, please consider following @lucyburdette and @jungleredwriters?

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    1. That made me snort coffee all over my laptop. Thanks A LOT Lucy Roberta

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    2. Hilarious, terrifying, and true, Lucy!

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  9. I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. I do enjoy looking at all the pictures, but I don't like that you can't include active links and you can't share things you like with others. I haven't found it particularly useful for driving traffic to the blog as of yet.

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  10. I have not set up an Instagram account, basically feeling that I waste enough time with Facebook already. And many of my friends have it set up so their Instagram posts replicate at FB, saving me the effort of doing both. I do worry that I will miss that magic tipping point, though, when I will begin to miss out on where society is going by not joining one of these other media.

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  11. Instagram worries me. Years ago, we had newspapers, which everyone in the country read, every morning. You could find copies of daily papers in doctor's offices, at the barber/hairdresser, in coffee shops, and of course, many different daily editions at the library. Bookstores carried lots of different cities' papers, too, and many of us read The Wall Street Journal, cover to cover. Even if you went straight to the comics page you had to get some exposure to the headlines.

    Then TV, and radio. The 24-hour news cycle of cable meant cheap production costs, because hiring a talking head to read headlines off the tape machines was less expensive than doing the kind of actual reporting someone like Hank does.

    Enter the Internet, where distraction reigns, and has taken hold. Instead of every person at every economic level reading in-depth analysis of current events, now we have soundbites, usually slanted with inflection, at the very least, and sometimes downright lies. Because of the addictive nature of so many distracting elements, we have lost the attention span necessary to analyze what we need to know. Pretty pictures, jokey cartoons, and glib statements in bubbles all stand in for truly educational content. We've gone from commenting on Facebook to tweeting exclamation points and posting photos.

    Am I wrong to be worried? I've resisted going deeper into Instagram for a few reasons, but this is the biggest one: I don't want to be even more complicit in the further dumbing down of discourse. Please reassure me this is not the case.

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  12. I've scheduled a social media tutorial with my daughter over Christmas to learn about Instagram. I do have plenty of photos.

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  13. Clapping my hands over my ears and chanting NaNaNaNa, NaNaNaNa... If I got in I'd never get out. I love the idea of it, but I can't even text with my thumbs on my cell. Who knew working on the computer would become "old" technology so quickly?

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    1. And I didn't even talk about "finsta" as the kids call it! Finsta is "fake Instagram" and it's when someone sets up a second account to which they only grant access to a chosen few. For instance, a parent-friendly IG account and then a friend friendly finsta account. At the very least, I like to know what younger generations are up to because we're not going back to the way things used to be. The genie is out of the bottle however you feel about the genie!

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  14. I'm not on Instagram simply because I'm at my tipping point with e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. That said, I'm having fun with today's comments. People who love writing and telling beautiful stories with words talking about storytelling using only pictures. Thank goodness,those who write seem to be in the majority.

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  15. My children set up an instagram account for me so that I could see pictures from them as they travelled. Had not even known one could lurk on instagram, had thought that one needed to somehow be accepted by the account holder in order to be able to see the photos in someone's account. I am very technologically behind, had only gotten a smart phone earlier this year. However, my fear is that I don't try at all to keep up with technology, I will get so far behind that I will not be able to keep in good contact with family in my old age. This is something that I have witnessed in the assisted living setting.

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    1. Lil, you do have to be accepted if they owner has marked it private, but loads of accounts are public. You can do a fair amount of lurking, particularly when it comes to accounts that want your eyeballs on their content. Very interesting comment about the assisted living setting. I know older people who have refused to make an attempt at social media tech, and they seem to grow increasingly isolated.

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  16. I have both an Instagram account and a Twitter account. I use neither. Instagram takes up too much space on my phone, and Twitter is beyond my ability to understand.

    25 years ago I got my first PC. It was on my desk in my office, and it had a whole gig of something. The idea was to connect it to the system for everyone's use.

    I played bridge on it.

    Shortly thereafter I got my home PC. It was a step up from a Commodore 64 and didn't need a hand crank. I became addicted.

    And here we are. I'm on my umteenth laptop, having given up desktops many years ago. I now limit my time to the battery capacity, which is about two hours. Then I put it up for the rest of the day. That sounds better than it is. Because the rest of that same day I've got my phone in one hand or the other.

    Is this the end of the world as we know it? Probably. I suppose someone said the same thing about the Gutenberg press.

    Karen, the train has left the station. I don't think it's so much a matter of dumbing down discourse as changing it. I love having access to all sorts of information, from the pronunciation of that word I always wondered about to a recipe for sugar pie to what's going on with my high school boyfriend and if he's still alive.

    He is.

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    1. LOL, Ann! Now, I have to go look up sugar pie!

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  17. I like IG. I like looking at pretty pictures and there seems to be less stress than FB sometimes - and way less outrage than Twitter, which simply jacks up my blood pressure and has for the past couple years. I'm not sure I use it very well (who does?) but I enjoy it.

    I like the various Pittsburgh-related feeds, those of local photographers who post amazing shots of the area in particular. And The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau feed.

    I'm sad that the Repost app I used to use for reposting Instagram no longer seems to work and isn't available on the Apple App store in the US any longer (no, I'm not downloading an app from Romania).

    Mary/Liz

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  18. Well, I have shipped to toes in… It’s fun, and I like looking at the pictures, but wow, it is easy to get pulled right into it. Ingrid, it sounds like you have it more under control. I am still in the experimental stage, but you can find me at well, I have shipped to toes in… It’s fun, and I like looking at the pictures, but wow, it is easy to get pulled right into it. Ingrid, it sounds like you have it more under control. I am still in the experimental stage, but you can find me at @hankpryan Maybe I’ll check it out right now and #ColdRemedies:-(

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    1. I don't really have it under control, but I'm trying! Feel better! There's lots of yuckiness going around!

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    2. You stopped my in my tracks, Hank, with "I have shipped to toes in..." Twice! What did your phone autocorrect to that from, pray tell?

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  19. Fabulous post, Ingrid! I love Instagram. I find it cuts out a lot of the nonsense of social media and gets right to whatever interests you! So fun! My fave follow is a soap company in Maine @longwinterfarm because she makes soap that’s amazing, but also takes gorgeous pictures of Maine, knits, and rescues cats. And she’s very funny.

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    1. Going to check it out now, Jenn! I may not make it back for some time!

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    2. Jenn, I remember when we met at Bouchercon, you mentioned that you love my photos on IG. That made my day! :-) . I love your photos on IG.

      Diana

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  20. I just wrote a long post and Blogger ate it! Wah!! I love Instagram but haven't been on it much lately. I promise I will post from London shortly, though!! Ingrid, I follow TheRoyalFamily and AtlasObscura, too! Some other faves are Spanish chef Jordi Rocasan (jordirocasan), ballet dancer and choreographer Justin Peck (justin_peck), lots of other chefs, and of course writers and friends and family.

    For the non-techies among us, you can log in to Instagram on your computer. You can't post photos, but you can look and comment. If you want to post from your computer, you can use an emulator like Bluestacks, so you don't have to be limited by your phone.

    A few minutes on Insta almost always lightens my day a bit.

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    1. I feel the same way, Debs! I never feel worse for having spent a few minutes on IG. It reminds me that the world is full of happy things and creative people!

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  21. No Instagram here, and no Twitter, either. I stopped logging on to Facebook nearly two years ago. Thanks to my reading addiction I found I could stay on line, one way or another, nearly every waking moment. Right now I’m trying to wean myself off reading news on line. Apple tries to tell me which stories I should follow. The quiet rebel in me looks up stories on my own. I would like to limit myself to local news, trusting that the people who know me best will let me know if something significant happens. Most of my friends and relatives email or text me any photos of interest to me. I really need the time for reading books, either in print or on my Kindle! (Or for cleaning, but that’s another story:-)

    DebRo

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  22. I am taking an online class about how to use Instagram effectively. It is a very robust platform, and much more fun than Facebook these days. I'm enjoying following you all--very fun posts! I love following different hashtags--I'm discovering a lot of folks that way. Thanks for the tips on other folks to follow. I'm going to find the pet park now!

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    1. Can anyone take the class? Sounds like it would be very helpful!

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  23. I still don't get Instagram. My 18 year old granddaughter has four times the number of followers that I do! And if I go under my name there are zillions if pictures of my book covers with a cup of tea beside them. What exactly does that achieve? Confused.

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    1. Rhys, that is because people enjoy reading your novels while drinking tea. My Instagram photos rarely have photos of tea with books. My IG photos focus on the books. I am following you on IG.

      Diana

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  24. I don't do twitter or Instagram. As someone mentioned Facebook is already a time suck. I know a number of authors post pictures of places, clothing, etc that inspired them while writing their books. That could be interesting but I just don't want to go down that rabbit hole. Throw me a bone on Facebook from time to time!

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  25. Nope, thanks. I limit my exposure to social media to blogs and email, so no Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or any of the others. Looks like there might be some wonderful photos, but equally a deep time sink. I'll pass.

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  26. I just do Facebook so I can keep in touch with family, friends, authors, and authors' blogs. That takes enough time, and I only got on after I retired. While I love pictures, I'm a reader.

    I get my news from the newspaper, local TV news, and some headlines on Xfinity and Yahoo. I don't look much at news or ads on Facebook and never click on them.

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  27. Wonderful post today! @theroyalfamily is among my favorites on Instagram. I have been using Instagram mainly to talk about books with book friends on Instagram. We are members of the bookstagram community. My account is @wonderwomanbookish. I often discover new authors and upcoming novels through the bookstagram community. Instagram, for me, is a wonderful escape from the turbulent world of politics.

    I have almost 500 followers. When I reach 1K, then I get free books :-) in exchange for honest reviews. I use NetGalley, though they are digital ARCs of upcoming novels.

    Diana

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