Why do I feel the need to have an iPhone?: In mid 2012 I got my first iPhone...I know...pretty late to the party. I had a trusty flip phone with a gold lightning bolt drawn on the back and anytime I dropped it, I knew it would still work without fail. Never did I once worry about it getting stolen or breaking and I paid maybe $30 a month for service. It took at least 5 minutes to text anything so I barely texted and instead of emojis (which I didn't obviously have) I would type "winky face", "smiley face", or "sad face". Every time I needed directions I would print them out from GoogleMaps. It was peculiar to me that my flip phone caused so much suspicion amongst my students and co-workers at the time. They all had iPhones and actually thought I was being ironic and making some sort of statement. For years they would joke, "Oh...you're too cool for an iPhone." And I'll never forget the look of disappointment on those two students' faces that sold their iPhones, got flip phones like mine, only to eventually see me show up one day at school fumbling around trying to make sense of my new technology that was so incredibly foreign to me. I was a sellout and a sheep! Truth was that for a long time I didn't understand the hype, it seemed like something I didn't "need", and I also couldn't bring myself to cough up the monthly payment. Five years later I miss those days and still wonder daily why I feel the need to have a smart phone.
Suck It Facebook: After three years of going back and forth I finally bit the bullet and this past September I completely deleted my Facebook account. FB says they will email you a downloaded history of your account but after hours and hours of that not happening I couldn't be stalled anymore and decided to move forward. The past five years I solely used FB as a blog reader and hid every person in site so I was no longer using it for what it was meant for. The cloudy part in all of this is what is Facebook even meant for? For users it seems innocuous (keeping in touch with friends and family) but for FB, they get to collect (and own) all of our data, they take money from basically anyone (regardless if it's Politico posing as an Anti-Semetic group), and have done secret psychological tests on their users. Since deleting it, I haven't missed it, not even for a second, and it has been so nice reading accurate and non-biased news sources. When something major happens I now have the space to reflect and critically think about it without all of the collective noise and I decide further action for myself.
Don't love you, Instagram: is also something that is problematic for me, the most obvious being they are owned by Facebook. But I do love looking at art/photos and this is ultimately why I haven't left it just yet. Yep, hypocrite. I started using Instagram in 2012 right after I got my iPhone. My T.A., Ian, hooked me up with lots of apps and Instagram was one of them. After 1,200 posts, my account was suddenly shut down...no explanation...no one from Instagram would get back to me. Apparently photos of my hippy, naked Godchildren (#littleswec) were flagged (there were a few photos of bare behinds). I started over and sort of played by the rules a little more. But lately I'm resenting all of the ads, all of the lifestyle accounts that randomly pop into my feed, and anytime I post a photo, I'll get ten more followers and then they unfollow within a day or two if I don't follow back. Someone told me these might be bots (what the hell are bots!?) and I could care less about losing followers, but it mostly feels kind of dispiriting that there is this kind of desperation on social media...it seems unhealthy to do that and spend time doing something like that. The relationship I've always had with Instagram is that if 20 or 20,000 people follow me it doesn't really matter because ultimately, I'm making photos for myself and even though I post nearly everyday, it's an act of bravery for me anytime I share my content. Still deciding if I should keep it or not, but for now it stays. I often feel like I am rebelling against most things, even myself, and I can't really help it.
So blogging maybe?: I had a blog on my old website for years before I moved to a different platform. But like most things I end up writing, I burn or delete...to me a blog is an act of bravery as well. For most of my life I have been uncomfortable using my voice, that's probably what drove me to photography and other forms of visual art, I am far more comfortable visually communicating above all and I'd be a sad, empty shell of a person without it. But I do have a voice and my goal is to add value by having this blog. Once Instagram came along, I stopped blogging and story telling through images. I really miss story telling through images, sharing knowledge, truly owning my content, and not being censored. So this platform might be a better way to share what I'm working on and what's in store for the future. Smiley face.