Friday, June 28, 2013

Instagram and I are like Facebook Official

I have a huge lady crush on Beyonce and if this picture doesn't automatically make you think of motherhood swagger, I just don't know what will.
My guest post is up on Autumn's blog today and you guessed it, it's about B.
The lady is one helluva class act and you can find out what life lessons we can learn from the woman who runs the world and there may even be an Oprah quote or two.

Now back to this jolly ol' post.  
I have mad love for Instagram.  I was thinking about this the other day and I would go as far as to say that it's my favorite form of social media.  I don't know about you, but I can tolerate a person through their life captured in images versus dialogue on their Facebook and sometimes on their blog.   "Tolerate" might be a strong word to use there, especially since most of the accounts I follow on Instagram are of people that I want to follow.  For me there's an art to Instagram and you don't necessarily have to a good writer or the best photographer, you just need to capture moments of your life.  I just love seeing a life captured in i n d i v i d u a l moments.  There's something very real and genuine about it.  You can throw a filter on a picture with text and doodles, but it's still a memory frozen in time.

For me pictures can tell so much about a life.  They capture moments of friendship, love, and entertainment.  I know people tease others so much about those food shots, but in that moment we appreciate the blessing of food so much that we take a picture of that tasty sammich because we are excited.  This might be stretching it, but in a broader sense it's a celebration of appreciating what we have in our life.  We appreciate moments of hilarity with friends and we take a picture.  We appreciate quotes enough to take a screen shot and share it on Instagram or save it on our phones.  We appreciate the hard work of others and click that "like" button to add another heart to that picture.

I recently opened my Instagram up to the public because I like to share my photos and that can't necessarily be done with hashtags if an account is set to private.  I've really enjoyed that decision because I've met other Instagram users, like avid readers through the hashtags #bookstagram and #booknerd.  It's silly, but at the same time, I meet people who share my same interests and it's faster than searching through blogs.  I can also appreciate what they share through their pictures.  This decision has also caused me to explore other Instagram accounts, ones that I definitely didn't follow prior to opening up my account.  It also gives me an appreciation for each person and what they share.

Ever since I've been in tech school for the military, I've been struggling with how my body has been reacting physically to the stress and schedule changes.  I've gained weight and lost tone, and it's the first time in my life that this has been "this bad."  It's been a really frustrating process because I have a strong core from years of athletic work but it looks squishy.  I also don't fit into the clothes that I wore in college and boy howdy has that been a nightmare.  I actually hate how I look in my clothes now and that, plus our lack of funds for more new clothes, has been pressuring me to get rid of these love handles and excess squish.  I've been incorporating a healthier diet but it's been difficult to maintain patience with this.  After I opened my account, I started following several fitness Instagrammers and people who went from average to really toned.  They often share recipes and fitness tips on their accounts and if nothing else, they share pictures of their kick-ass progress.  It's incredibly inspirational and everyday I have the opportunity to simply open up Instagram and right away, I have several pictures to inspire me to hit the gym and work really hard. 

With that, I can share my own progress.  With hashtags like #TIUbikiniseries and #instafit, I open up the opportunity for other people who are working out and sharing their progress to see the pictures that I share.  Importantly, it holds me accountable for working out and sticking with the goals that I want to achieve.  Seeing other people's progress and their willingness to share actual weight numbers and clothing sizes has also been pretty awesome.  I was a 0-2 from high school through college and it's made me realize that I can be a bigger size and still be incredibly fit.  I feel like my body is adjusting to being a woman and I've got hips and an ass that only gets bigger with the more squats I do. That can't be helped and it's ok because my body is strong, flexible, and the human body in general is pretty sweet.

With Instagram, I can also share the things that I'm interested in, whether it's a product, quote, or something on a blog.  My name is Kimberly and I am a Disney addict.  Two of the selected pictures above are Disney-related.  However, with sharing pictures I can show my friends and family the things that I've been thinking about.  A few weeks ago I was struggling with living at our current station because I'm not the biggest fan of the "city" which is incredibly small.  During that time, I was on alert and really wanted to go to Disney World so I ordered multiple Disney vacation planning DVDs.  When they came in the mail, I may or may not have squealed with delight.  The same type of squeal that I emitted when I saw that Build-a-Bear has a Sully!  Of course, our nearest Build-a-Bear is four hours away.  If anyone wants to send him to me, that would seriously make my summer :P  These things bring little shots of joy and happiness.  They just cheer me up.  I also love memory-keeping and journaling.  I bought a 10-year everyday journal because I love the concept of capturing daily moments with a sentence or few sentences.  With this journal I can go back and look at what I did that day.  I think this will be particularly awesome when I'm 33 and I can see what I was thinking about the same day when I was 23 :)  These types of concepts I share on my Instagram and I really want to bring that more to my blog.  I think this type of post will help greatly with that vision.

 I really enjoy the diversity of accounts that I follow, whether it's a friend from back home or favorite celebrities.  Elle McLemore, who plays Holly Truman on Army Wives as well as was an actress in the Bring it On the Musical, is one of my favorite accounts.  We oddly enough have a lot in common, especially our extensive love for all things Disney.  Nevertheless, accounts like hers and fellow bloggers just cheer me up.  I love to see the things they share and it's just fun.  I also like seeing funny memes, quotes, and like I stated above, products that I think I would enjoy.  The act of sharing those can pay that emotion forward, and bring joy or laughter to someone else.  I also feel like Instagram has a stronger marketable approach of word-of-mouth than blogging does.  If I like something, I take a picture of it and share it immediately, that's kind of become the standard with our technological generation.  There's even a hashtag if we post a picture later than when it happened.  

The most important aspect that I really enjoy about Instagram and the reason that got me started is the opportunity to share my life moments.  I can share birthday parties, dinners with friends, baseball games on Thirsty Thursdays, cute dates, or moments with my dogs (which I do quite often).  The filters make it fun but we're with Instagram we're actually documenting our lives.  If you Instagram as often as I do, you document moments every single day and often times, more than one moment.  I can scroll through my Instagram profile and see pictures of every care package I sent Ryan while he was deployed and the shenanigans my freshman residents did while I was a House Fellow at Wisconsin.  It's a time capsule that shares my interests and events that are happening right now.

Our next step is to actually publish this, whether it's printing the photos or gathering them in a book.  We're documenting our generation for the future.

Do you use Instagram?  How do you think it has affected your life?   

Thanks for reading xoxo

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  1. I aim to use it in between blogging but lately I've been quite busy so what I instagram about often relates to my posts. Until this week I've had exams so there hasn't been many fun or pretty moments to share! photos of law textbooks just aren't interesting. You can see my blog and instagram here:

  2. I'm currently horrified with my body after having Wyatt. He's a year and I'm still huge. I thought by now I'd be back down to my pre-baby weight and it's taking a toll on my self-confidence. I love that you're doing this! What are some fitness instagramers you follow? I'd love to follow them also. And I don't know if I'm following you yet?

  3. I definitely know how that can feel but not all of life's moments are pretty pictures but I always have reinforcements. I save inspirational photos and quotes for moments when I feel a lull in my day-to-day. Who knows, could help out your friends while they're taking exams :)

  4. I follow a ton! Search a fitness hashtag and go from there. A lot of sites promote fitness people, so you can find more people through them. I think I saw a follow notification a few minutes ago. It really is inspiring and I love seeing the progress that other people make. Each fitness account has a different emphasis but they're all great to have :)

  5. Beyonce is a total girl crush for me after seeing her work it on the Super Bowl Halftime Show. She's such a strong, powerful and beautiful woman.

    For me, I feel like Instagram fills in the gaps between Facebook, Twitter and blogging. It's shares moments that sometimes these other social media realms cannot. I feel like I've been putting my Instagram account on hold lately though because I'm trying to get a handle on "real" photography. I want to learn how to use my fancy camera instead of relying on my iPod Touch to snap instant moments in my life. But those "fancier" photos usually end up on Instagram anyway. What can I say? I'm an Insta-addict. :)

  6. i love instagram!! it's such a better way to connect than twitter. I have mine private because one of my (7th grade) students added me. That's one thing I don't like is that anyone can add you without asking. That's one change i would make. but i agree it's sharing moments...i didn't know about the #booknerd so I'll be looking that up :)

  7. I'm the same way! As soon as I upload my Nikon DSLR photos, I often e-mail them to myself so I can open them up on my phone and transfer them to Instagram. It is my favorite social media because a picture really does say a thousand words. I love seeing how people choose to document their lives :)

  8. I'm turning into a hashtag junkie on Instagram, it's one of my favorite ways to find accounts that are either similar to mine or ones that I just love to look through their photos. I'm obsessed with it but I think photos are such a beautiful way to capture the day-to-day.