Opinion: Instagram v. Twitter

As a writer who is trying to gain recognition, I’ve done what dozens of writing magazines, podcasts, and Facebook pages keep telling me to do: have multiple platforms on multiple social media sites.

This has been a…mostly unsuccessful endeavor on my part seeing as I find social media a distraction from what I really should be doing (a.k.a writing). However, I have found a friend in Instagram, what I once believed to be one of the most self-indulgent websites out there.

I used to think Twitter was my best bet for gaining attention (and perhaps it is) but I find Instagram to be miles superior for these reasons:

There isn’t nearly as much drama on Instagram as there is on Twitter.

Or at least I’ve found this to be true in the writing community. Every time I logged on to Twitter I was instantly flooded by tweets about who was pissed with who. If I were to rename Twitter I would call it Who Are We Mad At Now? It was like being stuck in high school math class all over again. On Instagram, people just take well posed pictures of books, spiral notebooks, or their laptops. Nobody is offended, nobody is being offensive. Everyone is just having a good time looking at cool pictures.

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You can type much more. 

People often praise Twitter for it’s brevity (it being the soul of wit and all), nonetheless, I think that’s how most people get in trouble. They can’t adequately explain themselves in that many words so they often come off as arrogant or uninformed. I much prefer Instagram with it’s (so far) 2,200 character limit. I don’t think anyone needs that many characters for a single post, but it’s good to have that much space available.

You don’t have to constantly think of something witty to say. 

Updating on Instagram is easy. All you have to do is snap a picture of something, make a hashtag, and boom. You got a post. With Twitter I had to continually read and reread my tweet to make sure I wouldn’t offend someone, rework it, and before I knew it, I had spent 10 minutes on a single tweet. This is a colossal waste of time. I would much rather take a photograph of a gorgeous bookstore I saw than try to convince people how smart I am because of who I voted for in 2016.

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If Twitter is your thing, that’s fine. But if you find yourself getting tired of the constant drama and character limitations, I recommend giving Instagram a try. I’ve followed a lot of interesting people this way and I truly believe it’s the superior website if you’re looking for people to communicate with on books and writing.

 

This is a Story about YOU: a Documentary

A few weeks ago, I was given an assignment to create an autobiographical piece for my documentary class.

No big deal, I thought. I talk about myself on my blog all the time. Producing a 10 minute video over a subject I know intimately should be no struggle.

It is such a struggle.

I’ve amassed a pretty impressive collection of B-roll (a supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot), but I am completely blanking on what to write for my voice-over narration.

I decided that the scope of the video should be over my writing. However, writing has encompassed so much of my life, it seems nearly impossible to cover the things that have influenced my craft.

Because everything has impacted my writing: relationships, moves, friends, adventures, boredom, books, journals, good days, bad days, age, etc.

There are so many moments, too many to count, that have changed how I view the world. However, I can’t, nor should I try to, address every instance. For one thing it would be too long, for another it would be too boring.

Melodrama is also a factor I am trying to avoid.

Nothing is worse than watching a self-indulgent cheese-fest for 10 minutes while trapped in a classroom for over an hour.

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Nobody cares about your dead parakeet, Judith! No one!

Well, time for screenwriting attempt number 300.

Anyone have a tragic background story they aren’t using?

A Most Photogenic Cat

My boss went out of town to a business conference in another state and asked me if I wanted to watch her house and look after her neighbor’s cat while she was gone.

She had forgotten she told her neighbor she would look after the tabby while he was out of town, so she would need me to make sure his pet was taken care of as well.

It wouldn’t be difficult, she assured me. The cat spent most of its days outdoors but had a food and water bowl in the garage that needed to be filled regularly.

When I first met the cat, I noticed he was different from most of his kind in that he was unusually friendly.

I named him Barnaby and we became best friends.

I ask you, is there anything more beautiful than a low-maintenance relationship?

All I had to do was feed him and he would treat me like Cat Jesus.

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We had a good thing going.

I’d take care of my boss’ house, make sure Barnaby had enough food and water, and then we’d hang out and take a bunch of pictures at his place.

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I remember when we sat by the pool for the last time. He stretched out on my lap and I thought this would be a perfect time to snap a photo.

My instincts were correct.

The wind picked up at just the right time, causing my hair to fan out to the side. It would seem the tiniest bit of dust got into Barnaby’s eye at that moment because, when I examined the photo afterwards, I saw that he appeared to be winking at the camera.

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My brief friendship with Barnaby taught me a lot of things that will follow me throughout life.

However one lesson stands out above all the rest:

I am horribly allergic to cats.

Prior to this experience I had no idea. While many of my friends have owned cats, their felines typically just eyed me suspiciously and flounced away.

Barnaby, however, was intent on killing me with kindness and I didn’t even know it.

I’d go over to the garage, take care of him, then I would come home and feel like I’d been hit by a semi.

My head would feel as it it was grow exponentially and congestion would make it impossible to breathe. I thought I was coming down with the flu.

But I put the pieces together as soon as I realized I always felt worse after coming to see him.

So thanks for the memories, Barnaby, I forgive you for trying to kill me.

At least I have photos to remember you by.