INSTARATIONALISATION : the things we do for the ‘gram (e.g. I need a twig and a fluffy blanket with my cup of tea…)
Instarationalisation, it’s a ‘thing’ I’m sure (ok so it’s only instagram + rationalisation combined but it’s definitely a ‘thing’)… Let me explain. Earlier this month we were buying weekend treats from a bakery, you know the sort, bakewell tarts and cream doughnuts. A giant biscuit. One gleeful family. I chose a chocolate covered doughnut, though not just because I wanted to eat it. Maybe just a little bit because it was photogenic…
And not for the first time it occurred to me that what I consider normal behaviour has changed quite a bit since I started Instagramming, I wonder if yours has too? I’ve compiled a list to check for 7 signs of Instarationalisation, maybe some sound familiar. Do you…
1 – take photos of coffee/cake/breakfast/lunch/dinner/baking…
Sometimes with a statement of ‘wait, you can’t eat/drink it yet!’ Have you been there/done that? In life before Instagram I would never have even considered taking a photo of a cup of coffee, never mind finding a little coffee art so appealing. Caffeine input would have been my only consideration. But now I have a gallery full of hot drinks and tasty treats, how bizarre and wonderful all at once!
2 – arrange your tabletop to look just-so
To also include finding a photogenic table top on which to arrange your stuff AND if that involves attractive coffee art then even better! Do you consider the position of your cup of tea/book/flowers/spoon etc etc when you sit at the table? Do you choose the table in the cafe that looks loveliest or is next to the window? With a slight irritation if the best table is taken…? Welcome to the club!
3 – stand on chairs
That thing we tell off our children about…? Yep, that one. Feet on the furniture to get the best angle of aforementioned tabletop and coffee. Have you ever been in the company of a group of Instagrammers to whom this is the norm? Recently my friend offered me a chair to stand on to take a photo of her taking a photo when I couldn’t get quite the right angle from where I was standing. That’s something I recommend, totally refreshing to know you aren’t the only one doing funny things for the ‘gram.
4 – appreciate balls of string, nice scissors and crumpled linens
Let’s be honest now, who doesn’t? But have you ever kept an eye out for a particularly pretty pair of scissors, you know the ones, the instagram friendly pair that aren’t brilliant as a tool for snipping but look quite marvellous laid artistically next to a bunch of flowers… And surely we all now carry our baked goods to the table with a linen towel? But that’s not the end of the crumpled linens is it? I have a nice linen tablecloth, one of my favourite backgrounds at the moment. Crumpled linen sheets, this summers Instamusthave. And now we wrap ourselves in cosy blankets. You know what though, in my house at least, it’s not just for the ‘gram. Taking photos has introduced to me a snuggly world of blanketry (I’m sure that’s a word) and I do appreciate a nicely patterned pair of socks too…
5 – stand in public spaces waving your phone about trying to get the best angle or, even better, line up the lines…
Oh the parallel lines, the rows of bricks or window frames, I am obsessed with making them align perfectly with the edge of the frame… I don’t care if it involves moving forwards/backwards/right/left/crouching/tiptoes… I know there are apps that can fix these things but theres no challenge there. And beyond the framing, do pretty doorways catch your eye? Other peoples gardens? A spot of #solobikeparking perhaps? (Hoping no passer by thinks you are stalking/planning theft…)
6 – forage for leaves and twigs and flowers and pebbles
See exhibit A above… Larch from the forest floor collected on the way back from the family bakery visit… Decorating table scenes with twigs and flowers and foraged items is definitely something Instagram inspired and now pretty much the norm around here.
7 – take photos of your feet
Once upon a long ago, a photo of my feet found it’s way onto Facebook only to be met with ‘why are you sharing photos of your feet?’ Uh, because on Instagram #ihavethisthingwithfloors and like to share #fromwhereistand… Apparently this doesn’t always make sense outside of Instagram… But within the app it is absolutely acceptable, if not essential to have at least one photo of your feet in your gallery.
One thing that occurred to me though is that this kind of behaviour is much more accepted than it used to be. That, if you put your phone down for a moment, you will notice other people are doing the same thing! On a trip to a restaurant in Brighton earlier this year I was beyond amused watching the girl on the table next to us arrange and rearrange the table to take a photograph. Not because I thought she was funny but because it was like watching a reflection of the three people at my table doing EXACTLY the same thing!
Perhaps what I have learned is that we are looking at the details differently, seeing things we would often miss in the head-down journey from A to B that we might otherwise take. Enjoying the quiet parts of our day and not writing them off as unimportant, seeing them as a moment of beauty in what might be an otherwise busy day, as a moment to appreciate. Do I make sense? And if we choose to take a photograph to share the moment so others can ‘join in’, well that can’t be a bad thing can it? Spread the calm, or as my friend Jena says, have a #calmversation.
For the record, the doughnut was delicious.