point and shoot

Taken with Instagram on my iPhone. Yes, I’ve joined the dark side.

Okay. So I caved. I joined yet another social networking thingie and I blame it all on my iPhone. I love my iPhone, by the way, and it has turned me into this monster. I’m always checking my Twitter and now I’ve joined Instagram. Quite a few of my friends are on it and I wanted to see why. I did and I found myself completely and utterly hooked on it.

It is practically Twitter but instead of one-hundred and forty characters of your thoughts, it is a mini-blog of what you see. You post pictures and put a little caption in it and it is perfect for this text-and-image world that we have found ourselves in. We think in words and pictures and Instagram kind of captures that mentality.

I’m not a good photographer by any means but I enjoy finding little things that interest me and shooting it and putting it up there and the whole idea is I get to share what I see. More than just words. And it’s the same for me, with the people that I follow, I kind of see what they see and I love it.

Yes, the possibility of over-sharing, again is evident, but it is all in how you use it. Tell us what you see. It can be very interesting. Of course, there are people who just shoot food. And sometimes, they even shoot it badly. There are people who just shoot themselves in parties. And that’s okay too. Not my thing. But you can just follow who you want to follow.

I kind of like using Instagram to test my ability to create meaning visually. I’m using it to train myself to use imagery to present meaning. Images provoke thought and emotion. It’s why we use descriptive imagery in poetry to say something rather than say exactly what that something is. Poetry is disguise. As Cirilo Bautista, a brilliant poet and fictionist, told my poetry class back in college, “Poetry is saying one thing but meaning another.” To blurt out openly what one feels is prosaic. It is rhetoric. Poetry says the same thing in a way that you can feel. It hits the gut, not just the brain.

And that’s how I plan to use Instagram. To practice creating meaning and provoking thought through imagery. Eventually, I hope to make my own writing more descriptive, of being able to trust the image to tell my story and never have to explain myself in a verse later on.

For my first few photos, of course, I’m just going to shoot whatever. I’m going to get a hang of it. And of course, I’ll shoot some pictures of myself and my friends. Maybe a lot. But there will be a lot of times, and hopefully in the future, all my photos will be little, tiny stories all on their own. That’s what I am aiming for and I hope that it will help improve my poetry even further.

Or maybe this is just one long-winded excuse as to why I caved and am so into the whole Instagram thing. It’s very possible that I’m just trying to justify my little obsession by being all deep about it.

It’s very possible.



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