Monday, July 13, 2015

A Shot a Day

No, I'm not talking about medication or alcohol. 

While in Chicago for an MS bloggers forum, I was dreading the impending discussion about social media.  I will confess that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Mostly hate.

Years ago, I was an early adopter of technology and social media sites as part of my different jobs, which required me to stay current on computer technology trends. Back in the 90's, I was using the Internet before AOL launched a flat-rate campaign and crashed all its servers (remember busy signals and phone modems?). I was on Facebook before it monetized and before the mysterious 'like-comment-share' algorithms. I had a My_Space page back when that was cool. I worked briefly with a co-founder of Wikipedia to coordinate a meeting about wikis. I used on-line chat rooms and bulletin boards to learn about Multiple Sclerosis when I was first diagnosed. So I'm not a luddite or technophobe.

If used for good, social media can provide a valuable communication tool to share information.  But social media can amplify our inner narcissist. It definitely brings out the superficial, attention-grabbing baby in me, which I'm constantly fighting. I'm not authentic on Facebook or Twitter, I'm putting out an image. Not "Authentic Joan," but rather "On-line Presence Joan." 

But at the Chicago forum, it was pointed out that social media IS the current landscape, so I decided that I would have to jump in again. I heard a bit of enthusiasm for Instagram, so decided to see what the fuss was about. I found a lot of cell-phone pictures, but also an opportunity for my own creativity. Not a forum to mold an imaginary self, but a forum to reflect what I see.

I decided to post one photo each day (almost) that summed up my day from my perspective, which is why you won't see many pictures of me. It was a challenge, finding just one shot, especially since most of my day is spent napping. You can see the results on my Instagram page. Many pictures also got shared to Facebook and Twitter if I was feeling particularly needy, which I was (social media does that to me!).

Here's a sample of some of my favorites shots.

I called this "Cool Yin and Yang clouds."

I snapped a photo of my reflection in the sliding glass door, and saved this for a day when I didn't feel like I was all together.

After struggling with how to shoot a wild sunflower that popped up in our hedgerow (probably a stray black oil sunflower seed from our bird feeders), I captured a goldfinch picking seeds out of the face.

I still don't enjoy how social media makes me feel, but I do enjoy having this new creative outlet. It's a whole different experience. Thanks for letting me share this with you. (Feeling just a little less needy right now...)

You can follow me on Instagram at


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