Meanwhile, Over on Instagram ...
I won't say that Instagram has become my favored social media platform, but I do know that since starting the Grinch tour, it's the one I've utilized the most. I'm on a few different platforms, and each has its perks and flaws. When I'm out and about in a new city visiting churches and museums and finding random tidbits of trivia, it's difficult to keep up with Twitter. GIFs on Tumblr practically refuse to load on 4G, LTE, or horrible hotel wifi, so I don't really bother. (And using these apps use up my phone's battery pretty quickly.) Instagram, however, is easy to scroll through and catch up on. People post fewer pics than they do tweets. (And I follow fewer people on Insta than on Twitter.) Being away from the hotel room for most of a day means I'm out & about taking pictures, randomly Tweeting (but not following my timeline), and in general finding things out about a new place. Posting pics of buildings, friends, or myself, is relatively quick and easy to do. And it's a great way to find pictures of places in a new city that are worth visiting.
I am also growing to love Instagram more because of the brief moments of creativity it offers to its users. I not only have the opportunity to change filters and saturations to create a different image than originally taken, but I've noticed that, since using it more, I tend to look at things differently. I see buildings and shapes and shadows more through the lens of an artistic photographer rather than someone taking pictures to show the family over the next holiday meal (or one who takes pictures solely of that meal). Playing the same show 10 times a week can be a little monotonous; not being able to bring my keyboard home with me so I can play some Schubert or Bach in the hotel room doesn't help. It's important to find a creative outlet, and as minuscule as Insta may be - and as much as some my think that it's a purely superficial app - it's become a pleasant little escape for me.
There's a part of me that wish I were posting more pictures to Instagram. Well, to any site, actually. I've taking a lot of pictures so far, and most of them haven't seen the light of day. Some of them will find their way onto Instagram, Facebook, or my website. Most probably won't. But that's also okay. I enjoy taking photographs, even with just my iPhone, and it's such a blessing to not have to buy all the film that I used to for my SLR back in the in "old days."
Of course, not all my pictures are amazing. Not all of them are posted "Insta"-ly. Obviously I'll post the occasional selfie, since that is apparently a defining feature of this time period and generation. And sometimes I simply feel the need to post something on Instagram because the image is too dark, and that app's filters are the easiest way for me to use to adjust the picture.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying my pictures are glorious or that I'm at the level of a professional photographer. And Instagram has its faults: sometimes images are grainy when not viewed on a phone's small screen; the square image can be constraining; images don't appear automatically in Twitter's native apps; the filters and other options aren't as powerful as on other apps, etc. But I enjoy using this a lot more than when I would spend time in a dark room filled with the aroma of chemicals. And sometimes a picture can share a lot more about my adventures on the road than a Tweet or a long-winded blog post (oops).
So if you're looking for where I'll be hanging out the most until the New Year, Instagram is most likely the place you'll find me. It's where I've most thoroughly documented this tour and I don't foresee that changing. In the meantime, below are a few Insta pics I've posted over the last few weeks.