Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 6 May 2014

So... Instagram!

What’s that about?

We have finally joined yet another social network. This time, it's Instagram.
Our profile pic for Instagram
A portrait of the Husband, painted by the dort

I’m not entirely sure why, except that the dort decided it would be a good idea.

She and I were sitting on the bed, messing about, watching bad tv, and generally spending some time together on her weekend off. It was nice. It’s always so nice when it’s nice.

The dort doesn’t do a lot of social networking; she’s far too busy. She does, however, use Instagram. It’s the modern age in images. Kids are good at that stuff. With the advent of the mobile phone with a decent built in camera, kids take photos without giving it a second thought, and discard them just as easily. Photographs are ephemeral to them.

Taking photos when we were kids was a big deal. Cameras, film and processing were all pretty expensive, film took time to process and the results were not remotely reliable; they couldn’t be altered either. Photographs were held carefully by the corners with clean fingers and put into albums, often with annotations. Photos were taken on holidays and special occasions. We were dressed in our best and said ‘cheese’ or ‘porridge’ for the camera.

It’s just not like that any more.

So, the husband and I now have an Instagram account @VincentAbnett.

Here’s my problem: I haven’t got the first clue what to do with it. I can’t just keep banging up selfies and pictures of the husband at his desk. That could get very old very fast.

So, for all you lovely readers who know about this stuff, how does this work? What makes a good Instagram pic? What do you like to see? Who do you like to follow? What the hell do we do next?

I’m serious! Tell me! Clue me in!

We’re all about the words.

I know I put pics up on here, but I really started doing that because I read a blog about blogs that suggested it was a good idea, and, let’s face it, it’s not that hard to find a pic to go with words when there’s a theme right there in front of me. What’s tough for me is telling a story with one picture.

I rarely use the camera on my phone. It doesn’t come naturally to me, and it’s even more rare for me to take a selfie.

I did try to take a picture of the dort to put on Instagram, yesterday, but she wouldn’t let me. It turns out she doesn’t like having her picture taken. 

Makes me wonder what the hell she puts up on Instagram. Perhaps I should follow her... No, maybe not... I’ve never invaded my kids’ privacy on the social networks, and I’m not about to start now.


  1. Apparently Instagram is the fastest growing and most popular social media platform for the ages of 16-25 and as one of your younger readers, who at the age of 22 is probably still 'down with the kids', I'll try and give you my 20 pence on Instagram. Now, I'm going to be honest, I am not very good at taking photos. I'm bad with lighting, positioning, focus (despite the fact theres an auto focus function) and just generally making a mess of the whole point-and-shoot idea of photography. But that is why Instagram exists, the filters make a terrible photo look 'cool' or retro and the misting tool can make a badly focused photo look intentional. My own Instagram account (Which you so graciously followed, by accident or by choice) is pretty much filled with selfies, pictures of vinyl or books I just bought and somber images of coursework completed or in progress. I'll admit, I'm not very 'good' at Instagram.

    I think the key is to try and make it interesting. And, as you've said, nobody wants to see hundreds of selfies or pictures of the same thing day in and day out, despite it being the growing trend. I think the key is to use it sparingly. Use it for an occasion, or for when you genuinely find something interesting or exciting that you want to share with people. I know a lot of people who do weekly or daily 'currently listening to' or 'Currently reading' snaps that, with your reading hour and your line of work, might actually be a good idea. Similarly, there are these trends of hashtags along the lines of Throw back tuesday/thursday (#tbt) where you post a picture recounting a fond memory to share with people who haven't seen it.

    In essence, Instagram is not really like any other social media network, it's for people with no time to tweet or post statuses on Facebook. It's quick, simple and effective. As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words. Sorry for the wordy and badly written comment, the depths of essay writing madness seems to have robbed me of my ability to make grammatical sense and write proper sentences. Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks for that! Exactly the sort of thing I was looking for… Now, of you go, back to all that hard study. Smiles.

    2. The final essay of my MA(hons.) and it's on fairy tales. Praying for friday to hurry up.

  2. The beauty of a site like Instagram is that it's anything goes (within reason) so in a way it is a blank canvas for you to express yourself however you wish. Some like to use it like facebook posting selfies and events they want to to share with friends, while other's like to be a bit more artistic. Myself, I do a lot of walking so I like to take pictures of things that catch my eye. It could be a street performer, some graffiti, images of nature or just something random that I find funny or ironic. One picture that I took recently was of an electonic lock to the server room at my job, the lock was damaged and the digital display read "The door is now open. Sabotage" it made me thing of a door being hacked in a spy movie, and got a few laughs from my friends. To sum it up; its your Instagram have fun with it and don't worry about catering to an audience. If they like what you feel like sharing then they'll follow you, the internet is a big place so you're bound to find people with similar tastes in random photos.