Quite a few people have been asking me why I wanted to start a new Instagram account this year (drnomyn if you would like to follow me). I got the idea a while ago from Pat Thompson, who took a picture each day (but who has since cautioned me it was difficult to analyse). I was also intrigued by Charlotte Pezaro’s one second every day video from 2016, which I and many other Twitter people feature in. There are two reasons I have decided that it is something I want to explore.
Instagram is portable note taking
My brain never stops. Every single experience I have, I look at through an academic lens. I second guess myself, I feel guilty about some decisions, and I experiment with others. Each thought is not fully formed enough to be a blog or an extended academic piece. They just pop into my head as something to muse on. Sometimes they disappear and other times they come back, more fully formed. It is in this latter state that I will usually write a blog.
But it is the former state I mourn. I have so many ideas that I don’t have time to play with. Through the Instagram account, I plan to take images of the situations that spark those ideas. I will come back to then later.
I also share the posts to my Tumblr account where I also save blog posts that spark small ideas. At some point, I will go through both accounts to see if I can flesh some of them out.
I am writing my story through Instagram, but I am also writing my daughters’
As mentioned above, I record my academic ideas on my account. As I am a full time stay home mum at the moment, a lot of those ideas come through interacting with my daughters. I think it is really important to realise that when we write our own stories we are also writing those of others. I think about this a lot, especially when I see teachers share their students’ work or mothers their children’s antics. Would I be happy with what I am saying about them if I was them? What’s my online duty of care to them?
I’m keeping this account to better inform myself in this question. At the end of the year I plan to go back and look at what I’ve recorded about my daughters. While they are under age I give permission to what about them goes online. But, online has a very long tail. Would they be happy at the end of the year? In 10 years? This is an important question digital literacy needs to consider.