In her last newsletter Helen Redfern shared this article about Instagram and as I’m struggling lately with the little app, it resulted in some thoughts. Because the mean people and feeling inadequate is one side of the story for me, but the other is something I was never good at – belonging to a group.
In the last few weeks, when the Black Lives Matter movement got stronger on Instagram you were easily judged if you didn’t take a public stand on it. It was like being in high school again indeed. You’re doing what we think you should be doing or you don’t belong with us.
But see, not everyone works through big things publicly. Some of us need time to think things through, others are doing amazing work somewhere unseen. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t support Black Lives Matter or any other cause or that we’re racists. We just do things differently from you.
I have to admit that I had a problem with big accounts announcing that they will now be quiet for a week and watch and learn. Because this is the privilege we are talking about for so long now. The possibility to sit and watch, the expectation that the people fighting the fight will show how it’s done and educate us on the matter. And then having an opinion about others not educating themselves publicly, on Instagram.
I wish we were all more inclusive. That we accepted that everyone is different and has different needs and ways of dealing with stuff. It’s not a contest, there is no one way to do this. Why can’t we accept that?
Anyway, what I was trying to say is that Instagram feels lately like you can only belong there if you do things a certain way. And if you don’t, you’re that weird kid that’s sitting alone on a lunch break.