Tag Archives: anxiety

Virtually socializing

Hello again. Where have I been? I’ve been playing with paints & photos, dilly-dallying over there in Instagram land. Back in June I revved up my online socializing experiment by participating in a 7 day collaborative photo project hosted by Sandra Harris of Raincoast Creative Salon and Christie Jones of bedsidesign. The theme was inspired by favourite elements found in Wes Anderson films, and each day had a visual prompt:

WesCollage  {Symmetry, Overhead, Saturation, and Boat from #wesandersongrams #foliophoto project}

Sandra and Christie are two artists living on opposite sides of the continent who’ve never met in person, but they collaborate, host, and engage in creative online socializing. As Sandra says, “It’s a visual connection.” They both write great blog posts on creativity.

IGcity{some of my Instagram photos, including a #futura #wesandersongrams one of me as Chad}

Well – surprise – trying out the hashtag factor on my photos brought me new followers and increased interaction. I was already enjoying my doable list of visual sharing with creative family members and local artists, but now I was interacting with people world wide.


Oops. The introvert in me recoiled: why would I chit-chat with strangers, putting myself out there in a bigger pond? Oy, the sweaty hands and spelling mistakes when caption writing.


However, the joy of seeing other people’s images, their “eye”, their funny quips, was addictive. I’ve always been someone who enjoys looking at other people’s photos, and hearing the stories that go with them. I find it odd, though, to count numbers of followers, numbers of likes (how many red hearts collected) (boing), whether someone has stopped posting or is posting a lot, and how to take in each image thoroughly and consider an enthusiastic but not needy comment, etc. I was over-thinking it all (inward thinking it all), and had to tame the hysteria with some “Netiquette” guidance.

pearcey_d_grasshopper“… as a general rule, people are not scrutinizing you.”

I already feel the benefits of having expressed myself in this public way, responding to feedback in a manner that feels “me,” offering my own appreciation and (sometimes) witty remarks, and continuing to engage in this virtual image party.

IGcountry{images from my Instagram feed @dawnpearcey}

Self expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment  {Pearl S. Buck}