#1: How Instagram Could Ruin Our Creative Process

Is it just me, or Instagram could really ruin someone’s creative process?

This photo I’ve taken in Myanmar somehow made it to the Picture Perfect section of Manila Bulletin, a national newspaper in the Philippines, and, along with my other photos, to a photo exhibit at the University of the Philippines Asian Center (featuring grad school classmates who were supportive of my NatGeo dreamz lol yay!).

This was in 2016, the time when I still haven’t thought of setting up an Instagram account for my travel and street photos (this account was born June 2017, y’all) and when I was still a Master’s student in UP with a small government salary who’s broke enough to be able to NOT afford putting up my own website domain. Now that I’m thinking about it, I never needed Instagram or any online presence to be able to land these opportunities four years ago.

Not gonna lie, but I think working on my own website and creating this Instagram account has landed me to so many opportunities, making all my (self-funded) passion projects sustainable and allowing me to continually learn more and improve my work. But through time, I feel like social media has been disrupting my creative process.

At some point, some of us became slaves to vanity metrics (you know, likes, comments, compliments, features, name it). I would post stuff that ‘Instagram would like’ instead of ‘what I like’. Instead of getting inspiration, browsing other works on Instagram makes me very hypercritical of my work (in other words, I self-reject my works even before I post them). And boy, there were times I even let Instagram dictate the places I’ll travel to.

But at the end of the day, I think all that matters is whether the creative process itself still makes you feel alive. And to be fair, this year has made me pause and reflect to figure out a lot of things, including my creative pursuits.

Nothing. I’m just venting while planning my creative journey in 2021. How’s it going, everyone?

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