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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