Things I've not missed about Instagram:
  • the enormous time suck and exhausting effort of trying to keep up with it
  • agonizing over posts (is this too many of Chaucer? of Terence? is everyone bored of my lookups?)
  • racking my brain to come up with clever captions
  • submitting cherished personal moments for approval/dismissal in the form of "likes" (I fucking hate "likes" and believe they are a symbol of everything that's wrong with the world today)
  • playing shitty, zero sum self- and life-comparison games 
  • possibly being a cause for others to play shitty, zero sum self- and life-comparison games
  • the inanity of comments (my own included!)
  • an un-shutoff-able comment system that by its very nature obligates people to participate in an endless circle jerk of compliments*
  • hostile lurkers (people who interacted with other accounts but just silently crept on mine)
  • dramazzz
Things I've missed about Instagram:
  • joking around with some very fun and funny people
  • seeing good times and loved ones reflected back at me in happy little squares
  • having all those happy little squares in one place for easy sharing (GFY Google+)
Luckily I remain in (loose) email contact with most of my old IG buds. And those with whom I don't have been exceptionally sweet about letting me know they understand why I left, and don't hate me for being a fickle spaz where social media is concerned. So that solves the first point. And a possible solution for the others: a "Notstagram" account on Pixieset. It's got a simple, clean web layout comparable to Instagram's:

It's also optimized for mobile (easily swipe through pics), and it's free up to 3GB! You can only upload from your desktop, but once you do, rearranging photos and managing multiple collections (including private, password-protected ones) is a snap. Seems pretty cool so far in case you, too, are looking for an alternative.


* To be verrry clear, I'm not talking about any of my old IG buds. I'm talking about the super shallow interactions you unavoidably get sucked into on Instagram. The bullshit reciprocity contract of "like-backs" and empty, meaningless comments. It's inescapable if you've got a public account and don't want to be a complete asshole.

Incidentally, that's also one of the reasons I keep blog comments disabled. I would hate for anyone to ever feel obligated to comment on my posts. And I can imagine that in some cases, were I to post something extremely personal, some of you lovely, loving people would feel like you should chime in with a word of support. Or if I posted a piece that was obviously more carefully written than others, some of you would rightly suspect I'd be keen to get compliments on it. Even selfies - I'd never want anyone to feel like they had to say OMG ELLIE YOU'RE PURRRTTTY or whatever. I know some of you cats pretty well by now, from emails and whatnot. So much so that at this point, it would almost be weird if you didn't comment on my posts, were commenting an option. It'd be like being ignored by a friend or something. And that's way too much pressure for both of us.

I like the idea of my blog being a place where readers and friends and readerfriends can come and go freely - and totally anonymously. You can take me or leave me, and hopefully you never feel pressured to participate further than just peeking in as little or as much as you'd like. I also imagine that at some point, you'll move on. I'm just not that interesting - I know that. And in the same way that I'm being spared the sadness of wondering where some longtime commenter went, you're being spared the guilt of having disappeared without explanation. Symbiotic mystery FTW.