“You have to get yourself on Instagram” Yes, yes of course I will. Only it has taken me years to work out Facebook and I still get it wrong.
Social Media is a complex and scary thing when you are not used to it. It requires a completely different thought process and language. You could expect given I am bilingual that learning the language of social media would be a dawdle, not so.
It is simple I was told. Minutes to set up and it is easy just take a photo and click. Oh yes very good. But what do all these symbols mean? Why do you need a wee picture of a paper aeroplane if you have already shared it? By posting does that not mean you have shared it anyway?
And what about the fact that most of my photos are actually on the PC. How do you upload the vital profile photo if you can’t get it from one device to another? My daughter has spent the day being bombarded with photographs being sent to her messenger account so I can then access them to upload onto my Instagram account. No doubt she will spend the next few hours deleting them all.
Perhaps I expect technology to be a bit more advanced than it is. One click doesn’t work in my experience. It only leads to more baffling instructions. For example when trying to connect your writer's Facebook page with Instagram. 'Click the profile icon to access your profile'. Yes well, the one on Facebook or the Instagram one? And when your profile comes up and not your writer's page what do you do given no alternative?
For me, it was half a day of pondering. If I press continue does that mean my account is now open to everyone on Instagram? So I can’t do that. Why doesn’t my writer’s page come up? Eventually, in trepidation that all my posts and friends details would be out there for the whole world to see I pressed ‘continue’ and stopped breathing.
What a relief, after causing me a near heart attack finally I am offered the option of my writer’s page. Why did the instructions not point this out at the beginning? They could have said; please note, it will only show your account details until you click ok, don’t worry, just breathe, none of your friends or family’s information or photographs will be thrown in front of the social media world. I mean just a little piece of friendly information like that would have saved so much adrenaline rushing through my body.
So profile up, Facebook page added (hopefully) now I need to post and follow. This is where it would be good to understand exactly where my English books lie in terms of genre. I know some readers liken them to M C Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth without the crime element. But that isn’t a genre on its own. Although by the number of books she has sold perhaps it should be. But I am no cosy detective writer.
As someone awful at remembering names looking for a writer that starts with D or it could be G or something like that, isn’t going to get me very far when trying to find a particular author.
I’m not sure how all this is going to work. How will I find the time to post and share when I barely have time to gulp a cup of tea down. However, I suppose if it helps readers find out about my books then it will all be worth it.
I shall monitor the situation closely. Hopefully, I can combine my blog on Facebook and my Instagram account together and perhaps see some benefits. I just don’t want to end up with my face in a phone all the time.
I have just checked my recently added Instagram account. It would appear I have managed to follow someone who likes MC Beaton, a good start you would think but unfortunately, all their followers and the language they write in is French. Not one of the languages I speak. Oh well, back to the drawing board I suppose.
However, I can now contact my editor and honestly say I am now on Instagram. For anyone out there that is considering it. This is an approximate timescale of how long it really takes to get started.
For myself roughly eighteen months of looking up blogs and drawing together details on how this platform worked. The timescale includes the phases I gave up and put away all this newfound knowledge having decided I’d much rather write instead. During that eighteen months I carried on taking pictures but not on my phone and therefore I was not able to access them for Instagram without a great deal of fiddling around
Towards the end of that eighteen months, I rechecked those blogs, just in case they had changed! I spoke to others who kept telling me how easy it was. Then I needed a couple of more weeks and a few more deep breaths just to get used to the idea again. Eventually, a whole day to go around in circles and look for information and reaffirm that the information they are giving you doesn’t make any sense at all.
Lastly, a full day to set it up and ponder on the right name, the right pictures, and what on earth does a hashtag do? I’ve still to work that one out.
So here is my Instagram account; cchuttonwriter should that be hashtagged!