I’m trying something new.
It’s a colossal embarrassment, my ignorance and clumsiness are woefully apparent, but let’s not make that our focus.
My daughter Kelley is having me do daily Reels that capture me on film off guard, unpracticed, and then she posts them on Instagram. It’s mortifying. [link here, try not to judge]
Ignorance is one of those things I tend to bury or disguise, my deep, dark secret. Well, one of many I suppose.
On the way to the lake, she held up her phone inches from my face, told me to say hi, and identify my blog. “Be interesting,” she said, “you have 15 seconds to grab people.” No pressure. Warning or practice mind you.
I tried three times which Larry and Kelley thought was hysterical. She posted them all without my full consent.
Reels are like 15-second soundbites, a new feature on Instagram, and they, meaning the Instagram algorithms, like it when you use their new features. Who doesn’t?
Once you have the short clip recorded on your phone you add it to the reel link on Instagram. You can add words, music, questions, etc. I’m not there yet. I might never be.
As Vera Nazarianof notes, those of us who are most ignorant are also the ones who often don’t know it, or don’t want to admit it.
But I’m changing my mind, my first reel has over 2000 views, and my second (which is worse in my opinion) just rounded 3000!
The thing is if you stubbornly cling to your fundamental beliefs about social media, and you have no desire to trod off into the great unknown, then you are likely ignorant. Where do I sign?
Okay, I admit to a shocking lack of interest in technology, but damn, it can be fun.
I think the ability to learn something new is our greatest gift. Think about it. When we take the risk and put ourselves out there, try something new, read, study, and God forbid listen to each other, we are actually evolving our brains. On purpose. Intentionally. And you can do this every damn day.
Before it is too late, go out and find someone who, in your opinion, understands something completely different than you do and have an honest conversation.
Don’t worry about exposing yourself to unhealthy influences, it’s a conversation, not a virus.
We all need to break away from our old and tired habits, soar as if Sally Field in the Flying Nun, be untamed, risk the idea of being considered unorthodox. There’s a freedom in living our lives on our own terms, hurling ourselves into the sky, catching a strong wind. Who knows where we’ll land.
I wound up on a Reel. It happens.
“It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.” Krishnamurti
I think everyone has experienced periods of stagnation, when the sentiment of life gathers in our pipes, and nothing flows. All you can do is remove the barriers and blow that shit out of your system. By barriers I mean the ruts we get in, our fear of failure, or how we stubbornly avoid the dreaded learning curve.
I should know, I’m the queen of avoidance when it comes to the slightest variance in my life. I’m sort of terrorized when I realize it’s the first of the month, or my Blue Apron arrives a day late, but especially when I no longer resembled the face on my license. Who is that person? A 48-year-old version of Cheryl and that version has retired. Bahaha.
Many authors have referred to stagnation as death. A comfortable and safe place where we go to die. Anne Lamott says, “we become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying.”
So I’m risking it all, moving from the written word to making Reels. It’s a thing.
Jello Biafra says don’t hate the media, become the media.
Come tomorrow, I’ll be Reeling with the best of them.
I’m Living in the Gap, reeling on Instagram, care to join me in the comments?
PS. Now Instagram is my number two source of traffic? It almost never registered before Reels. If you need help call Kelley!
PSS. Fun fact: Americans laugh out loud with their mouths wide open, whereas Europeans chuckle softly to themselves. Larry just read this to me from an article in the WSJ about Americans flocking to Portugal. They sort of stand out.
PSSS. Gail and Mike, I hope you’re ready for us! Jim and Sue are bringing their party shoes! Looking forward to lots of open-mouth laughter!