INSPIRATION SOCIAL MEDIA

Say Something More on Instagram

Instagram has become a part of my daily life. And what a sentence, what a weird sequence of words to watch myself write.

Over the past year, thousands of people decided to follow along with me on Instagram, on this little app you scroll through when you’re in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. On this thing you look at when you’re not looking at the other person in the elevator. Thousands of eyes chose to include my content in what they want to see.

I am flattered that people like my photos, but what matters to me is the story. And that somehow, that story teaches someone something, or asks someone a question they’ve been asking themselves but didn’t have the words for.

I hope that what I share on Instagram is not only a window into my life, but a voice that says, “You Are Understood.”

This hits me deeply.

I want to talk about life. I want to talk about the people and places that have changed me. I want to talk about what made me feel something so hard my face turned red and my eyes watered, and the hair on my arms stood up like I was about to be struck by lightning. Because that stuff is electric. It is. Not just in feeling, but in the way it moves through you and anyone you touch.

I want to talk about travel; what I felt on that winding road or distracted by that untimely romance.

I want to talk about my experience and my fear and my struggle– sometimes in equal parts and sometimes not.

I want to talk about learning constantly, and assure you that perfection does and does not exist at the same time, because whatever your experience is in this very moment, is already whole.

I want to talk about how improbable it is that you and I are here, how the events of our lives have unfolded, and how this ride will never stop or slow down; how it feels to be on it as it goes faster than we could possibly comprehend.

I want to talk about what is hard, what makes us feel vulnerable and exposed, bruised or broken, because we learn from ourselves and each other in difficult times.

I want to talk about what is easy, when beauty is everywhere and flows out of me and into me, because it truly does exist every day, whether we notice it or not.

I want to give you something to think about, about your journey, the path you are on and where you have come from.

I want to give you something to smile about, something to cry about, something to assure you that you are understood. That you are not alone.

Words and images are how I choose to tell my story right now, but I live it every day.

That’s just me.

You may use social media as an escape, and if you do, I want you to ask yourself why.

You may not think you have a message. Find out what inspires you instead.

And if you then have something to say, say it.

Use your platform, whatever the size, for something you believe in.

Tell your story, the one that brought you to this point. You choose the medium. Those who matter want to see it through your eyes.

Say something that made you laugh. Say something raw and vulnerable. Say something ugly or beautiful. Say something that surprises you. Say what you are thinking; say what you thought yesterday and give yourself the permission to be constantly vulnerable and constantly changing.

So Instagram is an app. So it lives just on our phones, on these little devices that keep us plugged into so many things that don’t really fundamentally matter. So whatever you are saying, make it matter.

And have the courage to say something. Because our world is rapidly changing at every moment, and it needs you to speak up for what makes you feel most alive.

What is the story you are telling?

Featured photo by Jess Dales.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Bond
    January 12, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    This was something I needed to hear! I’ve been working on posting more quality content as opposed to posting quantity, on all my social media platforms. This post was just a reminder that our platforms can reach people, no matter how small the subject is. Thanks Erin!

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      January 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Yes!!! Glad it was helpful to you. It’s so important to remember that the things we create do matter, even when we discredit ourselves. Thanks Bond!

  • Reply
    Tiffiny
    January 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    You took the words from my mouth. :)

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      January 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks Tiff!! And thanks for talking about this earlier today :)

  • Reply
    Will
    January 13, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Nailed it! Glad there are others out there posting mindful content and living lives of intentionality and purpose. Keep up the stoke! I enjoy following you, my fellow Colorado local and world traveler!

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      January 13, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Thanks Will!! Happy to see you doing it too! :)

  • Reply
    Taryn
    January 13, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Great post Erin! This is something I’ve been thinking about as well. If we just share pretty pictures of where we’ve been, what is that doing besides boosting our egos when we get likes? I definitely agree that connecting with people and sharing stories, emotions and causes is so much more important. On Instagram we suddenly and strangely have this platform to connect with all these strangers, to invite them into our lives and make them not strangers. And I think we also have a responsibility to do some good with that influence.

    For the last few months I’ve been focusing on connecting more on Instagram and on posting about a cause that I care about: Leave No Trace. I’ve started the hashtag #LeaveNoTraceTuesday where I post Leave No Trace tips in my instagram caption every Tuesday and slowly but surely a few other users have started to post too. I’m hoping more people will learn about LNT and post their own #LeaveNoTraceTuesday posts so we can all learn a bit more, share a bit more, connect a bit more on Instagram. I hope you’ll join us next Tuesday.

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      January 13, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Taryn! “we also have a responsibility to do some good with that influence,” – YES! Love it and your initiative with #LeaveNoTraceTuesday. I have an LNT post in my drafts– will be sure to post it on a Tuesday so I can participate. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Melinda DiOrio
    March 15, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Another wonderful post! (I’m spending a little too much time perusing your website today!) Instagram for me is an important tool for sharing photographs, telling stories, and forming GENUINE connections with likeminded people. I’ve blocked “spam” accounts that have followed me before. I’m looking to connect with followers who are truly interested in what I’m sharing. I think we really need to get back to what social media is meant to really be… an online tool to help us be more social…a tool to connect with other people that inspire you and share similar interests. It definitely does not have to be just about “escaping” – imagining you were living that person’s life, or just leaving empty comments and Likes to get a “follow back”.

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      March 17, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Thanks Melinda! I have really enjoyed using social media to connect with people and start conversations about what matter to me. There will always be a numbers game, but personally I’ll never stray from talking about things I care about and trying to connect with someone else. Sounds like you are that way too :)

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