Yes, this post is project-related.
Yes, I know I swore off social media at the beginning of my Watson.
But hear me out.
People are always shocked when they find out I don’t have an Instagram.
“Someone your age without an Instagram???”
“But everyone has one!”
“Facebook if for old ladies and their friends.”
I mean, even my parents have Instagrams (shoutout to @banyantreecoffee). But for the longest time I was against having one. Facebook was enough for me and Instagram just seemed like another unnecessary distraction. I didn’t care much for knowing what all my high school or college loose acquaintances were up to at every photo-taking opportunity of their lives. I also didn’t feel like I had much to share. My phone is filled with pictures of food that I’ve eaten, cooked, or admired from afar and I didn’t feel it necessary to flood the already food-saturated social media stream with more amateur photos of avocado toast and flat whites (yes, I, too, love avocado toast #socali).
But, alas, here I am. A month into my Watson, after having made a public Facebook announcement that “I’ll be unplugging from all social media for the year in an effort to be fully present wherever I go,” I have created an account for the social media of all Social Media – Instagram.
Why, you ask?
Thanks to Jess at Kai (and a few others before her), I’ve finally realized that Instagram not only can be a way of communication but can also be a platform for professional and personal growth, and at times is necessary to make it in this competitive food industry.
Let me elaborate.
- Food and social media go hand-in-hand:
- Social media is a part of every industry nowadays, but for an industry so driven by sensory experiences, the food industry has a particularly strong relationship with social media. Pictures and videos not only showcase what the food is but also where it comes from, how it was made, the faces behind it, and even the moral/ethical/environmental/social issues associated with it.
- Instagram = people, Facebook = businesses
- Instagram more so than Facebook, seems to be a way to follow the people behind the food and restaurants I respect and not just their businesses. For example, at Kai there’s a lot going on in the restaurant and through Jess’s posts on Instagram (@kai_galway) I’m learning about our ingredients, staff, and menus in ways I never thought of otherwise.
- “Network, network, network”:
- Was the advice from many past Watson Fellows at the Watson Reunion in March at Davidson. I guess I’ve been living in the networking stone-age in thinking word of mouth, email, and text are the only ways of networking. A couple quick tags from Jess on Instagram and I’m already connected with more incredible women in the restaurant industry than I could have written by email.
- Chefs (as are most people) are busy and have short attention spans:
- Not everyone wants to click three times to get to my blog or my personal website and read pages about me and what I do. (Hey you, thanks for sticking with me)
- Instagram is a way to showcase your passions and show what issues you care about:
- So my Instagram is going to be filled with food and nature? You better believe it is!
- Lastly, people are cool:
- I’m meeting some pretty darn cool people along the way here and I don’t want to lose touch with them.
Maybe this post is common sense to some of you, but for me, it’s been a humbling realization to come off my high horse and admit that social media is not the devil trying to distract me from my real life. I thought I’d “unplug from social media” to let myself be more present and immersed in the communities I met during this year, but in reality, certain forms of social media (if used in moderation!!!!!!!!!) can, ironically, help me be even more immersed in this crazy world of food.
So while I won’t upload the years of food, cooking, baking, and adventuring (and dog) photos stored in my phone, I hope you do enjoy and find some humor in this new medium of social expression I am beginning to explore.
Oh! And don’t forget to follow me! 😉 @LAdumpling