Recent weeks have given us the gift of time and the luxury, ironically, to reflect on whether or not we are using our time well.
In the moments of deep reflection, many have been asking themselves questions: "Did I learn anything from that?" "Was that a waste of my time?" "Did it make me laugh?" "Was it uplifting?" ... and so on. As well as, "When will things go back to normal?"
On many levels, the lockdown has made us reconsider our habits, our likes and dislikes and our hopes and dreams for the future. And trivial though it might seem, an instagram account - for those who 'do' instagram, is a good place to start.
Who do you follow? What content inspires you or makes you laugh? This week, in my gems of wisdom, I want to help you recalibrate your instagram accounts. This is not for professionals who are running a business. No, it's more for those who want to 'get' something from the time spent on instagram. Whether it be information, connection or entertainment.
So let's go:
7 Gems of Wisdom
7 types of accounts to consider following for a better instagram experience.
1. Personal Accounts
Follow your 'people': sisters, brothers, best friends, friends who inspire you, people whose accounts make you smile. And don't forget your friends running small businesses either. Here are two that I have been inspired by:
Homeschool_adventurers - A homeschooling mother, Hannah, shares fun ideas and activities to help other families and their children. I LOVE her instagram stories. At the moment she is setting daily challenges during quarantine schooling so that parents can log onto her page to get inspiration if they're struggling for ideas. A great place to go if you are homeschooling, and if even if you aren't, the resources Hannah shares are great for parents who like to do things with their children.
Petiotes - Incredible talent and resourcefulness channelled into a crafty business. Laure makes stroller bags and personalised cushions and more recently, she has turned her hand to making fabric masks. These are not meant to protect you from Covid 19 but they are better than nothing and have been made following instructions from a French Hospital. 10% of the masks sales will be given back to the NHS through different charities.
You probably listen to the news everyday or watch it on TV, and you can follow BBC News on Instagram. But here's another 'news' account ...
World Economic Forum - Brings individuals together from across the globe and from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive changes to life all over the world.
3. Art and Culture
Different strokes for different folks. Modern art, sculpture, sculpture parks, impressionist paintings, installation art, film .... the list goes on.
I love the paintings in the National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery. But recently, I have also been following the #gettymuseumchallenge. While the world tries to tackle Coronavirus, the Getty Museum found a way to keep people engaged with their art, even though they can’t see it in person. They challenged their social media followers to recreate a work of art using objects and people from the comfort of their own homes. The Getty isn’t the only account doing this; others include Dutch account Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine whose name means #betweenartandquarantine and Covid Classics, four roommates who love art... and are indefinitely quarantined.
.... because at the moment we can't. And with accounts like National Geographic Travel and English Heritage, maybe we won't need to anymore!
New Scientist - The best place to find out what's new in science, and why it matters, and Goldie Blox, because I love the creative videos; I am even tempted to make that cardboard robot arm....
Jamie Oliver - If you haven't seen this account, go and see it now! Beautiful photographs, easy step by step recipe videos and advice on cooking. When you are stuck for inspiration and feeding your family ... again ... look at the photo and follow the instructions. How easy can it be? And if you like to be inspired by a beautiful plate of food, you might like Daryna Kossar's account. She is a food artist who uses edible items to create portraits and images of animals, landscapes and travel scenes. Clever. And arty.
7. Mind, Body and Spirit
I am no equestrian but I do admire those who are. The Gait Post is packed with information for the equestrian world mixed with a country vibe. I like this page and I love the stories. I also follow Andy Murray's instagram account and for laughter both Beachomatic (illustrator of my books) and My Day with Leo always make me smile.
Some ideas for you there. Your time is precious. So, tidy up your feed, follow those who interest, inform and entertain you, and those you admire. Some accounts have stories that are better than their feed ... and vice versa. You can always mute one or the other if you find it just doesn't seem relevant.
And one more link for you - as we are talking about "following" instagram accounts:
Follow da Leader. A stop motion film made by my children using a smart phone and iMovie. Watch it here. I hope it makes you smile. If it does, please like it!
Until next time,
(Cushion from Petiotes)