Expression Through Instagram

I decided to interview and profile my best friend Francheska Kola. She contributes to digital media through her Instagram profile. I have always enjoyed her Instagram and thought she would be an interesting person to profile since she isn’t the typical idea of a digital writer. She has been active on Instagram since 2012 and has posted 233 photos. Throughout the many years I’ve known her, I know how much effort she puts into her Instagram and I thought it would be interesting to ask her some questions about it.

What is the purpose of your Instagram? Do you think you are able to express yourself through your Instagram?

 Francheska: The purpose of my Instagram is to express myself in a way that I want people to see me. I think that I express myself in my best form, and that also might not be my truest form. Instagram is like an art portfolio where you show your best work. I obviously only post good pictures of myself because I want people to see me when I look good rather than when I look bad, and when I’m doing fun things rather than doing nothing. I think Instagram is a good way to highlight the good parts of your life and good experiences such as going on vacation and being with friends and family.

What goes into posting a photo? What is your process?

 Francheska: If it’s a scenery then I will usually take a few pictures and then edit it, make it clearer, change the coloring, and sometimes put on a filter. I’m not really that into filters. I’m more into adjusting the contrast, brightness, and sharpness. If it’s a picture of me with people, then usually that’s just a one take thing. Sometimes it is candid, sometimes it’s not. If it’s a picture of just me usually there’s a bigger process because I will take a few and then pick my favorite one, edit it, and post it. Over the years of being on Instagram, I realized that timing is important and depending on the time of day you will get more likes or fewer likes. I tend to post a picture later in the day around 9 pm or 10 pm which will get more likes than a picture posted at noon.

How do you choose which photos to post?

 Francheska: It depends on what the picture is. If it’s a picture of me, the angle is important. Specifically, for sceneries, I usually post them in landscape. The lighting is very important with all photos.

There are some unwritten rules pertaining to Instagram. What do you think of them and are you conscious of them?

 Francheska: I usually am conscious of them. I try to evenly spread out how many scenery or object photos I post versus how many pictures of myself that I post. Looking at my Instagram now, sometimes I don’t follow that rule, but I personally think your Instagram as a whole looks better if you break it up. I also don’t ever post two black and white photos in a row.

How much do you normally edit your photos? Why do you edit your photos?

 Francheska: Sometimes a picture will just come out really well and not need that much editing. With a picture that I want to get a lot of likes on and I want to be perfect, I like it to look a certain way. I feel like it all depends on the picture. If I think I look good in it, I won’t edit it that much. If I like the picture, but I don’t like the way I look in it, I’ll edit it and then post it. I also think it’s fun and I enjoy the process of editing pictures. I think I spend more time than the average person editing photos.

Do you think your Instagram does a good job representing who you are?

 Francheska: Over the years, I just post whatever I want and I don’t really care what other people think. I feel like it’s a good representation of random things that I do, how I look, and the friends that I have. It’s nice to have a platform where you can document interesting things, and then either you or other people can look back on it. I consider my Instagram a display of art that I have created through photography.






With Great Power…

High School had a LOT of assignments that I perceived as busy work. What was my solution to busy work? Google! Another worksheet with information I have to fill in from the textbook? Google! In Calculus, I would ask the almighty Google for answers and it delivered. This is great! Homework is a breeze, a nice stroll in the park, no worries here! AP Euro had a lot of reading to do. Why would I read through all that when I can just take a quick detour down convenience lane and save the rest of my evening? But although classes seemed sunny, carefree, and easy, I didn’t realize I was living a LIE. Dark clouds were on the horizon.

Exam time. Having some slight difficulties…Where is your Google GOD now? Your savior has forsaken you! I had made a mistake that I am sure everyone has made at some point in their academic career. Filling in homework worksheets with Google is not learning. I was not learning how to find the derivative of a line when I googled every equation in my math homework. I was not learning the intricacies of European History when I googled brief definitions of names and terms to fill in on my homework packet.screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-28-54-pm

Learning the Process>Google the Answer…but it takes longer:(

Learning is a process. Most people need time to let information stew in their brains. Time to reflect on information and process is just as important as the contact time with material in class: homework helps achieve this reflection and processing. But the main point here: from my experience, it is human nature to seek the path of least resistance. The ‘easiest’ path is usually the path taken, even if it is a path that leads to inevitable problems (problems we may not foresee). I looked up answers to homework to save time in the present, even though I would need to understand the material to do well on exams in the future. My thoughts on this matter stem from Carr’s discussion on the Van Nimwegen study on page 214. The lack of a hand-holder for the barebones group was actually beneficial: sure, it was less taxing on the screen assisted group. They had less mental gymnastics to do. But the bare-bones group was the winner in the end, using “‘more focus, more direct an economical solutions, better strategies, and better imprinting of knowledge’” (Carr 215).

The point I want to make is that Google is a wonderful tool to aid in learning. If I wanted to learn anything at all right now, I’m sure I could Google it and be on my way. But like most tools, it can be seriously misused. In spoon feeding so much information at such a rapid pace, the process of learning is at risk. I must be vigilant in observing how my use of Google and other technology impacts my learning. Google should be used as an asset to learning, not as a crutch for homework. With great power… comes great responsibility!