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Embracing Instagram as an Introvert

Social Media. Instagram. Twitter. For those of us who grew up with rotary dial phones, it can be an uncomfortable world. I was a hold-out for even owning a cell phone until I was in my thirties, deciding only to purchase one when working on a fashion show out on Pier 52 in Seattle. I had to keep running a quarter mile to a payphone to call the lighting shop for replacement parts. This wasn't all that long ago. Late nineties. Okay, maybe that was a long time ago.

I still had a flip phone while out on tour as a production assistant. I was trying to text a runner to find an old-fashioned washtub for some on-stage stunt and had to keep tapping letters on the keypad. I'd hit the "2" button three times to get to "e", and if I missed it, I had to go through again. I finally got a Blackberry. We called them Crackberries. Remember?

Then Facebook. I signed up years ago, but rarely went on. For the longest time I didn't know my password. I am fairly tech saavy, so why my reluctance to jump onto social media? Is it simply age? I don't think so.

My reluctance, it's likely, stems from the fact that I'm basically an introvert--one who has always wanted to create art, share art, not be the subject of art. Social media puts you front and center. People post polished, shined up versions of themselves. A version that might represent a small percentage of who that person actually is. What about the other 80-90%?

The thought of trying to shine myself up for social media had me terrified and just a tad disgusted. So I had to take a step back. What wouldn't make me feel uncomfortable? Something authentic, yes. Something grittier. My friend, Kim Karston Bush (also the inspiration for the character Lily in Where Are We Tomorrow), helped me discover how Instagram could fit into my life. If I considered the endeavor as an art project, I could wrap my head around it and throw my energy into it.

So now I even have two different accounts:

@tavitaylorblack I post about my upcoming novel (the Italian villa where part of the book takes place, the women who inspired the book), writing life, art inspiration.

@wherearewetomorrow I've invited other people who have worked backstage to share their favorite photos of a life that has practically gone extinct.

Surprisingly, I'm enjoying these projects: designing, writing, planning and connecting. Authentically.

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