Thursday, December 13, 2018

The medium is the message

Many of you have emailed to say you miss sheep pictures and videos on social media and it gives me great pause. The leo in me really misses making that content for you (I especially miss filming episodes of Homesteading Today) but the Aquarius in me loves having these moments private and not feeling obligated to pull my phone out every time something funny or beautiful happens in front of me on the farm. It is a freedom, but one with a cost; our inquiries have dropped off and my bookkeeper (my mother) keeps asking me to get instagram back.

The truth of the mater is that I had been thinking about quitting instagram since last year. I had felt in my gut it was the right thing to do for myself, but more so as a statement against what has become an out of control system of branding oneself and the dangerous formation of hyper homogenous groups of people organized around the same tastes and ideals. Everything began to look the same. Name something interesting in the world and it's turned into a fashion trend through instagram. Nature is fetishized - the occult suddenly demystified; flattened and ironed onto a flower brand, a ceramics brand, a food brand. I often fantasized about posting the most provocative, off-brand images I could find; I wanted very explicit porn, I wanted some big dick butt fucking in the Saipua feed.

Do I begrudge others for using it? No I'm often leaning over on the train to catch a glimpse of someone else's scroll. Do I think we as small (and large) business owners should consider it carefully? Absolutely. I think we have to look around and question everything right now. All the systems and institutions and modes of communication that give us business opportunities and provide ways of 'connection' also give us feelings of isolation and disillusionment --  Donald Trump, and a burning planet.

Despite talking a big game, I didn't actually have the balls to quit. I came very very close several times but in the end I was hacked, or 'phished' as they say with an official looking email from Instagram asking for my username and password in order to get 'certified' with the infamous blue tick. I couldn't come up with this sort of hilarious irony on my own.

In the stupidity of that moment - as I blindly typed in my username and password I felt some part of me knew what was happening and I perhaps thats why I wasn't upset when suddenly within seconds I was turned out into the dark alley of the faceless souls without instagram followers. I was on the farm, sitting at the kitchen table and I stood up and went outside.


LPC said...

I love you so.

Maybe you could designate someone else Head Of Marketing and they could take movies of your sheep, and your flower designs. It wouldn't be the same, but it might be enough and you'd still get to stand up and walk outside.

Unknown said...

I happen upon this terribly annoying landscape designer this morning. A hot balloon filled with the air of the mutual narcissistic musings of her followers. It’s sickening what people have to do to do what they think they have to do. I never have and here I am happy. Yet further from certain things then I might have wanted. I forget about your blog often, but then find myself always coming back at times when I crave authenticity. What a fucking annoying word that has become. Even the word authenticity has been ruined by the masses. Anyway, thanks for your metaphorical hardcore butt fuxking porn. Whenever I see people blowing shit up I can tell that the happiness in their heart is beginning to grow.

Anonymous said...

If you want to get your account back you first need to discover what they changed the name to. ask your friends to help you. Then you type that username in and his reset password. And you maybe able to do it via your email. Just had this happen.

Gather and Assemble said...

I am also one of the people who misses Saipua flowers and animal feeds on Instagram, but in a way, I feel more connected with you (is it too creepy to say that?) reading your blog journals, instead of Instagram posts. I am also a florist-event designer based in Seoul and Tokyo, although I'm probably the laziest person to run a business Instagram account, I am eager to get rid of the app from my phone. Hope you enjoy your days without social media! Sending big hugs!

Boijer said...

I still laugh about the image of you doing the Rambo crawl through the grass in Homesteading Today. Hard-hitting. Highbrow. Late-breaking. Also sticks with me: the racoon oracle that showed up at your door one day a few years ago. I wonder if you ever found out "WHO SENT YOU"? lolol.

Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate your blog. I'm in the biz too and work at a flower farm in Maine. We are big fans, S, and I feel like I've teetered on the edge that you've helped so many of us walk - It's like when Tony Hawk did the first 900 and then once everyone saw him do it they were SWEET OKAY. I really appreciate that you pulled your biz from Goop for the reasons that you spelled out. I have had many false starts with my own artistic career because IH8 CAPITALISM but dang did I love hustling and selling friendship bracelets when I was a kid and the flippin jitterbug is still in me and I don't know what to do or how to get started.

Instagram has an ad every five posts now and every goddamn ad has appropriated that color pink that used to just be the secret and wonderful color of your older sister's birth control clamshell and that color beige that used to just be the color of the curly 30ft. cord on the kitchen room phone.