So something a bit surprising and unexpected (wait, those two things are basically the same thing, right?) happened yesterday morning. I got an email at about 7:00am, that I opened at about 8:30am because that’s when I woke up. Now, when I wake up, I usually grab my phone to see what time it is or if I’ve gotten a text from my fiancee or anyone else. I noticed 5 notifications in a row of new followers on Instagram…then it kept popping up. Because I only have 5 notifications at a time popping up on my lockscreen from any given app, I had no idea what was in store for me. I opened my phone and saw that I had a new email. I usually wait to open Instagram because I know it’s going to take up some of my time to check my feed.
The email was from Instagram. Weird. I’d never gotten an email from them. Subject: Instagram Suggested User Feature. Feature? Hm. I’d noticed Instagram was changing the way the explore page is laid out and the suggested users are a bit different now too, so I thought it was an email for everyone letting them know of some new features. The very first line of the e-mail read, “Congratulations, can.dido! You are currently featured on Instagram’s list of Suggested Users.” I didn’t believe it. I’ve looked up to many suggested users. I follow quite a bit of them because they are always inspiring me to challenge myself and to keep taking photos. Sure enough, I opened the Instagram app and I had a direct message from Instagram with the same message! Someone had also opened the flood gates of followers.
This isn’t exactly the most important thing to me. I mean, sure, new followers — and lots of them — are cool, but quality over quantity is always preferred. I do understand that with the large amount of new followers there will be some random people that just want to get their follower count up, but maybe somewhere, maybe 1 out of 10 or 50 or 100 or even 1,000 there will be someone that I can inspire as many suggested users have inspired me and that makes it all worth while.
I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said that now I feel a little more pressure to take better pictures. Over the past year, I feel that the quality of my feed has gotten better and it’s because I’m trying to make it better. I’ve also got to collaborate with some awesome people in the Houston area. I’ve actually felt very proud of my feed and felt my photo taking had matured. I changed my username on Instagram from @kryptonkid07 to @can.dido. I chose the former username in high school and it always felt attached to a younger less mature me. Whatever, I guess that’s a bit silly. Anyway, now I feel like I have more eyes on my pictures and I gotta step it up a bit more.
The Suggested User feature, according to the e-mail, cycles. So, even though I am a suggested user now, I may not be later. That’s okay too. I hope that I can give back what Instagram has given me.
I just felt like rambling a bit on what happened to me. I hope this doesn’t come off as bragging, but it’s something that’s pretty exciting to me. Anyway, if you’ve made it this far, I congratulate you. You have an amazing amount of patience.