While the world is divided into two by the virtues and vices of social media, here's my share from last half a year's experiences.
I haven't been an active social media participant for all my life. Started with Instagram and Twitter accounts a few years ago out of FOMO, only to be a silent spectator and dormant reader. Until recently, when I took to travel and photography. Instagram has been a boon ever since.
Photography: though it is not exactly a platform for photography, but definitely brings together some of the best creativities across the globe into one single swipeable app. For a beginner in the creative world, this is proving to be helpful to draw inspirations, connect with fellow creators and take notes on reference pictures. While there are multiple other websites to browse through for the same( Flickr , YourShot etc) and I watch those spaces diligently as well, Instagram is purely easier. On the contrary it can be very counter productive. One can get lost here after spending considerable time on search and discovery, because there is so much content, relatable or not. One link leads to another and maybe away from the matter in hand. However, if invested with a goal in mind and restricted from drifting away, it is more useful than not. I have grown to spend an hour or more on Instagram everyday, in instalments, with the sole motto of finding interesting perspectives and creative viewpoints, and stalk crushes of course.
Travel: in the last 5 months of solo traveling spree of mine, there has been innumerable instances where I got stuck, in places as well as situations. In times like these, I have reached out to people, known or strangers, on Instagram and have been assisted without hesitation. I'll take this opportunity to mention this one particular incident where I was stranded in Karwar for a night without a train back to Goa and bare minimum cash in hand. People at the station were least helpful. I took to Instagram. While searching for a local contact, I came across KarwarMeriJaan, reached out, and was promptly helped to figure a safe and budget place close by, and also showed me around town for the little time I had. Was blown away by their hospitality. It has also been helpful while exploring new places by myself. While information present on Google is usually enough to find out locations to visit in a city, having the confidence of a local traveller or expert helps in finding spots erstwhile ignored. While in Mumbai for a few days, ReservedSeat sent me to streets and corners I would have otherwise never set foot on. I owe my monochrome Mumbai streets series to them. While safety is a big concern for a solo female traveller, in my experience, faith in strangers has made me new friends in strange lands.
As with everything that exists, there is always a flip side and opinions vary. Social media is no different. What we do with the information and accessibility available here is what matters.
Holding on to the vices for another day.