Three months of Instagram and it feels like I am back in highschool

landscape, horizontal, fame, prairie, foggy, fog, morning, farm, rural, agriculture, fence, Alberta, Dan Jurak, orange, golden,

Wow! Highschool seems like such a long, long time ago but the memories of it are coming back in flashes.

Instagram is highschool all over again.

After forty years of being in the work force I am reminded daily about how much I disliked the cliquiness that I hated.

If you were like me, you were never one of the “in” or “popular” people. We seemed to be always on the fringe looking enviously to what we thought was a better place.

I quickly realized that it wasn’t important to me but nevertheless it still bugged me.

Being in the work force felt so much different. You were judged on what you did and how well you did. Coming out of high school and working among adults it was a relief to not see the cliquiness that I had experienced previously.

I learned something that I think that I knew all along, some things never change.

Hopefully I have become a very good judge of photographs having taken them for over forty years, most of it professionally.

When I see a photograph that honestly is not a very good photo get hundreds and even thousands of “likes” in a matter of hours it became clear that lots of people are still interested in being part of the “in” crowd. Maybe if I like this photo I can get recognized and invited into the inner circle? Is that why people fave mediocre images or are my artistic tastes so screwed that it is me who is blind to great art?

Being a stubborn Ukrainian, (that’s what a fellow work mate used to call me, LOL) I prefer to believe that I am right and they are wrong.

I am reminded of the old Grouch Marx saying that goes something like, I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have me.

Fame is hollow if you have to sacrifice what you are to become popular and I sure aren’t returning to high school in the near future.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on May 5, 2018.

10 Responses to “Three months of Instagram and it feels like I am back in highschool”

  1. I am with you on this and I am currently avoiding Instagram, although I may give in for the sake of the blog. I am not a great fan of Twitter, either. It does seem ridiculous that people post pointless things and get millions of likes- watching BGT (15k likes) or, had fish for my tea (30 new followers) etc. I think your photos are great so you can be in my in-crowd, which is probably very out! If I tell my son I am down with the kids, he reassures me that only people who really aren’t down with the kids are the ones that say it!

  2. Liz, we can’t be the only ones who feel this way. LOL

    I’ll continue to post on Instagram if only because every once in a while I find a photographer who is truly creative and interests me. As for likes and follows, I have to keep reminding myself that none of it is as important as how we feel.

    Thank you for visiting and posting,

  3. People like the “idea” of the photograph itself, and not the actual photograph judged on it’s on merit , and yes that is, and will always be totally high school. Lol

  4. You are probably right. πŸ™‚

  5. NO MORE Highschool – being recently retired I can now do more of what I want and much less of what I don’t want which allows me the freedom to be who I am – who I’ve always been
    Also I now can complain about whatever I want – lol

  6. Congratulations on retirement!!! We work most of our lives to enjoy it and now is the time.

    Retirement is so enjoyable I find it very difficult to complain about whatever I want. πŸ™‚


  7. Hi Dan,

    I thought it was great when I recently noticed on your website that you are now on Instagram. I have been reading your blog for around two years now and, as mentioned in another comment I wrote here a while back, I enjoy both your photography and your writing a lot.
    However, between work and family life with a two year old daughter, I almost exclusively use the very limited time I have at the computer for photo editing. Reading my favourite blogs has become something I get around to far less regularly than I would like.
    Instagram as a phone app has been fairly useful in this regard, since I can see what most of the bloggers I follow are up to. I do also post my own landscape photos, although very irregularly, since I would always like to write down some thoughts to go with each of my images and again, I rarely find the time and peace of mind for this.
    Regarding the topic of likes and followers, I got pretty frustrated with Instagram in the beginning (as I did with Flickr and 500px), because I came to realise pretty quickly, that very few users were actually interested in anyone else’s photography but only in aquiring more followers and likes for their own accounts. It took me a little while, but I am now at peace with the fact that without conforming to the popular styles on Instagram and liking, commenting on and following thousands of posts and accounts regardless of their photographic merits, very few people will ever see my work. Eventhough it would be nice if others appreciated my photography, I would like that appreciation to be both sincere and also deserved, and I don’t think there is much of this to be found on Instagram. And if I have to choose between hardly any appreciation or meaningless likes and followers, I will take the former every time.
    Because in the end, photography is something I do first and foremost for myself.

    Kind regards from Germany,


  8. Another great post from you Chris. Thank you for taking the time to putting your thoughts to words.

    Instagram has good and bad aspects to it. The longer I am on there the more I am beginning to recognize those that only like or friend you to garner their own follows. For better or worse I only follow people that I know or whose photos that I like. I will always check out someones who likes my photos to see if they have photos that interest me.

    There is a great app that my daughters pointed me to and it shows me how has among other things unfollowed me. Using it everyday it quickly became obvious who was using a program to gain followers. When I see them unfollow I simply block them and i am sure that they aren’t even aware that I did it.

    At times I get caught asking myself why I don’t have a quarter of a million followers and then I remember, I take photos for my own pleasure and other peoples likes or dislikes are not a valid measure of my photography.

    Maybe we are just getting too old to care anymore but I would rather be happy with what I photograph and post and not have many followers than post something that i don’t like with the intention of garnering favour with others.

    Thank you for the great comment,


  9. You’re right; sometimes I feel like Instagram is just a popularity contest, and people aren’t actually looking at the content, just the person who is posting it.

    While it’s great for self promotion, it still makes you want to be part on the ‘in crowd’, as you say.

    Amber A,

  10. Hi Amber,
    Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    The longer that I am on Instagram the more convinced I am that for some it is only about getting followers.

    I have seen very, very mediocre photographers with tens of thousands of followers. It makes no sense.

    I see very popular photographers with thousands of followers getting hundreds of likes with average photographs.

    I see people who out of the blue follow me and two days later they unfollow (it turns out that there are programs that do this in order to artificially gain followers). BTW those that do a quick follow and unfollow I block.

    We all want to be liked and part of a group to various degrees but for some it seems to be an obsession.


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