Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Instagram Etiquette?

I literally just Googled, "Is Instagram just for ass-kissing?". Let's say that I didn't get the answers I was looking for. Reminder to self- don't ever google "ass" and "kissing" together and expect anything but porn and such to come up. ***Pssst*** Really hardcore porn.

I was looking for some articles on Instagram etiquette, really. I guess that's what I should've put in the search box. But I'm not sure if that's what I'm looking for either. I'm only giving context of what's going on to illustrate that I'm so not in the know of how Instagram is supposed to work in terms of the compliment etiquette. I've said a million times- I'm a message board/Facebook gal. If someone posts something- a photo or story, on either one, the idea is to give thoughts on it. Especially on a message board- that's what the premise of them are.

I'm new-ish to Instagram. I joined a few years ago but I never really got it, and have said that I don't particularly like it. I'm getting the hang of it more lately. I don't hate it like I did. It can be weird because people use screen names instead of their real names, so half the time, I don't even know whose pictures I'm looking at. You can't post a photo in a response so that's annoying when the photo would be helpful. I also always feel like I need to make my responses shorter so I don't fully get to say what I want to say. I'm not exactly the most concise.

Instagram is mostly for work so on my work account, I unfollowed most people who are just actors or not in the world of some kind of interior design. I really needed to limit it because otherwise my feed was cluttered with stuff I wasn't even really interested in. I like the cast of Orange is the New Black, but I don't need to see every thing every single one of them posts. And with their hundreds of thousands of followers, they don't notice or care about my like. I unfollowed socialites or people that I'm not sure how I came to follow them in the first place.

I needed to focus. I have some personal friends from real life or my message boards in my work feed, then I have all decorators, designers, product photographers, and then some other people in that world or right on the periphery, but I'm not totally sure what they do.

Being honest though, even some of these famous designers, I don't like or get what they're doing. Our work/creative style, generally speaking, is not this "minimalist" or modern stuff. I've discussed this- to me, it all looks the same. I'm not being a dick. For twelve years, I've been looking at design one way- which is, "why would you want your home to look exactly like everyone else's?". I also know the difference between quality and cheap, imported stuff. I watch two people here, in my store, physically MAKE things. They make and cut patterns, sew, and painstakingly check their work before calling something finished. I feel I've earned the right to be able to pick out what's truly "high end" and what is not. I may not be famous or have a design show, but that doesn't make me less knowledgeable about what's out there in our industry.

Just as some short/quick background - We thrive on making lighting and lampshades special. I scroll past a lot of these rooms, show houses, etc, done by semi-famous to famous designers, and a lot of what I see really cool drapes, bedding, plush couches, but with really boring, cheap lampshades. Or really cheap looking cookie-cutter big-box store pendants and/or chandeliers.

As an aside, I was reading the comments under a photo of a designer's, where people were arguing.  I guess the designer referenced stuff looking the same, other designers purchasing from big box stores, and seeing the same rug all over the place in other design photos. She was accused of targeting certain other designers (from the jist I got). One of the arguments from other designers was that they are often on a strict budget and sometimes need to mix in big box stuff. Uh, I get that at like, Homegoods, they may be able to get stuff on the cheap to mix in. However, in this argument in the comments section, a chandelier from Pottery Barn was referenced. Pottery Barn isn't inexpensive.Sure, it's inexpensive compared to Italian Murano glass, but I wouldn't use Pottery Barn as your argument for having to do a room on the cheap. There are plenty of ways to get more for a client's money than to just go to Pottery Barn.

Most of the time, I click like on the room photos and keep scrolling. I'm trying to be interactive. I want to comment on the stuff I see because I *think* people want feedback. But then I'm not sure if they really do. All I really see is the oohing and ahhing over the work and no one ever saying they don't like something. Not that they should troll or be mean, but I don't find anyone having any kind of opinion. Every. Single. Comment. is just a full on hair-petting.

Last night, for the first time, I told the truth. I said I love everything in the room, that it's fantastic, but I would've done a different or "better" lampshade- meaning a more high quality shade. The chair, the art, the pillows, all looked very rich looking with a lot of color. The lamp had color. The lampshade looked like a cheap paper shade. Well. That was the first time this designer acknowledged anything I've said. I like and comment on his stuff a lot- it's not like I came out of nowhere to troll him. In fact, I've always commented with something very complimentary- short & sweet. I've just been totally ignoring the lampshade situation, which is bleak, at best. I do love his use of color and prints though- A LOT. He just said- "Well I like the lampshade we picked!" HA! His response came off so annoyed & bitchy to me. I replied back that it's just NMS (not my style) and that I said I loved everything else.

Now, this guy has thousands of followers, is in the Hamptons for some show house thing. People are kissing his ass left and right. I'm just wondering if that's the etiquette. Just tell people how great they are and call it a day. I know from looking through comments on other famous people's pages that there are trolls or they famous person will say- "Haters will be deleted" or something like that. But I think actors, musicians, and tv personalities, maybe expect or are used to having trolls on social media? Maybe designers aren't? I really have no idea.

I've only been really active on Instagram for the past couple of months. I can count on one hand how many times someone said something I'd consider mean about any of our stuff. Once, a guy, maybe on Instagram in the beginning said that he liked a "before" picture better than the after. Two ladies went back and forth, almost like they were a plant, saying we were expensive, and that people should go to some place on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Lastly, a lady who is just a Facebook fan of our page said she didn't like a lamp or something.

I totally get that our aesthetic is not the same as everyone else's, especially these days. I know people, especially younger, right now, are very into the modern thing. I catch HGTV every now and again, and from the look of people's homes in their thirties that I've seen, it all looks like what I see on these home renovation shows. Even Traditional Home magazine, on Instagram, is constantly posting pictures of rooms that are totally not Traditional. I just can't tell people that a whole room is amazing, spectacular and so perfect when I think the lighting sucks. I've been picking things in the photos out and saying stuff like- "Great sofa! Love the colors!" or "Amazing prints!" instead of saying that I just love the room, so I don't feel like I'm lying or complimenting the lighting.

It's not that I can't appreciate other kinds of lighting. I can, I'm just really not into modern- just my personal preference. If a follow a designer, then see their aesthetic is totally modern and minimalist, I just unfollow. There's no reason to give my opinion or be interactive, because we're just on totally different design pages.

There are others though, that I like ninety percent of what they do, it's just the lighting I don't get or like. When I say that I need to look at the designers name though to figure out who's room design it is because they mostly look the same, I'm not exaggerating. I happen to only know who the designer is who didn't like my lampshade thoughts BECAUSE he is a little different in his use of bright colors and mixing interesting colors and prints. Generally speaking, I think I can say that I know I'm going to like his rooms before I even see them. EXCEPT the lighting or lampshades. To me, it was like- "this room COULD HAVE BEEN stunning, if ONLY there was a better lampshade". If I see a fantastic chandelier, I compliment it.

I just can't lie when I don't like something. If I just scroll by and don't comment or hit like, then I'm not interacting, but I don't want to kiss ass over things I don't fully like either. If I just hit like, without saying something- either picking out what I do like and mentioning it, or saying I like everything BUT the lampshades, I'm reinforcing that I must like the whole thing. I also feel like if they're putting stuff out there, they want commentary. It's just whether they ONLY want to be stroked and ass-kissed. THAT, is the question.

Such a conundrum- Kiss ass, keep quiet, pick one thing I like, comment, and stick to that....Oh, social media. How I love and hate thee. #olddognewtricks

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