Well, after a few years of resistance, I finally caved – I signed up for Instagram.
For multiple reasons, I’ve avoided downloading the photo-sharing app. I’m already active on Twitter and Facebook, and I didn’t want yet another social media platform to keep track of.
As a journalist, social media is quite pervasive in my life. According to my Screen Time app, I’m on my cell phone for about two hours a day, with the majority of that time pertaining to “social networking.” I have Facebook and Twitter open on my work computer on separate tabs throughout the day, and I tend to continue checking my accounts in the evening, when I’m at home. I made the decision to stay away from Instagram because I didn’t want to add even more screen time to my life. Plus, I know that social media can be toxic and contribute to a growing sense of loneliness and inadequacy.
However, I’ve come to the realization that Instagram has become vital in the journalism/content-publishing industry. It is easily the most popular social media platform among young people, and given my line of work and the demographic for much of the content I produce, there’s no excuse to not be using it.
As the sports reporter for this paper, I’m often out shooting video and taking photos at local sporting events, and I always share them on my Facebook and Twitter accounts (@Scottstrasser19 is my Twitter handle, by the way). Given the sports landscape of Rocky View County, most of the subjects I shoot are high school-aged student-athletes and minor sports teams. The athletes featured in my photos are more likely to be active on Instagram than Facebook or Twitter.
Having an Instagram account will be a great way to market my work to the appropriate audience. As much as I lament how pervasive social media has become in journalism and our society, I can’t deny it’s the most effective way to promote content, engage with readers and build a following, which is crucial for any journalist.
Considering how much time I already spend on my phone, I’m going to try to closely monitor my use of Instagram, and my goal is to use it strictly as a professional tool. My account will solely be for sharing my photography and links to my stories.
If you’re keen on seeing more high-quality sports photos and video clips of local athletes, I encourage you to follow me on Instagram at ScottStrasser94.
As for TikTok, well, I still have no plans to get on that particular platform.