April Hill Park. Photo by Jennifer Willis.

the story behind my instagram account

This is the stupid story of how I ended up with an Instagram account.

Earlier this year, I got an email from Instagram alerting me to a change in my account. The only problem was that I didn’t have an Instagram account. I replied to the email asking Instagram what I could do to ensure that someone wasn’t fraudulently using my personal credentials to open and maintain this social media account, but I never heard back from them. And then I forgot about it.

… Until I got another such notification from Instagram early one morning at the end of May. After confirming that the message was legitimate, I followed the link in the email to “my” Instagram account. As near as I could tell, a young man in South Korea had established the account using my email address. He listed himself as being “in a band”; he hadn’t posted any images, but he was carrying on DM conversations with a number of young women. (All of the conversations were in Korean, a language I don’t speak or read.)

That ticked me off. The young man wasn’t impersonating me, but he was (at best) borrowing my credentials. So I took over the account, because it technically belonged to me. I changed the user name, the password, and the associated profile information. I deleted all the account’s favorites and messages. I worried a little that I was hacking someone else’s account, which was silly because I’m the one who’d been compromised. I reached out to Instagram again, via both email and Twitter, and again heard nothing back from them.

But then I went about making the account my own. I’ve been taking photos while out and about on my morning hikes, and these are the images I share on Instagram. I had been on the fence about joining Instagram for a few years, but then this young man took the initiative for me and I figured I might as well give it a try. I don’t currently have too many followers, nor am I following all that many people — but if you like nature photos, you might want to check it out.

This has also gotten me to thinking about my social media “strategy,” because I haven’t really had one. I do have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Medium, LinkedIn, Mastodon, and now Instagram, and I should probably spend some time deciding what types of media I’d like to channel through each of these accounts, and how they relate to each other to form a cohesive whole. Or something like that. For now, here’s what we’ve got:

Twitter: @jenwillis
Lots of politics right now — both original thoughts and RTs — with liberal amounts of cute/funny animal photos, health advocacy, musings and information on writing and publishing, and stupid jokes.

Similar to Twitter, but more in-depth and more intimate, on my personal account at least. I also have an author page on Facebook, and that’s devoted to writing and publishing news and information.

Pinterest: jenwillis9
I started Pinterest as a digital scrapbook for ideas and research related to writing projects, and I should probably get back to that. I’ve not used Pinterest in a long while, and I apologize to anyone who was wondering what the hell happened. I really don’t know how best to use Pinterest, and I’m open to suggestions.

Medium: @jenwillis
This is where I’ve posted a select few essays on health, sports, and bullet journaling. It might be a good idea to consider and develop a consistent “brand” or “flavor” for myself over on Medium, or more likely I’ll continue to leave it (mostly) alone.

LinkedIn: jenniferswillis
I was plenty active on LinkedIn about ten years ago and used it to find interview sources for magazine articles and connect with other media professionals. I’ve not touched it much since then.

Mastodon: @jenwillis
I do have a Mastodon account. I’ve not done much with it.

Instagram: jennyindigo12
Nature photos!

So that’s what I’ve got going on in terms of social media. I also have author profiles on Amazon Author Central, Goodreads, and Bookbub, but I’m not doing all that much with these channels just yet.

Out of curiosity, what are your favorite social media channels, and how do you like to use them? I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in thoughts from the spiral.

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