Amanda Holds Things

Amanda Holds Things and too many thoughts on our 'posting' culture | Amanda Zampelli

Upon recent Instagram posting, I noticed that I have a tendency to hold things up in front of me & take photos of them…so much so that I created a new hashtag for it: #AmandaHOLDSthings and went back in my feed to tag the images that apply. // I’m pleased by the little accumulated collection that resulted.

I hold up a lot of food. There was more than one image of an ice cream cone and a pretty colored leaf, and bits and pieces of ‘making’. However, what I want to write about here is not the rattling off of what I’ve held up, but the psychological phenomenon that I occurred when I categorized them all with a hashtag. Allow me to elaborate…

Amanda Holds Things and too many thoughts on our 'posting' culture | Amanda Zampelli

Social media is weird. The idea of ‘posting’ is weird…yet here we are and there I was the other day preparing to share an image. It was of a leaf I recently picked up and when I analyzed my fingers pinched at the base of the leaf and realized it was another photo of ‘me holding up an object’, my immediate reaction was “UGH! ANOTHER picture of you holding something up?! Not again, Amanda!” like I couldn’t stand my lack of photographic creativity. …like this weird, random tendency was predictable, and therefore pointless.

It was defeatist negative self-talk and I really didn’t like that my brain ‘went there’ – especially about something as stupid as posting a photo! The more I try to use social media with the intention to ‘boost my brand’ the more this silly over-analytical bullspit happens in my brain. Anyway…here’s what I did to combat this feeling of ‘posting inadequacy’

Amanda Holds Things and too many thoughts on our 'posting' culture | Amanda Zampelli

…I hashtagged it, and by doing so – I reframed my brain into viewing this sub-par, inadequate post as part of a collection. Once it became part of a whole, it didn’t seem so basic. Once it became another unique piece of the puzzle, it seemed like a little problem I solved. I wasn’t inadequate and dull! I was cunning and creative! I took a recurring behavior that I analyzed as random, odd, and wasteful and turned it into an activity that can be viewed as a trademark tendency. NOW: I will strive to take more photos this way! Something that I initially felt I should try to never do again is NOW something I will try to do again and over again to build on my collection of ‘THINGS AMANDA HOLDS.’ Mind blown.

Amanda Holds Things and too many thoughts on our 'posting' culture | Amanda Zampelli

I hold things up and take photos of them sometimes. Now I own that. By owning it, and going back into my feed to tag images of things I held, I rediscovered some real gems: the birthday shrimp (above) that I gave to my cats one year on their birthday, and the day we got Jack, my mom’s new black kitten (below).

Every image takes me back to that moment in time. That’s what each piece of a collection is supposed to do. #winning

Amanda Holds Things and too many thoughts on our 'posting' culture | Amanda Zampelli

Did I just ‘hashtag’ winning?! [deeeeeeep sigh] I still don’t like that I (ahem…we) create this drama around ‘posting images’, but the truth is I (ahem…we) do. I don’t like that I ‘hashtag’ winning the fact that I made peace with an inadequate feeling I had about posting something, but here’s where it all stems from:

From a business stand point of wanting to be seen so that I can potentially make an impact, and from an artistic standpoint of wanting to resonate and connect — this will always be something I struggle with to some degree.

I don’t think there’s any real resolution to the sort of brainwashing that is taking place in our culture, no real way to get around the way people process information and ‘take you in’ nowadays… unless there’s a REAL LIFE MOVEMENT.

Those three words have been ringing in my ears lately. So much of what was culturally shunned in the past is now exposed and celebrated on social media today: all body types, all races, all sexual orientations – this is great! Except…why must we do so in this heightened ultra-reality way??? …as if to say: celebrate your flaws, but in the flawless lighting of a commercial studio or on the red carpet after your beauty squad worked on you for hours or against a brightly colored brick wall your entourage scouted days before you wound up in front of it. Do you know what I’m saying?

I don’t mean to sound cynical, and this post has kind of gotten away from me (haa haa!) but this is what I’ve been thinking about, so maybe you have to? We’re working to debunk so many cultural stigmas (yay) by celebrating them inside the culture stigma of picture-perfect advertising (yuck). …of perfect color-matching and curated displays…and I call ‘bullshit’. BULLSHIT! …yet it all affects how I think about & produce content. Damn. Help!

This is where I’m currently at, and I’ve been feeling like something has to change. I’m curious how you feel about it, reader. Do you struggle with this feeling of ‘posting inadequacy’?  Are you tired of feeling brainwashed and controlled by your phone? What would you think of a real real life movement? // #weareinthistogether (oh jeez)