Are We Different?
Updated: Jun 1
There is a great line in the Monty Python Film ‘Life Of Brian’ where Brian is trying to rid a crowd following him who believe he is the messiah.
Shouting out from his bedroom window at the crowd he says “You don’t need to follow me - you don’t need to follow anybody” He then continues “You are all different“ to which the crowd in unison shout back “Yes we are all different”
Then one solitary voice is heard saying “ I’m not".
Are we different? Well I think the man in the film may just about be right.
Why am I telling you this?
Well my love/hate relationship with Instagram continues
“Do I need to follow you? Do I need to follow anybody?”
Does it matter? (No)
What matters is enjoying and engaging with those whose work you follow.
Increasingly it seems people are more interested in striving to become ‘influencers’ and gain more and more followers.
That’s fine. I really wish you every success in that if thats your dream.
But you can lose sight of the world around you as you pressure yourself into gaining a larger following - which won’t really change your life.
Engaging with the real world will though.
Remember you need to gain in excess of a million followers to be considered an influencer so unless you’re doing something stupid like setting fire to yourself or are famous , the chances are - what you’re doing has been done by others already and you’re not likely to earn a lot, if any money.
So why bump into lamp posts not looking where where you’re going in your haste to get the latest update from snapchat/ insta feed etc. Some people step into roads in front of cars.
It’s not a healthy activity is it?
So whilst a part of me dislikes this aspect of social media, I have to accept progress and its likely to be for a while.
Like cars took over from horses, like mobile phones /texts have taken over letters and pretty much made telephone kiosks redundant, things change.
But I do wonder if we will evolve with a thicker skull to protect our heads from such impacts and a permanent crooked neck looking down - which means making an effort to look up.
However, what I do like about instagram is how it’s made the world a smaller place.
And what has struck me in a lot of those I follow is just how similar we are.
I see photos / videos of people in Russia dancing to British and American 1950’s rock n roll.
I see amazing scenic views people have taken of their home countries.
Yes different scenes to ones I have here - but what it’s saying to me is.. they like a nice peaceful view of a lake/mountain as much as I do.
Recently I’ve taken photos of an Indian lady that oozed compassion and warmth and sang beautiful Indian folk songs as I took her photograph.
I’ve taken photos of German and French ballet trained dancers. Both moved with such grace.
A young man who originates from Kurdistan with a philosophy of compassion and humanity in everything he does.
An Estonian who is one the whackiest but friendly and creative girls I know - and who offered me a photo of her holding out a ‘lucky’ pomegranate as a way of wishing me a happy new year.
A young lady from Czech Republic who I’ll be working with taking photos of her amazing hand crafted jewellery.
I see photos taken by an amazing Russian photographer who through skilful lighting and mood recreates Renascence like portraits - all very natural looking with no obvious over photoshopping.
Its ok regular readers I’m not going down that road…
So we’re not really that different. We celebrate art, music, light, life and beauty. And cats and food.
Applaud those who have presented work to you that you’ve enjoyed with a comment.
Communication across our world between people appreciating each others art in a world full of apparent turmoil can only be a good thing.
And long may not being that different continue!