a viral dichotomy

a viral dichotomy

my instagram posts and my STILL blog posts rarely meet each other. i do that intentionally. they really serve two different purposes, and in an important way they are stories told in two different voices. here at STILL, i am trying to present my best daily work, and on instagram i am trying to tell a story about my life, and interact with a community. one is like a gallery. the other is like a text exchange. but yesterday i posted this photo on instagram (here), and the reaction was interesting enough to migrate over into the world of STILL blog. i actually posted a diptych of this photo next to the identical photo after i had intentionally jostled the white background, and broken the perfect outline of the central circle.  i invited my instagram followers to pick one or the other, promising not to judge but hinting that there was something personally revealing about one choice vs. the other. as i’m writing this, almost 100 people have weighed in, maybe 4 times the usual number of commenters, and the night is still young. i’m certain that, buried somewhere in this flood of responses, is an insight into virality. but i don’t feel i’m any closer to understanding what makes something go viral. and really, in the end, i’m not actually chasing posts that go viral. i’m more interested in that sweet human urge to reach a hand out, to communicate, to make a connection, that lives behind each one of those responses. hey mary jo, these distant friends are saying, here’s this tiny part of who i am that i’d like to mingle with this part of who you are. thanks for sharing, they seem to say. and i think, you’re welcome. and thank you. and the ragged world is infinitessimally stitched back together.

brown and green nature bits assembled

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