By Joe Carrel, Buffalo Exchange Tempe
As with many questionable decisions, this one started with a bet. Specifically, a bet that I, a social media recluse whose Instagram account had yielded a paltry five pictures in three years, could suddenly muster 1,000 loyal followers in six short months. Considering that I neither possess adorable pets nor happen to be an attractive female, this is no meager task. But little did I know that jumping headlong into this hobby of self-documentation would soon lead to a most unexpected discovery.
Now when it comes to pictures, I’m not much of a selfie person. I prefer taking photos of things. Fortunately, a chronic thrifter like myself is never at a loss for things. So I began posting pictures of them, shining a brief yet intense spotlight on those everyday objects that inhabit my every nook and cranny. And that’s when it hit me: “What if I just got rid of all this stuff?”
You see, I am a longtime apartment-dweller, and as you might imagine that doesn’t always pair well with the aforementioned chronic thrifting. My bulging domicile had reached the sad saturation point where “Oh, I gotta get that!” was constantly trumping “Where’s it gonna go?” So, as an act of rebellion against my hoardish tendencies, I decided that Instagram would act as a memorial for these quirky acquisitions. Their spirit could forever be captured in the amber of camera phone-dom, while their physical selves could safely be released back into the wild.
It’s now been seven weeks since I started this good ‘ol fashioned Instagram apartment diet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shedding all worldly possessions so that I can live life anew as a mountaintop monk. But for every object that finds its way onto to my Instagram account (joe_carrel), there’s a whole pile of doodads I’m dropping off at my local thrift shop for other folks to enjoy. I’m also already up over 350 followers and, who knows, I might eventually even get crazy enough to start taking photos of people instead of things.
Looks like some bets do pay off.