Friday, December 30, 2016

Spotify and Instagram

I have recently joined both Spotify and Instagram.

I'm not what you'd call an early adopter. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. Instead of suffering from FOMO, I relish being on the fringe of society. I resist joining things and adopting trends; not exclusively having to do with electronics, either.  I am an introvert; I march to my own beat and gravitate toward a 'granola' mentality.

Back in the 90s, I procrastinated getting a computer for as long as possible. Even though I owned my own business and had heard about computers and knew that people were transitioning into 'email' and 'websites', but to me it seemed like a superfluous fad. It took me several years to join the crowd. It was 1998, before I finally got a computer; mainly so that I could see what all the fuss was about this "Internet" I kept hearing about. Once I took the leap, I was hooked. I became addicted to AOL chat rooms for a while and now I like the interaction of Facebook. I've probably been online daily since I started unless I make an effort to take a break from it.

And it was a similar story with the iPhone. I heard about it and I thought it was a pretty neat idea, but I didn't see the point in actually getting one for myself. I'm pretty simple and don't like to unnecessarily complicate my life. It wasn't until I was caught, with some fellow actors, in a blizzard in Provincetown, MA. It was white out conditions as we were driving three hours back to New York. If it weren't for the GPS feature of my friend's iPhone, we would have been hopelessly lost all night, since the snow was obscuring the roads and the signs. I got my own iPhone soon after and I love it, for the most part. I haven't had a land line since 2008.


I had long been pining for a way to discover new music and I had heard about Spotify and Apple Music and Amazon Play, etc. True to form, I resisted exploring them. Or when I did explore them, I ended up with more questions than answers, didn't know how they worked, and wasn't sure if I was going to go over my data limits every month if I was constantly streaming music. And I know that my music tastes don't tend to be normal, so I wasn't sure if 'my kind' of music would even show up. Feeling overwhelmed, I walked away.

It wasn't until two months ago, when I got trained as a Nia FreeDance DJ that I took the dive into Spotify.  Part of the training was a mini tutorial about navigating around and using Spotify for teaching my classes. Adelle and Joanie completely demystified it for me, so I jumped in.

My first jump was a misstep, though. I noticed that all of my iTunes playlists were visible to everyone. There were a lot of them and I didn't want them shared. One option was to go through and individually mark each playlist as Private, but I wasn't eager to take the time to hide each one. (It took mouse navigation and several clicks to hide each playlist.) I couldn't figure out how to remove or hide my Local Files in any other way except for option two, which was to close that account and open a new one, being careful NOT to click the button that connects iTunes to Spotify. The first time I joined, I used Facebook to open my account, but since I closed that account, they wouldn't let me use Facebook to open another one. I had to open my second account manually. I had to come up with a user name rather than use my name as I do on Facebook.  Sadly, I think this makes it hard for my friends to find me.  Since I joined Spotify originally to DJ Nia FreeDance classes, and I'm a First Degree Black Belt Nia Teacher, I chose a username based on being JAG, the First Degree DJ.

My username: jagfirstdegreedj

I don't know if caps matter in the world of Spotify, but I used all lowercase and it's all one word.

Whenever I'm on Spotify, I see a feed that shows what my friends are listening to, but I don't know who, if anyone, sees an update on what I'm listening to. And so far I don't see any way to interact with each other, so it feels a bit isolated and voyeuristic.

I have been finding some pretty cool new-to-me music, though, and I'm building some playlists for Nia FreeDance and Nia choreography as well as some just for my listening pleasure and for working out to. One of the projects I'm developing is inspired by classic Nia routines from the 90s. I'm going for the world-music-pop-music blend they used to embrace before they began leaning more towards dance music. I'm entering a list of the classic Nia songs and Spotify makes recommendations for other songs... I could do it all day.



And now, just yesterday, I don't know why Instagram sought me out or how they found me. But I got an email to join Instagram. I suspect it has something to do with either my active Facebook account, or my YouTube channel or maybe my activity here on Blogger.

I have mainly used my YouTube channel to post videos of my workouts, and I post most of my pictures on my Facebook page, where I also give voice to some of my thoughts. And I've been posting my photos and sometimes short videos on Blogger when I log road trips or have random thoughts to share. So I don't really see the need for Instagram. I do know my history, though, so I wonder what I'm not getting yet. I suppose I could join now and eventually I'll fall in love with it. I did click on the invitation and I confirmed my email so I have an open account. And I've been told I already have 15 followers but have yet to post a photo or even write my bio. At this point I don't have plans to do either. I'm not convinced it's something I would use.

All I really like to do is chat and connect with people to exchange ideas.  And I also like to post videos of myself working out. I do work out in my underwear so that I don't have as much laundry to do each week. This has been largely misinterpreted as some sort of sexualizing of my fitness regimen, but to me it is not sexual; it's just what I wear. I'm completely comfortable with casual nudity, however, I don't consider being in underpants as nudity. I get comments along those lines and let them roll off my back.

Maybe I'll think of a purpose for Instagram, or maybe it'll end up like Pinterest and Wordpress and LinkedIn, where I open accounts and maybe upload a few things but then lose interest. Or it could end up being like my own website, which I hired someone to build for me and then basically ignored it.  Now it's terribly out of date and I don't know how to make changes on it. People seem to think I'm technologically literate, but that's just simply not the case.

If I were, I would have put together a whole online fitness program by now. I would love to make videos and live streams of workouts for people to purchase and enjoy, but I don't have the capacity.

By the way, I've also never Tweeted nor Vined.


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