I quit Instagram. After they added Reels, which is their answer to TikTok, the time I spent on Instagram ballooned. Reels was remarkably compelling — and the most complete waste of my time ever. I couldn’t keep my hand out of that cookie jar, so I deleted the app and closed my account.
I enjoyed the connections I made on Instagram. A past president of Pentax Corporation used to comment on my photographs! That was fun. But I couldn’t make Instagram bring people here, the primary place I share my creative work. I’d rather invest my time in this site, and in bringing new readers here.
Facebook is a much better place to share my work, because it does bring readers here. So far this year, just shy of 6,000 people have visited this site thanks to my articles being shared on Facebook, mostly in Groups. In the last few months I’ve participated in a lot more Groups in topics I write about, and have begun to share my articles in them.
One Group was for personal essayists, which is the genre that matches my personal stories the closest. I’d gone along liking and commenting on others’ posts there for a while and recently shared my own work there for the first time.
Doing that got me banned, with no explanation and no recourse. I had shared my recent story about my family’s brush with Child Protective Services. Perhaps that was too challenging a story for that Group. I know it doesn’t cast me in a favorable light, as it involves me being quite angry with one of my children. Perhaps that ran afoul of the group’s rule against “triggering” topics? But I’ve read stories there from women processing sexual assault, so I thought my story wouldn’t be over the line. Who knows; like I said, they wouldn’t explain.
I have been surprisingly hurt by this. If my post was unwelcome, why wouldn’t they just delete it and send me a message to explain? It’s not like I’d broken any rules there before. I’d be happy to comply with what they ask.
Before I found and joined that Group, I had created my own Group for people who write stories from their lives. It’s called Personal Essay, Personal Story, and Memoir, and you can join it here. I felt kind of silly for creating it when I discovered the other, already thriving group. But if they don’t want me there, all I can do is seek to add members to the similar group I created.
The point of this group is for people who write stories from their lives to share them with people who like reading them. It’s that simple. If you publish a personal story online, just create a post in the group and paste in a link to the story. If you’ve written a book of personal stories, feel free to plug it there, as well (as long as you don’t spam the group, and participate in it otherwise).
My group may have only 25 members compared to the other group’s 30,000 members, but all good things have to start somewhere. With good participation, this group can be something fun and valuable. I hope you’ll join the group! Click here to join.
One last note: I’ve added a new social-media sharing toolbar to the site. If you’re on your phone, it’s at the bottom of the screen; if you’re on your computer, it’s at the bottom right of the browser window. If you like something I’ve written and think people you know will enjoy it, click one of the buttons to share it via email, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Reddit. Thanks!