I joined last summer when a friend/colleague suggested I sign up for the social media platform. He said he enjoys using it, and he's found it to be a good way to get his ideas out to the public. I signed up immediately after our conversation.
My account started to take shape a few months later when I was shopping at my local supermarket. I saw a copy of US Weekly near the checkout counter with a headline about a celebrity scandal involving a well-known actor who was said to be involved with his children’s nanny. I saw this similar scenario play out in the pages of other gossip magazines during the years, and chuckled as I passed by. I thought, “Of course! It’s ALWAYS the nanny!” It occurred to me the combination of the cover image and a one liner would make an amusing post. So, I snapped a photo of the cover with my phone, typed my quip, added a few hashtags, and posted.
At that point, the tabloid related posts became more frequent. Eventually, I started to incorporate photos I found online along with pictures of the articles and my captions. Also, I made a point to include more hashtags so my posts would appear on several Instagram pages.
Now, tabloids are the starting point for most of my posts. Weekly, I flip through four tabloids: The National Enquirer,
The National Examiner, Globe, and
Closer Weekly. The combination of the publications offers a good mix of celebrity gossip (“So and so are dating!”), sensational headlines (“Mom fends off prowler!”), and cute features (“This kitty will melt your heart!”).
Tabloids provide my inspiration.
This is how my process unfolds: I’ll take a photo of a tabloid story that catches my attention either because of the subject or the headline - sometimes both. Then, I’ll play with ideas, devising different layouts and captions. Sometimes I’ll get an idea right away, other times it will take days or even weeks for the notion to arrive. There are also times when the idea will start off as one thing, then turn into something else.
The captions allow me to hone my sense of humor. In contrast to longer form pieces I create like newspaper articles and media releases, this is informal short form writing - like a joke you would share with a friend. One of my favorite sayings is from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and that’s “Brevity is the soul of wit.” On that note, I try to keep my captions to a few sentences.
It's fitting I gravitated to pop culture themes. I love pop culture, and I have since I was a kid. I’ve always been drawn to movies, TV, music, celebrity gossip, etc. “Hop on Pop Culture” has become a placeholder for my media interests and even a scrapbook of sorts - it represents a lifetime of media that I’ve enjoyed. Some of my posts reflect more recent interests and tastes like
“Game of Thrones.” Others are children’s television shows and cartoons I enjoyed when I was young (“Sesame Street," “Yogi Bear."). Then there are classics in various genres I return to again and again (“Star Trek," “Ghostbusters,” “It's a Wonderful Life.").
This recent post received more than 100 "likes."
"Hop On Pop Culture" has turned out to be an excellent creative exercise, and it will be interesting to see how my Instagram evolves in the months and years to come.
I'll keep you... "posted."