"Hop on Pop Culture" is my Instagram account. Click the image to go to the page.
I’ve become an Instagram enthusiast in the last year. “Hop On Pop Culture” is my page, and it’s my humorous spin on popular culture. I’ve enjoyed building it up, as it now features more than 600 posts. I usually add something new every day.
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.
As a pop culture theme began to emerge, it became time to change the name of the page to something that reflected that: “Hop on Pop Culture.” It's a play on Dr. Seuss' “Hop On Pop,” a book I've enjoyed since I was a kid. Seuss' entire catalogue is itself a fixture of pop culture, so the title resonated.
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.
I enjoy the entertainment of it all, of course, but I’m also fascinated when a piece of media appeals to more than a niche audience and enters the mainstream. At this point, it becomes part of a society's fabric. Also, media can serve as a touch point, that which bonds people and allows them to find common ground - I often compare my favorite movies and music and such when I meet someone new.
"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."
I'm Eli Natinsky and I'm a communication specialist. This blog explores my work and professional interests. I also delve into other topics, including media, marketing, pop culture, and technology.