Why I Instagram

So the whole start of this Hairy Runner thing started with a dormant personal Instagram account that I changed the name on, made public, and watched it modestly grow. It’s still a pretty small account, but it’s mine. This blog has grown out of that, and I have more space to elaborate on the pictures and other musings. Eventually my social media sites will be linked together better.  

But a funny thing happened along the way building the IG following – I started to become invested in people’s stories. I follow mostly other recreational runners (and my poor friends and family that stuck around after the account grew) who mostly are not professionals, but enjoy running. They post the same pics I do of them in various poses before, during, or after runs and a lot of the time they have that little Garmin or Strava text along the bottom showing distance, time, and pace of their latest accomplishment. Also #medalmonday pics. Those are always fun.

Over time, I found that I really enjoy following people as they progress in their journeys. I felt like I was celebrating with them when they reached a milestone like their first 100-mile month, or each time they set a new PR. I of course felt the love with likes and compliments back. I ended up finding that whenever my motivation for a run dropped, picking up my phone and scrolling through, seeing other people going out and getting in their miles, actually hyped me up to do the same. It’s weird – I of course have never met 98% of my IG followers, but I find myself wondering if they had fun on that trip, or I can’t wait to find out if they crushed their PR on that Disney Run.

I recognize this is partially a by-product of social engineering and that this is the intent, but it is still interesting to me anyway.