It seems there is a new social media platform/website every year that takes millennials by storm. It slowly trickles throughout the ranks to young adults then on down the line until one day both of my grandmas have a Facebook account. While I generally test the waters on all platforms, I sometimes end up deleting the app or abandoning my login. Vine went out the window quickly. I couldn’t keep up with Snapchat. I quite frankly don’t know how to properly use Tumblr any longer and my Twitter is only open when there is a trend I want to check out. I regularly check Facebook, but mostly it’s because I want to check out news stories and updates on Disney or travel news. It’s also a handy tool to keep up with my family who live across the country.
I, however, open Instagram no less than one hundred times a day. I comment and like and have favorite users that I love to follow and keep up with. I like this platform more than others, because it’s centered around images. I’m a highly visual person, and a photography lover, so Instagram is naturally right up my alley. There are other useful components of Instagram that mark this higher on my social media scale than Twitter, which I was very fond of for a time. You’re not limited to 140 characters! This allows some immaculate story telling to go along with images. Even better if the story involves emojis. Storytelling using text and images allows me to connect on a deeper level. It allows recognition and nostalgia for places you’ve been before. It allows anticipation and excitement to build for future plans.
The last several months, I’ve also enjoyed another aspect of Instagram that took me by surprise: community-building. In particular, the Disney community. The ability to have an unlimited amount of hashtags causes me to fall into a #disneyworld or #disneygram rabbit hole. There are real-time photos, edited-at-home-several-weeks-later photos and #throwbackthursday photos. There are endless amounts of accounts dedicated solely to Disney. That includes the Disney parks, Disney Cruise Line, Disney trivia, Disney news, etc. My favorites are the simple personal accounts of people who just love Disney. They share their everyday lives while obviously exuding their love of Disney. They show off their beautiful Disney Holiday decorations. I’ve seen photos of a dining room completely devoted to The Haunted Mansion. I see examples of how people bring Disney into their everyday life in such a way that only other Disney fans would catch or understand. I see photos of park wait times, seasonal decorations, and costumes. Not every person in my life is as involved in Disney news and information as I am, and using a social media platform as a visual storytelling tool in my life has brought fulfillment that I didn’t know I craved.
The Disney fan community is vast and worldwide. Instagram allows you to make sincere connections with other individuals you would likely not ever meet in person. I’ve connected with people from around the world that love Disney. I even received a direct message from an internet friend with a beautiful snapshot of Cinderella’s castle, exclaiming “Disney misses you!” That small note from someone I’ve never met face-to-face brightened my entire week. How thoughtful the Disney community is blows me away. If you explore the Disney community on Instagram, I guarantee you will come to find that it is always welcoming with open arms. There are friendly debates on park or movie news. There are real-time, mini trip reports of a person’s day at a park. There are tips on planning. If I had a fantastic meal or experience, I share that on my Instagram, and link it to my Twitter and Tumblr. The Disney Community wants nothing more than to share experiences and are overwhelmingly helpful, honest, and generous. Fandoms of any sort bring together people who may have nothing else in common and may disagree on a number of things. We all have a deep rooted love of Disney and I find there is a built in support and automatic friendship when connecting online, and I am so grateful.
Here are some great feeds to check out if you’re interested in the Disney community. Use Instagram’s “explore” feature to check out these hashtags: #disneyworld #disneyland #disneygram #igers_wdw #disneylover #disneycruise. You can see my Instagram here. Please share in the comments the best connection/experience you’ve had on Instagram or any other social media platform!