“Why Am I Pursuing Unhappiness?”: …changing my Instagram feed

February 13, 2019 by Darren Clarke

“What am I doing to myself?”

That was the question, “What the hell am I doing to myself?”

A month ago I found myself bouncing from the meme happy misinformation of Facebook to the narcissistic mania of Twitter and finally over to Instagram where I was met with a furious, insult filled, NBA sports debate. And it just sucked the life out of me. All this social media screaming unchecked, overly emotionally based, perspectives down the throats of whoever dare question individual world views and/or personal taste in propaganda.

“Why am I doing this?”

And it was a really good question. Why was I pursuing unhappiness? So I decided to take action, not get up off the couch and do a real thing action, I’m not there yet (and it’s cold out and I am in Canada so settle down), rather I chose to act on what I was letting into my home. I went through my Instagram follows and removed every sports and politically related page from my feed. I then spent some time searching for and adding a large group of talented artists and photographers.

Then I refreshed my feed.

In place of partisan perspective, the tracing of lies, the unleashing of anger and frustration there was suddenly roadside attractions, vintage neon signs, black and white barbershop photos, lonesome bits of highway stretching out before snow capped mountains, labours of love, oil on canvas, works to capture a brief moment of shadow and light playing on pastel rooftops, intricately woven ink renderings of castles and forests, a giant red octopus.

The results of my change in diet were immediate. In place of anger and frustration was awe. Awe inspired by creation, by love, by whimsy, by craft, by the world around me conveyed in nuance, created without partisan leaning, created not to force me to think a specific thing (and only a specific thing) but rather mostly designed to inspire my sense of wonder.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know about threats to important things like your water supply, freedoms at large, or simply the health and welfare of your fellow man but that can’t be it, that can’t be all.

I refreshed my feed and was reminded that the world has beautiful things in it.

Here are a few random selections of some of my favourite stuff over the course of a few days on Instagram.



View this post on Instagram

No humans in sight👌🏼

A post shared by Chelsea Meissner (@chelseameissner58) on

View this post on Instagram

Working on “The Secret Rabbit Meeting" ✨

A post shared by Marina Antonova (@marina.antonova.art) on

View this post on Instagram

"Блудный сын", 2017г. На данный момент это самая сложная тема, за которую мне когда-либо приходилось браться. Спасибо преподавателям, которые помогали и поддерживали, когда опускались руки… Тема сложная не только из-за ее религиозного содержания… Общее решение появилось, но никак не получалось найти нужную фигуру в нужном ракурсе и повороте. И друзей просила позировать, и вольнослушателей, и натурщиков наших академических-не то. Были отчаянные попытки приставать к колоритным прохожим,а однажды даже просила соседского алкоголика… Но,тщетно…так и получилось 2 варианта одной темы, потому как того самого идеального образа так и не нашла…но я не отчаиваюсь… Просто ещё не время) . . . #art #artstudent #artist #artwork #philosophy #winter #painting #painter #russianartist #artinreligion #arcadiagallery #academicart #instaart #instaartist #modernartt #modernpainting #picture #oiloncanvas #oilpainting #russianart #artsacademy #realisticart #contemporaryart #landscape #живопись #художник #искусство #church #religion #biblia

A post shared by Екатерина Брылёва (@katerina.bryleva) on

View this post on Instagram

Sunset 🌅 #fotografiaelias2003 #photoaventurero

A post shared by Elijah (@photographyeliasg) on

View this post on Instagram

Shopping cart basics. #foodbasics

A post shared by Darren Clarke (@leftfieldlark) on

View this post on Instagram

“Lake’s Edge” #lakelife #maine

A post shared by Andrew Faulkner (@andrew_faulkner_art) on


View this post on Instagram

СкетчSketch. #скетч #sketch

A post shared by Roman Maklakov (@roman.maklakov) on