My Media Journey

“Media is ubiquitous”

Idk Mark Deuze probably

Media, it is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. On top of that, we are ‘becoming one’ with our media. Since media is ‘everywhere and nowhere’, does that mean we are ceasing to exist? Even though these brain busting questions are very intriguing and I would love to write an in depth paragraph trying (emphasis on trying) to work them out, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about.

Instead, I am going to take you on my ‘Media Journey’, across the deep dark and scary lands of Instagram fame… This makes it sound like I was an ‘Insta-model’ who had a burnout from failing to reach the never-ending demand of bedroom mirror selfies. Thank you for thinking that, seriously I’m flattered.

My ‘Instagram fame’ was different, not special or unique in any way, just different. You see, like every teenager, my followers were leading a boring and depressing daily life, which resulted in them following… Well, me.

By now, you probably should have guessed what my account was all about. I have been avoiding using the correct terminology for it, simply because it sends shivers of cringe down my spine.

I was the owner of a large Instagram-based “meme account”. (‘Large’ being completely subjective, but to fourteen year old me it was) At its peak, the account had a whopping 20 thousand followers and was viewed 4,5 million (!!?) times weekly.

It all started with my iPhone being incapable of giving me the beautiful 16gb’s of storage that I paid for. Instead, it decided to fill half of it with ‘other’, leaving me with way too many memes and too little storage to keep them. So I created an account on Instagram to archive them, just for me.

It was like that for a while, just for me. Until people decided they wanted to see more of my memes. I don’t know what led me to decide I wanted to grow the account, it probably was the kick I got from being praised and getting attention. (Sorry, didn’t mean for that to sound so depressing)

To gain a larger following, I was going to be as active as possible. Starting with spamming the living hell out of my followers, I scoured sites like 9gag and Reddit for hours on end to find funny and interesting content to post. On average, I posted around 12-20 times a day.

I needed to create a community around memes that everyone and their mothers would want to be a part of. This led to me replying to every single dm, creating quizzes on stories, having followers give anonymous confessions on stories, and much more. They loved it, and I loved them. I even gave my followers a special ‘group’ name to help create the feeling of a close community, almost like an online family.

After some time, I noticed that people would become more engaged and ‘loyal’ to my account when I gave them the slightest form of attention. I mean think about it, if a relatively large page follows you back, or likes your posts, you would feel special right? Exactly.

Reading this back, I realize I very much sound like a manipulative psycho, but keep in mind I was fourteen at the time. We were all messed up back then.

The only actual ‘messed up’ thing I did was fake a giveaway in order to get people to promote my account and related hashtags for free. I would say I felt bad but I really didn’t. Every big account you follow that does giveaways pulls this, I promise you.

Anyway, I deleted the account a couple years ago because I felt like it was taking over my life somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the feedback I got and the feeling of having a secret double life. But spending my entire day on social media just didn’t make me happy. Plus my friends screaming at me for impulsively deleting the account was quite funny.

So, in conclusion, I’m extremely grateful for this journey, it is one of the many reasons why I love my media.

To my followers, my online family; I will always remember you ❤️ 

Nina Faase



Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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