Last week I traveled from South Carolina to Paradise Valley Estates to teach their residents how to use the popular social media app, Instagram. I’m confident as a digital marketer. I’m fluent in social media and the digital world. But this was a demographic I hadn’t taught before.
I was an early adopter of this platform back in 2010. Instagram changed the course of social media by providing an almost entirely image-based outlet to share our lives and connect with each other. With their myriad filters and options, anyone can feel like a professional photographer. I’m not alone in this preference. Instagram continues to gain in popularity, while Facebook usage is starting to decline for my generation.
As I approached my classroom, I had no idea what to expect. What if they weren’t interested? What if no one showed up? What if what I presented didn’t make sense? Not to mention, I get nervous speaking to a crowd. (My nerves were calmed once Instagram superstar Paul Kersey told me to look at his funny faces whenever I got nervous. Thanks, Paul!)
Fortunately, all my fears immediately vanished as soon as my students walked in the door. Right away, they were eager to learn and participate. I was blown away by the level of excitement and energy in the room as they created their accounts, explored hashtags, snapped and edited photos using filters, and tagged their friends and family members.
Class may be out of session, but the residents of PVE have some fun plans of their own for how to use this platform.
In April, they’ll be participating in a PVE Instagram photo challenge. Each day the residents will be given a different prompt, and they will post an Instagram photo that creatively expresses their answer. Laughter filled the air as residents shouted out ideas, especially when they realized April Fools’ Day kicks off the month of photos. Personally, I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
During my stay, I gained more new friends than I can count, all with unique stories and adventures that they’re now ready to share on Instagram. More importantly, I was exposed to just how wonderful the #PVElife is!
Curious as to what the PVE lifestyle is all about? You can see it all through Instagram’s lens by following @paradisevalleyestatesca on Instagram and checking out the #PVElife hashtag for the latest happenings on campus.