Monday 8 August 2022

It's not me, Instagram, it's you

Handmade lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Where the heck is time draining away to? I've never known time fly by so fast as it has these past couple of years. It feels like 2020 and 2021 didn't really happen.

As is usual in summer, my bead production has slowed down. On hot days I can only manage a couple of hours in the shed before it becomes unbearable and on very hot days I don't even attempt lampwork. I've been adding the occasional set of beads or piece of jewellery to my shop as and when I make them.

Handmade lampwork glass earringss by Laura Sparling

Handmade lampwork glass earrings by Laura Sparling

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me mention that I'm easing up on using that platform. I'm far from the only Instagram user who is disgruntled with the direction in which Instagram are heading. I've used that platform since it was brand new and I've adjusted to all the changes they've made to it over the years but I don't like what it's become. They now refer to still photographs as 'legacy media' which is modernspeak for 'outdated' and they're very much all about pushing the video content. I don't want to be bombarded with videos every time I open the app. If I wanted that I'd sign up for TikTok - an app that I think should be outlawed for the damage it's doing to young people and society as a whole. I'm not a content creator. I make beads. I don't want to have to think up, film and foist videos on everyone. I'm seeing small business people I follow making reels about things that have zero to do with what they make and sell and it's clearly to try and appease the algorithm and keep their account and posts visible to others. Well, no. NO. I'm not doing that. No 'free' app is free; we pay with our data, time and engagement and frankly I've given Instagram - and Facebook, or Meta or whatever they now call themselves - enough of all three things.

I've decided I'm going back to basics. This is probably a daft move but something in my gut is telling me to sack off Instagram. It no longer feels fun and although I've always known I'm being played by Big Tech whenever I use it, now it feels blatant.

I have my website, this blog and a mailing list - three things I've had for almost as long as I've been making beads. I'm going to try and blog more (the stuff I used to put on Instagram has to go somewhere) and I'm going to try and send out maybe a weekly email with news of new work for sale.

You can sign up to my mailing list here and if you're looking at the web version of this very blog (if you're on a mobile or tablet scroll right down to the end of this post and tap 'view web version') on the right hand sidebar you can sign up to my blog feed via RSS or Atom by using a feed reader. I use and recommend Feedly for this which is available for desktop, iOS and Android.

When I can I will try and give advance notice of bead sales. Bead sales are a weird thing right now, though, what with the Cost Of Living Crisis (I'm guessing we'll be able to rename that 'The Recession' soon) and I have noticed my sales slowing down. Of course that could just be because people no longer like my beads (or me) but I'm going to bumble on through and just do what I do. I have noticed that the sales of a few other beadmakers have slowed too so I guess I'm not alone in this.

Handmade lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

At the time of typing the beads and jewellery I've dotted throughout this post are available in my shop.

Handmade lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I'm now off to do myself a cup soup which I know is weird for a hot sunny day but I had a filling in a wisdom tooth replaced this morning and my lip, chin and left hand side of my mouth are still numb so I need a slurpable lunch that doesn't carry a risk of accidental tongue-chomp.


  1. Thanks for the notice, Laura. I'll keep an eye out for your emails and check your site to keep up! Back to basics sounds good!

  2. Yes I too hate the reels. I feel quite cross eyed with them. I like Pinterest, but then there is no interaction there. The old Instagram is such a loss.

  3. Ciao, Laura. Allora bentornata alla grande! Ti ho sempre seguita, contattata, tramite il blog. Non ho Facebook, non ho Instagram, non sopporto Tik Tok, guardo Pinterest per curiosità, perciò ti capisco. Ora avrò modo di vedere le tue creazioni più spesso. Auguri per il dente! Ciao. Ros

  4. Ros - Hello, and thank you so much!

    And to the two anonymouses, I'm glad you understand. Thank you.

    Laura x


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