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The Power of Social Media as Your Personalized Magazine 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFSP chapter.

Picture this (and bear with me): The year is 2012, Gossip Girl (2007) is still on TV, your older sister has mastered the fishtail braid, you won’t download the Instagram app for another two years, and life is good. Without the unrelenting presence of Pinterest weighing down on us, where will we draw our artistic inspiration and fashion advice from? From your Teen Vogue magazine subscription, filled with flashing colors, celebrity scandals, and the newest fashion tips from your favorite stylist. My sister was a die-hard magazine loyalist, keeping each subscription lovingly stacked in baskets and on every surface of her room. And being the youngest, I thought her word was gospel. As adults, we frequently talk about missing the presence of magazines, especially when hit with the sudden inspiration to collage. Despite the questionable fashion choices, magazines played a huge role in how I started my life. If I haven’t lost you yet, I’d like to say that my love of magazines has substantially bled into my love for social media. I can’t help it, it might be melting my brain, but I love Instagram, Pinterest, honorable mention VSCO, you name it, I have it downloaded. But I love it because I use it as my own personalized magazine, and you can too! 

Instagram cultivates creative communities by allowing users to find their niche through open sharing. As a platform, Instagram widely promotes interpersonal connections and offers a space in which people with smaller followings can endorse their work. While I’m not blind to the downfalls of social media, with thoughtful attention you can minimize the harmful pressures and unrealistic expectations that are criticized by the media. Magazines of the 2010s weren’t immune to the harmful beauty standards that prevail on social media either, in fact they were often used to promote unrealistic diet fads. However, as a society we have greatly moved away from these standards, and Instagram has been used as a huge part of instilling new ideas regarding what beauty is and what a real body looks like.  

Since I joined in 2014, the algorithm has been working hard to keep up with my hyper fixation of the week. While right now my explore page is filled with crotchet patterns and book reviews, in the past I have deep dove into the worlds of sewing, embroidery, collage, watercolor, and so much more. Instagram always supplies whatever I need when I’m in the mood to try a new art project, and I fully comply. So, how do you start your journey of breaking into the Instagram art community? I have a few suggestions.  

Niche art accounts are some of my favorites to follow. Kit Davey, a book and paper artist creates miniature books with imaginative hinges and shapes out of found objects. There is something so charming about her artwork, and the recycled supplies she uses constantly inspires me to do the same. Jade of @chubbycalico_ from Brisbane, combines her photography and minimalistic approach to design and create the cutest collages. When I’m in an art block, collaging is always the first thing that can get me out, it comes naturally when all the right pieces come together. Instagram fosters communities internationally, another aspect I love. I found Adam Benedict’s art through Jade’s Instagram story and I love the way he combines printing, textile art and collage on @softooth, furthering my need to learn how to cyanotype print. Art, inspiration, and aesthetic expression enrich our lives and improves our empathy and understanding of different people and cultures around the world. It strengthens our visual processing and critical thinking skills. And it just plain entertains, as magazines did for decades.  

Elsa Vidal


Hi! I'm Elsa Vidal, a junior at USFSP majoring in environmental science, and I'm from St. Pete, Florida! I'm currently an editor and the recruitment exec for the USFSP Her Campus chapter!