Recently, Crystal and Tara Luxmore, David Ort, and I decided to make a semi-regular attempt to write something on the same theme, rotating which of us proposes the theme. This concept has no name yet and we’ve only loosely defined the parameters, but here it is. For this first edition, I threw out the idea of ‘The beers I don’t share on instagram.’
As a beer writer, or blogger, or influencer, or beer whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-call-me, much to the chagrin of my friends and family, I tend to share a lot of myself, and by extension, my beer drinking, on social media.
Given most people’s natural tendencies toward making themselves look better on social media (no one, of course, looks the way they really do in most selfies, no one actually eats such artfully-plated meals at every seating), you might think that the beers I choose to share on my Instagram feed are carefully curated to be impressive or to attract more followers, or maybe even appease the beer companies who occasionally send me beer in hopes that I will share them with my uniquely-targeted following.
But they aren’t.
I am not so glib as to claim that I don’t give a shit about what I share on Instragram, because of course I do. I angle my face so it looks more flattering for a stupid selfie. I have arranged food to take a dumb picture of it. And while I don’t go out of my way to ensure the beer I’m sharing is “cool,” I have taken ridiculous pains to stage interesting pictures of the beer I’m drinking.
I care. But I care to take pictures of the shitty beers I drink, too. I don’t hide my guilty pleasure beers and, when I’m at softball or a bar that some macro-brewery has bought out, I will dutifully snap a shot of my Miller High Life or my Bud, too. I figure, if you want to claim some sort of authority on beer, it’s only fair to share the ones you’re not so proud of as well. I like to think of it as full disclosure.
The result is that there really aren’t many beers I don’t share on Instagram; but I’m working to change that.
Increasingly, the few beers that I don’t instagram tend to be the really, really good ones. And I don’t say this in some attempt to elicit FOMO, like I have secret awesome beers that you aren’t even allowed to know about. No. I mean that increasingly, when I have an outstanding beer or I’m in a perfect setting enjoying one of my favourite beers, and the moment seems perfectly suited to sharing with the world and tacking on a handful of hashtags; I don’t.
Perhaps it’s a result of over-sharing for the better part of a decade, or maybe it’s a result of following too many “beer media” types on social media myself, but lately it feels to me like a lot of beer is being enthusiastically consumed in front of a smartphone and it is increasingly difficult to discern if people are actually enjoying drinking the beer, or just enjoying letting the world know they are drinking the beer. So I’m trying to stop. Instead, I’ve been working to get back to the best part of enjoying a beer. That is, just…enjoying it.
I’m working hard to put the phone down and just consider the thing in the glass.
And while I still get twinges thinking about all the “likes” I’m missing out on when I’m sipping a barrel-aged beauty and while the word “engagement” might float into my brain when I’m drinking a rare release I’ve been made privy to, I’ve been finding more and more that enjoying a beer without feeling the need to brag about it or even tell anyone I’m drinking is even more rewarding.
And so, while there still aren’t many beers I don’t share on instagram, I’m working hard to make sure there are more.
Image via Freepik