My First 100 Days on Instagram

I stopped using Facebook around 2010. As my first and only social media account, it met my needs for years. I used it to learn about upcoming events, to stay up to date on what shenanigans my friends were getting into, but mostly to communicate. Afterall, it was the dark days prior to unlimited texting. A text was 10 cents. Facebook was free.

But then unlimited texting became standard. And, as friends went to different colleges and fell out of touch, suddenly only our mom’s friends were commenting on our photos. It was a sign that Facebook’s usefulness had run its course for us. I, like many others, stepped away. 

Some went to Twitter, which had been growing in popularity for a couple years. Others went to Instagram, the hot new photo sharing app that our parents weren’t on yet. I stayed out of it. For an entire decade, I happily sat on the sidelines as social media trends came and went, oblivious to it all.


When I discovered horology, my watch world consisted of only two outlets. First, a welcoming group of local enthusiasts that met monthly and maintained a lively group chat. And YouTube, a platform where I could anonymously absorb information to my heart’s content. Marc from Long Island Watch taught me how to size a bracelet and use a bezel, and Marshall at Wristwatch Revival was nice enough to let me watch him service vintage watches. I loved my little self-imposed bubble. Between my anonymity on Youtube and the snobbery-free environment of local meet-ups, my formative years in the hobby were pressure free- allowing me to develop a permissive collector’s philosophy.

But the latest news was always slow to penetrate this bubble. From new industry-changing movements such as the Miyota 9075, constant new releases, and surprising collaborations, there is rarely a dull day in the watch world. It took time for my favorite YouTube creators to digest and publish their take on current happenings, and the local group chat is filled with folks that have jobs and lives. Suddenly they’d be chatting about the new Swatch/Omega collab as if it was old news, and I’d be playing catch up asking myself what the hell a MoonSwatch was.

The time had come to go straight to the source, the epicenter of the action for much of the watch community: Instagram. Joining the platform came with warnings, not unlike when an unsuspecting movie character enters a haunted forest full of perils. Beware of the hype, I was ominously cautioned. Prepare your wallet for an increase in purchases, enthusiasts advised. Don’t get caught up in the madness. Madness? The whole hobby is already mad, I thought, and then debated which dive watch to wear for a day I would spend entirely on land.

One reservation I had when giving up my online anonymity was personal and emotional investment. How would I feel when I inevitably encountered the negativity inherent with social media? Well, comments on recent articles took the guesswork out of that. Thankfully I learned that negative comments didn’t bother me if I could stand by my opinions.

Something I’ve explored in previous editorials is my appreciation for high-end watches despite my personal gravitation toward budget beaters. After some initial fumbling and Googling things like “How do I add hashtags to a post?” and “Why is my feed full of Seinfeld clips?”, I soon found myself enjoying a personally curated feed of 5711s and affordable microbrands. Despite the warnings, I didn’t get that uneasy feeling that comes from being around an overly ambitious salesman. Rather than feeling like Instagram was trying to sell me something, it felt more like a virtual watch meetup. A mix of what is haute, and what is not, with folks ready to engage in conversation if I felt so inclined.

Am I happy I joined Instagram? Unequivocally yes. It’s nice to have a seat at the table. I can log in whenever I want to and connect with fellow enthusiasts and content creators, thank podcasters for recent episodes, and give feedback directly to my favorite microbrands. And when I’m the creator, comments and likes on a Worn & Wound post give me real-time feedback on how recently published articles are being received.

I don’t take the opportunity to share my opinions on Worn and Wound lightly, and while I like to have a good time with my editorials, I keep it professional. But sometimes, a less-than-professional mood strikes. Instagram has become my personal playground for quick and dirty wrist shots, or those moments when I want to photograph a waffle dial watch on an actual waffle iron, or a tuning fork watch with a guitar tuner and a fork from my kitchen. My wife says I should be less niche and more obvious, and she’s probably right, but for now I’m enjoying breaking up the standard wrist shot monotony and making myself chuckle in the process. #waffledial #tuningforkwatch


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A post shared by Nathan Schultz (@spinning_bezel)

Will I take the plunge to figure out what Threads, Instagram’s newest feature, is all about? Maybe, but at my current pace of joining new platforms, not until 2036. For now, 100 days in, I’m happy to share that I haven’t found Instagram to be the horological treacherous forest I was warned about.

Sure, the first person to slide into my DMs (am I saying that right?) only wanted to sell me followers. And yes, I can see the dangers of Instagram creating an environment that fosters the risk of a mob mentality toward certain stainless steel sport watches. But I’d like to give myself, and the entire community, more credit than that. We can handle being exposed to the same hype pieces without becoming a hive mind. Fads aren’t unique to our industry, and of course the biggest platform will be a hotbed for the latest trends.

If I were to give advice to someone new to the hobby, I’d tell them to try the accidental strategy I found success with: start in a bubble before entering the forest of Instagram. Surround yourself with people who will share what matters to them, and discover what matters to you first. In reality, that’s probably useless advice and I was probably the last holdout to join the platform. But, I’m glad I did it with hype shields up before I ventured in.

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Nathan Schultz is a New Hampshire based writer, equally obsessed with watches and outdoor gear. He specializes in dad jokes, breaking NH35s while modifying watches, and testing the limits of recreational equipment. Micro brands hold a special place in his heart, and he aspires to stop buying and selling so many darn watches.