Let’s Talk About Coffee Shop Instagram Culture

I’m a coffee addict. But besides stopping by the Starbucks my best friends work at, you can almost never catch me hanging out at a coffee shop chain. I go to coffee shops for the experience.

I don’t consider myself a coffee connoisseur, but I do consider myself a coffee shop connoisseur.

I recently made a survey for a class in which I asked people different questions to try and see what their perception of me is, and one of the questions I asked was, “What place best describes me?” And 39 out of 52 responses were some sort of coffee shop. People know what I like.

In December of 2017 I made one of my most popular blog posts, a list of some of my favorite coffee shops. My school newspaper also heard about my affinity for these establishments (absolutely no idea how), and asked me to write a list for them in 2018.

And yes, I pay attention to the quality of the coffee and of whatever food these places serve, but honestly? What I love most is the atmosphere.

Is it just me or are coffee shops getting prettier?

This is a hypothetical backed up by no data whatsoever, but it seems to me that coffee shops are becoming more and more about appearance as time goes on. I can only assume it’s because of the Instagram culture, because what’s more basic than a coffee pic? Taking photos of the places you’re getting your coffee is normalized. We don’t whip out Instagram for our grocery store runs, but when it comes to coffee, it’s become so much more about image.

I’m guilty of this. I. Just. Can’t. Stop. Taking photos at coffee shops. It’s a compulsion. I don’t know why, I just can’t not.

In my Media & The Art of Fashion Design class, we’ve been discussing stores that have turned into things that resemble museums. More high end stores like Louis Vuitton or Prada, for example, are more like an experience. You go in, you’re waited on, you observe the modern art and the way the store looks, but there isn’t a pressure to buy from the thousands of items on display. The stock is minimal, the salespeople are accommodating.

This is something I see in coffee shops now. Yes, you go for your drink of choice, but so many go for the “feel” of the place and the look of the place. As if the cool aesthetics help one get their work done better or facilitate better conversation. But there have been so many new places popping up with such attention to interior design as to firmly weld that marriage between the words “cute” and “coffee shop.”

It’s almost as if we pay for the Instagram picture. A $5 to boost your feed. An extra shot to add to your story. Maybe even a muffin for a new profile pic.

According to Wes Gay on an article on Forbes.com, “Millennials aren’t necessarily drinking more coffee than other generations, but they are spending more money on coffee. In other words, they are spending more on higher quality coffee experiences. ‘Millennials have a lot of disposable income,’ says Kahn. ‘But they aren’t spending it like their parents did on cars and clothes. Instead, they’re spending it on a better food and beverage experience.’”

Different studies have pointed to this generation spending more on experiences than things. And I think that has trickled into Instagram coffee shop culture. Here is my hypothesis:

A coffee shop is only as good as it is photogenic.

Though, wouldn’t you agree? Yes, I understand that the real coffee drinkers don’t care if they get their bean water from a hole in the wall, but for most of the world, we flock to the pretty places. Starbucks is always trying to catch up, seemingly renovating their stores every other year, but they will never beat the local hipster shops. Slap some cool art on the walls and some man buns on the baristas, and presto! you’re tagged in a million Instagram stories and could serve brown paint for all these kids know.

My Friend May Lyn: Professional Blogger

I got the chance to interview @deepfriedfit for a school project, but it ended up as an article for the Dallas Observer.

Mai Lyn Ngo, with over 12.3K followers on Instagram, blogs for a living. Here is my article about her!

The Woman Behind Deep Fried Fit

Also, click here for her food and fitness blog!

Sit down and chill out!

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I had this week booked. My schedule was lit up like a Christmas tree. I tend to do that to myself.

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But this week, on top of my normally busy schedule, I started a new job that required many hours at the beginning of the week to train, I was stressed out about a couple assignments at school not going the way I wanted, and I had a really cool social media job set for this weekend.

Stylecon is a national convention where bloggers, makeup artists, stylists, etc. meet from all around the country. It’s supposed to have a couple thousand attendees at the Dallas one this year. And guess what? I was contacted to run their social media for the weekend! The Stylecon people looked at my Instagram when I applied to volunteer for the event and decided to have me run their Instagram and Snapchat for the event. You can imagine I was pumped! (This goes out to the haters that think social media is useless…)

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Also, I had a friend coming in this weekend. My plan?

Run the social media for a national convention, not miss a single hangout my friends were having (which is a lot, let me tell you), go to an SMU football game with my family, not miss my Friday class, pick up an 8-hour work shift, go to church, and study for a few hours. All in one weekend.

Was I stressed?

Yeah, but what else is new?

Did all this happen?

Pshhh, no.

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Times like this, God likes to tell me to chill. Because I think I am Superwoman and can handle everything all the time, and apparently I can’t.

So I got sick.

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I tried to shake it off, but after one of my work shifts I decided to lay in bed, and I kinda just stayed there.

I called my mom, who conveniently lives 40 minutes from SMU with no traffic, and she came to bring me medicine. But after seeing that I had a fever or whatever, she decided to bring me home home.

And here I have been for three days. Just lying here. I had to cancel on 9 people in the last two days. And Stylecon.

I was bummed.

But you know what?

I was forced to chill. I needed that. I need to learn to stop.

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Being sick shouldn’t be the only thing that gets me to lie down and do nothing. It’s healthy to just sit and breathe every once in a while, you know?

It sucks sometimes, but there are days that I really need to just stop. And breathe. And think.

I’m slowly recovering, and it helped that my best friends risked their healthy lives to visit me and bring me food, but I realized a few things while sitting in bed:

  • I really wanted to help with Stylecon because I wanted to be cool. But I don’t need to prove my coolness!
  • I got to thinking a lot about this blog and I really want to dedicate more time to it.
  • In Luke 10 there’s a story about Mary and Martha. Martha was super busy doing a million things at once and was mad at Mary for not helping, but Jesus told Martha that Mary was in the right for having her priorities straight and just sitting at his feet. I need to watch myself so I don’t become a Martha. I can’t think that the many little things in life outweigh the important things.
  • Ginger tea is the BOMB. I think I’ve been drinking 25 cups a day.

 

 

Deep Quotes from Surprising Sources

Pinterest and Tumblr are full of all kinds of inspiring quotes. But here are some quotes from some very unlikely sources.

(These were all designed by yours truly… just to let you know.)

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“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than who you are.”-Shifu, Kung Fu Panda 3. Kung Fu Panda has a surprising abundance of deepness within its kung-fu-fighting, dumpling-eatingness.

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Okay, so this quote is not from Wall-E himself. It’s from the Captain in Wall-E. You remember him? ExactlyGaga copy.jpg

Don’t be fooled, ya’ll.

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Courtesy of the Hannah Montanah movie. Full of deep.

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Kanye is the deepest. #votekanye2016 (just kidding, please don’t.)

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And here we find some wisdom from a rap on Justin Bieber’s song “As Long as You Love Me.”

My Accidental Reverse Bucket List

Now there’s bucket lists, and then there are reverse bucket lists. Things in your life you’ve already done. But I’m going to take it a step further and present you all with my reverse accidental bucket list. These are things I didn’t think would ever happen until they actually did happen. I think it’s fun to sit down and realize all the random cool things that have happened to you. If you want, think of some from your own life and comment a list!

  • Watched the Phantom of the Opera in the theater it was first performed
  • Gotten my writing published in a book (Regarding Franz)
  • Gotten photobombed by a SWAT team in Paris
  • Climbed up a mountain in heels
  • Seen Big Time Rush in Walmart
  • Been messaged by Perrie Edwards
  • Been whistled at by R2D2
  • Seen Billie Piper
  • Been asked to speak in front of 1,000 people within two hour’s notice
  • Been to a fashion show
  • Swam with an olympian swimmer
  • Gotten on the newspaper (don’t remember why)
  • Became godmother to a grouse in Alaska (Google it)
  • Been in a live audience in a TV show featuring Nick Vujick
  • Gotten paid to taste test for Cheetos

It’s Summer! More time for Art!

So, by now everyone probably knows I draw A LOT. I actually didn’t really realize that it’s not normal for a teenage girl to spend so much time with colored pencils and paper. But this thing called High School has been preventing me from getting a lot done. Between school assignments and trying to maintain a social life, my paints have been poorly overlooked.

Until…

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Yay!!!!! It’s SUMMER!!!!!!! (Sorry not sorry for the High School Musical gif.)

So, when most kids think of summer as a time to relax, I kinda see it as a time to GET THINGS DONE. I have so many projects I want to do, so many things I want to try, hobbies I want to start, and things I want to master. Not to mention a blog that I haven’t really been writing as much as I want to.

This summer, I will get back to the blog. For those, if there are any, people who have missed my blog posts, sorry! I’m posting twice today to make up for that. Or thrice. Yeah, thrice. Boom.

Have a great summer! Make the most of it!

Getting a Drawing in an Art Gallery

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This was kind of a while ago, but I forgot to post about my artwork getting in an art gallery! I participated in the Young American Talent Competition. “Prepping for Prom” is a colored pencil and watercolor pencil of two of my best friends. About 125 were chosen out of 600 entries from high school students around the Dallas area to be in the exhibition and competition. I didn’t win, but it’s already an achievement to get into the show, and it was so amazing to see my work in a gallery! The exhibit was held in the H. Paxton Moore Art Gallery in downtown Dallas. Who knows, maybe I’ll win something next year? In the meantime, I’m just glad I was chosen!

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(P.S. It’s a coincidence that I’m blogging about “Preppin’ for Prom” when I am actually prepping for prom! I’m going this Saturday, and I’m super excited 🙂 )