Hong Kong’s

Life As An Instagrammer

Life As An Instagrammer

Verncouver was founded in 2011 by a young explorer named Vernice Tan. All she had was a webcam and an old Canon digital camera. With these tools, she built this city and made it what it is today.

How did you start?

Okay in all seriousness, I started a YouTube channel when I was in high school and joined Instagram a few years later. I remember using a webcam and a digital camera to take photos and videos. (Just a tip: You don’t need to have top of the line equipment, just make use of what you have. I even used my iPhone camera the majority of the time.)

At first, my Instagram was just for personal use, but I began to post more fashion related content when I worked in retail. I mainly started doing this because I love fashion and style, but also because when I look back on these moments I remember those times in my life. I love reliving those memories through my content and once I started, I just had to keep going!

Vernice Tan by Charmyn Chan for Rhea Magazine

What are three instagrammers you look up to?

Hmm that’s a hard one! Honestly I can’t narrow it down to just three. There are so many creative people on this platform that inspire me and that’s the reason why I love being part of this collaborative community. Everyone has their own vision and the way they translate that into the content that they post is amazing. It’s basically this huge network of like-minded individuals who breed creativity and are constantly inspiring one another.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

My vernsthetic? Haha. I’ve never really seen my Instagram or brand as an “aesthetic.” I’m pretty transparent on my social media platforms and it’s really just a visual representation of my life. I guess a way to summarize it is “this is my life, but this is also how I dress.” A lot of what I post are moments and memories that I personally resonate with. I can look back on my feed and remember those times in my life. I guess that’s how “Verncouver” was created. This is my life in photos, the treasured moments and snapshots of forgotten nights. This is where I live, these are the people I love, the places I go to and the advernture that never ends.

What do you think about social media's affect on society?

Social media like many other things, has its pros and cons. On the surface social media is a great way to connect with friends, family, and meet new people. Over the years it’s become so much more than that. People have used it as a way for self-expression, to show their art, and even use it as a tool to speak their mind and opinions. It’s opened so many doors for people and businesses as well who use it as a marketing tool. It gives individuals a voice and an audience who listens. That can be a virtue and a vice but I think it’s a great way to connect with people and build relationships.

On the other hand, social media has become a norm and a lot of people are very active on their respective platforms. The downside is when people place their worth based on their following or the number of likes that they receive. I think it’s important for us to remember that these things don’t define you as a person and not to rely on those things to feel good about yourself. Since social media has connected everyone around the world you get to see more of what’s out there and people often compare themselves to those who have better looks or better lives. Just be yourself, work hard, and the rest will follow! A lot of people are influenced easily through what people say on social media and that could be a downside as well.  Don’t take it too seriously and lose sight of reality. Sometimes it’s good to disconnect!

Vernice Tan by Charmyn Chan for Rhea Magazine

What is social media to you?

Social media is more of a creative outlet for me. I love being able to take a video or photo and tell a story. The fact that I can take an idea and turn that vision into a reality is why I’m so passionate about what I do. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your ideas come to life. It’s my passion, it’s what I love to do and I figured that out when I’d work hard at it even when I received nothing in return. Live your passion and chase your dreams no matter how much work it seems to be. Everyone starts somewhere just keep chasing after what you want.

How do you deal with negativity on social media?

Honestly, that’s something I struggle a lot with. I put so much of myself out there on social media it’s hard not to take negativity personally. I just try and tune it out and remember that I can’t please everyone. I put myself out there so I should expect it. I know that not everyone in life will like me and I’d rather be disliked for who I am than liked for someone I’m not. A lot of people are scared to put themselves out there and be themselves because of what people think of them. It doesn’t matter what people think of you as long as you are confident in yourself and your capabilities. Be your authentic genuine self and people will appreciate that. If the idea of hate is holding you back, don’t let it! I constantly remind myself that I do this for me, not to please others, and I encourage others to maintain that mindset.

Vernice Tan by Charmyn Chan for Rhea Magazine

How do you think social media has changed the public’s perception of you?

I’ve definitely heard that I look mean haha. I don’t really know people’s initial impressions of me but I have asked my friends in the past. Like I said before I am pretty transparent on social media so they get a gauge of what I’m like… especially if they follow me on Snapchat!

Do you think what one showcases on social media represents who they are as a person?

Yes and no. Sometimes we are really quick to judge and that’s just human nature. Keep in mind that we only put what we want you to see on our social media platforms. People can be completely different “in real life” from who they seem to be in social media. Even if you’re completely transparent on social media there’s so much more to a person than what you see online. We post what we want you to see. You don’t see the hardships or the bad days, but we’re only human we have those too. It’s hard to base someone’s true character off of what they post online and that’s an important factor to consider.

Vernice Tan by Charmyn Chan for Rhea Magazine

Do you think it is important for an individual to have a high following?

Not at all. If you want to pursue it as a career then yes but it shouldn’t be reason for your existence. The following is good for exposure but I think having good content is more important and just being a genuine kind person. That will get you further in life than the number of followers you have.

What is your take on individuals who buy their followers?

It’s definitely a personal choice to buy followers. I personally wouldn’t because I would rather have a following that genuinely likes the content that I create and so I can engage with them on a regular basis. I like knowing that there are real people out there that keep up with my shenanigans. That’s just my choice though I don’t have a strong opinion on people buying followers.

Does social media affect your relationship with your family or friends?

My family and friends are extremely supportive of what I do and I’m thankful for that. Sometimes my friends get annoyed if I’m vlogging or on my phone but they also understand that it’s what I do . Most of the time it’s my friends that help me with the content that I produce! My dad tries to take my pictures sometimes but they’re always crooked so that doesn’t really work out haha. Overall they’re the people who lift me up and keep me grounded. I love them for it and I’m truly blessed to have them in my life.

Do you see social media playing a part in your career, and how so?

Yes I do! I consider my Instagram as my personal brand it represents me and my creative vision. It’s almost like a portfolio or an online resume. This is something that I enjoy doing and hope to continue doing it in the future!

Follow Vernice on Instagram @vernicet. All images shot in Vancouver by Charmyn Chan.

Vernice Tan by Charmyn Chan for Rhea Magazine

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