Hi. I am Rita Farhi Noirot and this website is a complement to my instagram account @ritafarhifinds.
In this space I will be telling stories about my passions: flowers, hidden corners of London, traveling, beautiful things and scents, impressions about everyday life.
I am often asked how I started my Instagram account and what inspired me to do so.
My story is a bit different than most.
I have two daughters who are now teenagers. When I first heard about Instagram, they were still in primary school. The talk around me was all about security on the web and social media. Like many others I used the web for various things like shopping, researching, booking holidays or finding inspirations for dinner parties. However I was not a social media fan. Even though I had a facebook account, I barely posted anything on it. It was more to keep in touch with close friends and family.
If I were to give the right advice to my children and keep them safe on the web, I needed to understand how it all worked. So, I set up my account. My criteria was to do everything that my children wouldn’t be allowed to do. Leave it public, tag people, use hashtags and communicate with strangers. I wanted to fully understand how strangers connected with each other. Then, came the next question. What to post? I knew I didn’t want to post about my family life or selfies. I was hoping to show my kids that you could have social presence without personal pictures. So, I started to take pictures of areas of London that put a smile on my face.
When you think of London, the first things that come to mind are the typical touristy places like Big Ben, London Eye, the Tower of London, black cabs and red phone booths fading away through lack of use. Most London postcards would be on these themes. If you haven’t visited London before, these spots have got to be, definitely, on your list of things to see. There is, however, much more to this city that what the postcards show.
To discover any city you need to ask the locals what they consider to be the hidden gems of their city. Colourful neighbourhoods, the not-so-famous coffee place with the best espresso, the restaurant favoured by those who know, or the shop that offers truly unique things. The list goes on and on really depending on your interests.
My journey started in Hampstead as a teenager, went on to Belgravia as a single adult and now continues as a family in Chelsea. Each area is special to me for different reasons and I love them all. London has also changed immensely over the years. There are certain neighbourhoods I can walk with my eyes closed and others I keep re-discovering.
Initially, I had no ambitions what so ever for my instagram account. It was completely experimental. I only use my iPhone to take pictures. I do not have any photographic background. Slowly and slowly, some of the accounts that I tagged started to repost my pictures and then I started to gain more followers. It was very intriguing. I started to research about editing skills, what hashtags to use to get more recognition and soon enough an experiment became a hobby. I have always been creative, so learning about editing skills or using different applications to create stories became as fun as exhausting at times.
I’ve learned a lot through my experience. I must admit, to my surprise it’s been relatively a positive one for me. I met some lovely people through Instagram. There is a real sense of community if used the right way. Most of the people I follow or met tends to be much younger. Does that make me a cool Mummy? I wish.
Going back to teaching my children website safety. Let’s just say what it took me a few years to learn, they learnt in a few days. The cruel reality is that they adopt, adjust and move on so much faster than I do. I’ve also come to realisation that they will make their own mistakes. They will have their own experiences. Hopefully, I can continue to be able to relate to their social media experience and give them constructive advice as I learn things on my own journey.