Patti Smith says she uses Instagram to feel like “part of society”

Patti Smith

Patti Smith has spoken about why she started using Instagram, explaining that she feels that she needs to use it in order to be “part of society”.

Speaking to The Guardian about her new book A Book of Days, Smith recalled being introduced to the app by her daughter Jesse.

“[She] told me that because I wasn’t on Instagram, it was an open field for impostors who were exploiting and soliciting other people in my name and I said, ‘What can I do about it?’” Smith said.

Jesse showed her how to open an account and apply for verification. Since she joined the social network in 2018, Smith’s account has amassed one million followers.

A Book of Days, which is released via Penguin Random House tomorrow (November 15) was directly inspired by Smith’s Instagram account and comprises 366 photographs that capture her life “on and off the road” over the course of the year.

Elsewhere in the interview Smith discussed the worries she has about the state of the modern world.

“Today, I woke at four in the morning out of a sound sleep, thinking of the women of Iran and of my daughter… my mind all over the place. I keep waking through the night. Part of me is always conscious of what is happening in Ukraine, the threat of nuclear weapons, the climate crisis, a part of Florida destroyed,” she said.

“All these things radiate from my mind and I can’t… we’re powerless to take care of everything but I try to keep these people in my consciousness just as I keep the dead in my consciousness,” Smith continued.

“My father, my mother – I think of them. I can’t help all the women in Yemen watching their babies die of starvation. I can only radiate love toward them. I have to, as an individual, continue to do my work. I have to find a way to balance our troubled world with my own optimism, joy and obligations. So it is always on my mind and it’s complicated.”

Smith’s last album, ‘Banga’, was released in 2012.

She has since said that she plans to release “one more album” and has been working on material for what will be her 12th record. 

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