My Love And Hate Relationship With Instagram
Recently, I have come to terms that I have a love and hate relationship with Instagram. Most days I love it but there are days when I want to stay far. Anyways, I have finally recovered from an eye-sore of gingerbread cookies, pinecones, lattes, coffee cups, pumpkin, candy canes, dry leaves, and Christmas lights. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these things I just mentioned. But boy I must have seen them every time I scrolled through my Instagram feed over the holidays. Not that they lacked creativity either, in fact, they were beautiful and I admired how most of them aced their flay-lay game. Something I have not been able to master since the inception of my blog but I have improved.
So Why Do I Feel Resentment?
Lack of creativity
We are all buying and reviewing the same products, using the same hashtags, filters and presets. As if that is not bad enough, we want our feeds to look exactly like our favourite Influencers. Sadly if your profile looks like every other person it is hard for me to remember you out of the pack. As well as there is no desire to follow an account that looks exactly like one I am already following.
I’m sure you have seen this word floating around the internet in recent times. Instagram changes their algorithms from time to time which determines how people see our posts. As you know the popular page is now customized based on photos you like. Therefore they only show you posts that you may be interested in and its no longer by chronological order. They have a new way where you can stay updated by following hashtags, a feature that I like. Following hashtags mean I can see posts with these hashtags on my feed instead of only those from persons that I am following. There is also a downside to this as well as I have found that its mainly the popular posts get shown.
Numbers Do Matter
Whoever said that numbers did not matter was lying straight to your face because it does. In this day of social media where bloggers and influencers are everywhere the competition is stiff. Competition is good in a saturated field but what separates micro, macro and power influencers is the number of followers they have. A higher number of followers creates the possibility of brands reaching out to work with you and willing to pay big money. As opposed to you having to pitch to your preferred brands explaining why you wish to collaborate with them. All these factors play a big role in determining whether a brand works with you or not. It makes sense that they would get picked over micro influencers since they have higher numbers. That does not necessarily mean that they have higher engagements, most times it only means that their numbers speak volumes. For them, their average reach, likes, and comments are merely as important although some brands take it into consideration. The latter is especially true for bloggers who have smaller numbers but have built a loyal connection with their followers.
It’s All About Business
Gone are the days when people used to post their pictures for fun. Now it seems very out of place if you post something other than what you are used to posting. Somehow it throws off everything on your feed or you feel as though you might confuse your followers. Some days I am having the most amazing meal and I want to share it on my feed. Then I remember my IG is based on travel, fashion, and beauty, and food may not fit it in with the theme. There goes a perfect example of why I hate Instagram.
The occasional comparing yourself to the average fellow blogger is so annoying and unhealthy. Sometimes the best way to deal with this to stay away for a few days or weeks at a time. Another thing I have noticed is that some bloggers will never like back or comment on your posts because like I said, its a competition. We see each other as rivals whether we admit it or not, by competing for the most likes and comments. It’s almost as though we need validation from others or to prove that we are better. Comparing yourself to others is bad because you not see the hard work that they might have put in before they accomplished what they have now. Use it as motivation to work towards achieving your goals.
The Haves And The Have Nots
On the heels of comparison, Instagram is a place where you can distinctively tell apart from the haves and the have nots. Not true for all though because there are the ones who are actually wealthy and those that pretend to be. There are accounts on Instagram that are based solely on showing off wealth, luxury lifestyles or unboxing designer bags, shoes and clothing.
It has now become a tool for selling a “fake reality” thereby giving a sense of false hope to the vulnerable. Whatever happened to sharing things that we love? Instagram used to be the place where I look for inspiration but now I only look to see how I can stand out.
Instead of trying to perfect my feed, I take the opportunity to see what’s already out there and what I can do differently – Shevy (please credit me if you use my words)
Following and Unfollowing
Perhaps the biggest grind on this list is those persons who follow you and quickly unfollow after you follow them back. Yes, I am aware that some people use automated systems that do this for them but it does not make it any less acceptable. Frankly, it is quite upsetting and tough to gain a couple followers a day, only to wake up the next morning and realize you lost about 20. Okay, I might have exaggerated on the numbers a bit but you get me.
Some people are not aware of this but there is something called bots. Bots have been created to fill the gap where we have developed a false perception. By that I mean we created our own monsters because of the importance placed on big numbers. Some people believe in faking it until you make it which is fine. Then there are others who like to be on the receiving end all the time and are not reciprocative. Again we are all too caught up to take one minute out of our busy schedules to actually interact with real human beings. To say thank you to those who have taken the time to leave comments on our posts. Or to even interact with the loyal people that are following us. Instead, we let bots do our work for us because it’s much easier.
Everyone Wants To Be A Public Figure
Over the past few months, I have noticed how many “public figures” popped up overnight. Sure getting that blue tick would put you ahead of your competition if you have it and they don’t. Although that is not the purpose of the blue tick, it sure has that status that goes with having it. Brands don’t have to work as twice as hard to verify who you say you are.
Anyways that’s all I have to say for now. Sorry about this long ass rant but as you see I had a few things to get off my chest. These are some of the many frustrations I face with Instagram on a daily basis. What are your thoughts about the current mood on Instagram? Do you love it or hate it too? How about we have a lovely conversation in the comments over some glasses of wine? If you do not drink wine then coffee is all good with me too.1