I've spoken about Instagram a lot on here over the years, it's definitely my favourite form of social media and I liken it to a teenage relationship, one moment I'm immersed in it and can't get enough of it and the next I don't want to even see it for five days. It's frustrating, it's hard work and it isn't always fun, I guess for an ordinary user it probably is and the problem is more so with me than with Instagram itself, but my word has it driven me up the wall lately.

Instagram is everything a social media platform shouldn't really be and I think that's half of the appeal. Back in the summer I fell completely out of love with it, I was bored of reading blog posts on what I should and shouldn't be doing on Instagram. Seeing the passive aggressive tweets about 'themed' instas, and generally getting unfollowed and refollowed every thirty seconds, it all felt like a game of snakes and ladders - as soon as I thought I was getting somewhere, I fell back to the start again. It's not that I even want big numbers, but it's frustrating when every other platform has slow and steady progress, bar one. It was a little more irritating as it looked like every other person was playing the game, I was trying to stay ethical, I didn't have time to spend an hour 'in app' liking several pictures with similar hashtags. Something about that felt really dishonest, I didn't actually like the photo, I probably wouldn't even look at it for longer than the time it took to click that little heart and move onto the next, so why did every single 'Instagram 101 tips' tell me that's just what I should be doing? The bots route really doesn't sit well with me, yet I see it happening every single day, a simple click into your following tab shows you exactly what people are liking and unless that top social media personality is really into pictures of rocks in Azerbaijan then I would say it's vested interests and their feet are firmly steeped in murky waters. That is waters I don't want to tread into, so I avoided Instagram a lot, I changed my 'theme' because I believed that having one deterred people, I listened to negative opinions and stopped posting pictures of my children, I posted morning noon and night, I partook in Instagram pods. I did everything I didn't want to do, that wasn't compromising my integrity. Instagram fast became the platform I loathed rather than loved. I had completely lost my Instagram love.

It didn't take me long to check myself into reality - this was my social media platform that I ran and I could post what I liked, when I liked and how often I liked why on earth was I conforming to a set of imaginary rules? I decided to take back control of my Instagram feed as I no longer saw the accounts I loved, I'd built up a following number nearing 1700 through feeling compelled to follow other bloggers, and it meant I rarely interacted with anyone because I simply didn't see the pictures I wanted to anymore. It felt harsh, but it was needed and of course as part and parcel of unfollowing, I lost a lot of numbers too but it felt like I'd beaten the algorithm because I finally had control of what I saw. Sure some of the pictures would be a day or two old but before my cull I wasn't seeing them at all and that to me was better than nothing. It's meant I can comment and interact with the people I know, and that's what these platforms are all about, right? Being social? I began sharing photos of my sons again, something I'd always enjoyed doing before. I love looking back through all our photographs together and I'm so glad their absence from my Instagram was short lived because there isn't much I enjoy more than seeing their face each time I flick open the app. Instagram is a creative outlet and though I am probably the furthest away from artsy you will get, I do my best and I do enjoy it. I like having a slightly uniform grid, in the same way I enjoy my duvet to match my pillow cases, I like neat and tidy and no amount of disgruntled tweets will change that. My little insta reality check has definitely made the world of difference to me, I realise how truly insignificant it is, and there wasn't any need for me to suck all of the fun out of it for myself, if I want to post seven times in a day I will and if I miss three days that week then that's fine too. Instagram is back to being my favourite platform and long may it continue. (Reality: will probably last a week)

1 comment

  1. I completely agree with you! Instagram is fast becoming a real bind to work with but I constantly remind myself that it is my feed to post whatever I want when I want. I'm not sure I have a theme lol! But I do use it to record special memories or beautiful things that I know I shall want to remember in the future. I use it to promote my blog too, but that is literally only a small scrap of what my feed is about. I hate the follow for follows ethic that so many adopt and unfollow the accounts that aren't genuine or relevant to me. It's the only way I can enjoy using the platform and keep a clear conscience! Xxx