I’ll start this post really bluntly, I love Instagram. I love sharing posts on there, I love seeing other people’s content, and I love how it makes me want to do/see/experience things in order to create content of my own. I use it to keep up to date with friends, I use it for inspiration for places to visit, things to do, what to wear and what to see. And I love using my grid as a personal diary, uploading snaps that remind me of everything, from experiences as amazing as road tripping in Canada or as everyday as snapping a sunset on my way home from work.
YES, the algorithm is really effing annoying, and I love to hate how my follower count peaks and troughs. I find it frustrating that half of my content doesn’t even reach my audience; it’s even more annoying when I think a shot that looks really good flops. But for the most part, it’s my favourite social media platform and I really enjoy using it. So why is that such a crime?
I’m sure other bloggers/Instagrammers/people who just generally enjoy social media can relate, but why is it that people feel the need to constantly comment on how “obsessed” I am with Instagram, just because I post often and enjoy scrolling through my feed to see other people’s content? “Oooh you’re always on Instagram,” some people quipp if I have the audacity to check my phone, or there’s guffawing at the fact that some of my friends and I enjoy going places and doing things in order to take pretty photos. It’s not that I only do things purely to share on my blog and Instagram, but I do find that the app inspires me to try new things, so why not create content that way too?
I fully understand that social media, especially Instagram, has its downfalls. For the most part, your grid is a highlight reel and I’m guilty myself of posting images that only show “the good” in my life, even though I do try to be honest in my captions about how I’m feeling and if I’m currently finding something tough, without oversharing too much. I have been guilty of comparing myself and my situations with that of full-time influencers in the past, especially when I’m trudging through the rain to another day in the office, after scrolling through a feed full of bloggers/Instagrammers who are sunning themselves in exotic locations whilst travelling the world. I’m also guilty of “wasting time on social media” in the past, and pointlessly scrolling just for the sake of it…
But at the moment I honestly feel like I have a really healthy relationship with social media and Instagram. I only post what I want to, and when I want to, and have also limited my usage on the app to just 1 hour a day. I switch off at 9pm and am really enjoying reading before bed instead. I’ve unfollowed any accounts that make me feel uncomfortable or inferior, I try my best to ignore the follower count, and now I use the app as a hub for channeling my creativity, for speaking to likeminded individuals, and for the “community” element of the platform. If anything, I use it in the same way that I read blogs — to see what content people are creating and to get inspired for my own feed. Instagram has made me far more creative and inspired. I’m now really passionate about photography, something that I’ve got through being “obsessed” with the app, and I truly love that.
So, why do people feel the need to comment on the fact that I enjoy using the app so much?
I find that you get that a lot with hobbies or things you’re passionate about though. I love working out and running, and people are always commenting on the fact that I’m “mad” because I spend a lot of my time at the gym. I’ve got a really great friend who loves photography, and he’s often reluctant to pull out his camera. Why can’t we be supportive of other people’s passions and hobbies, even if that does involve creating content to share online?
Instagram isn’t my life. It’s not my job, it’s not an obsession. Obviously it’s nice when people comment and interact with your work, and even nicer if they decide to follow along for the ride, but the follower count doesn’t define me and I’m just happy doing my own little thing and posting what makes me happy. To me, Instagram is purely a way to share little snippets of my life, and to follow other people’s lives too.
Lots of love. xoxo