I have an unpopular opinion among bloggers when it comes to the topic of Instagram. I’ve seen so many editorials and articles talking about the inauthentic photos on Instagram, and how it’s literally ruining people’s lives. There’s no doubt that it’s been difficult for bloggers to ‘hang in there’ with the evolving platform. But here’s the harsh truth: Instagram is ruining your life because you’re letting it.
The complaints are abundant. From one blogger saying it’s ruining her life, to satirical Instagram accounts exposing staged photos. After reading a ton of these editorials in the last few months, I’ve decided to share my honest opinions about the role Instagram is taking in our lives as bloggers.
Times Are Hard, But We Need to Move Past This
There’s no denying that it’s been difficult to gain momentum with the new algorithm. Not to mention that it’s still always changing. I stopped trying to figure it out a while ago, and I thought I had it nailed on the head. Yes, that statement was meant to be counter intuitive, because that’s exactly what I was doing. I wasn’t trying anymore, but desperation kept kicking in.
“Instead I consumed myself with creating really bomb-ass content.”
To this day my best piece of advice is to be as authentic as possible. And I don’t mean creating authentic content, I mean just being you. People are so angry because Instagram is telling them when to post, yet they worship the schedule. If their photo doesn’t do well at 1:00 pm on a Monday, they literally have a breakdown.
Stop trying to figure it out.
The rules I live by now are simple. I post what I want and when I want. So stop complaining that Instagram is hijacking your success, and then continue to be a slave to the schedule. The best my feed has ever done is when I have stopped trying to figure out the algorithm, and I instead consumed myself with creating really bomb-ass content.
You’re Stressing Yourself Out Over Your Grid
We live in an age where I swear moms are going to start educating their kids on how to create a cohesive grid. There is so much misleading advice out there about how to perfect your Instagram grid. Most of it is ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ type advice, that really has no place in one’s individual creativity.
“Curating a stunning grid isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing, and bloggers should stop giving terrible advice suggesting that it is.”
The truth is, people can see your BS right away. And I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Instagram was so advanced, that it could sense it too. If you post a photo just to post it because it looks great next to another photo, people know. I used to do this, and it kept me from sharing amazing photos that I really wanted to.
If you post stunning content, no one is going to care if a flat lay of a hot dog is next to a flat lay of your Gucci bag. Wait, did she just suggest to post two flat lays in a row?? Yes, I did! As Instagrammers, we need to be focused on sharing fantastic content. That is what captivates people. That is what content creating is all about.
Stop stressing out and focus on creating. When you do, your grid will naturally come together.
If you’re not convinced, email me. I will point you to countless successful Instagrammers and bloggers who break all the rules on their grids. Curating a stunning grid isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing, and bloggers should stop giving terrible advice suggesting that it is.
If You Feel Less Than Perfect, It’s Not Because Of Other Instagrammers
My biggest pet peeve lately is when people say that Instagram is ruining their life. What they usually mean by this is that Instagram is ruining their self esteem. Can Instagram give you a false sense of reality? Absolutely. As adults (which most of us are), we need to be informed and aware Instagram users. That means being able to separate reality from fantasy.
“Instagram stopped being about sharing real photos with your friends a long time ago, unfortunately.”
I saw an account recently that was calling out Instagrammers who posted ‘fake’ camping photos, claiming there’s no way someone could have possibly slept on the side of a cliff. While they have a point, would someone ever naively believe someone slept there in the first place? Instagram is about content creation. Whatever you need to do for the shot. Instagram stopped being about sharing real photos with your friends a long time ago, unfortunately.
Be smart, and understand that most content on Instagram is likely staged and not in real time. Especially if it’s coming from your favorite bloggers.
If other Instagrammers make you feel awful about yourself, then I truly believe that’s a bigger issue that you need to work out. There are loads of accounts out there full of women of all shapes and sizes, and full of bloggers that care about being real with their followers. If you feel less than perfect, then maybe you are following the wrong people.
You control what you see.
I follow people who’s content I enjoy, fake or real. I follow people that lift me up and make me feel good about myself, though I still believe we don’t need Instagram for that kind of validation. Basically, you control what you see. So please stop blaming other Instagrammers and bloggers for your low self esteem.
I am Writing This Because I’ve Been There
It’s time for me to close this editorial in a way that you don’t think I am a complete jerk. Because I do get it. I get how frustrating Instagram can be. As a blogger, and I have definitely felt the effects of the algorithm. I have said countless times in the past, “if it wasn’t for this stupid algorithm I would have a lot more followers by now.”
“We are subconsciously comparing ourselves to other accounts that make us feel worthless, and still trying to emulate them at the same time.”
However, none of this solved any of my problems. We are letting a billion dollar company who sees us as a number, validate our self worth through a 4.7 inch screen. Then, we are subconsciously comparing ourselves to other accounts that make us feel worthless, and still trying to emulate them at the same time.
If you’re a blogger and you’re just realizing that Instagram is ruining your life because you’re letting it, then take a few steps back. Do some creative exercises and see where your love of content creation comes from. Is it born because Instagram told you what works best, or because of jealousy? Or, is it born because you are passionate about the work you’re doing?
Together as users, we can break the cycle of being the victim. Whether you’re a blogger, a photographer, a creative, or you just love using Instagram, there’s a story for all of us regarding the platform we fell in love with.