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.

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.

Instagram is Ruining Your Life Because You're Letting It

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.

Instagram is Ruining Your Life Because You're Letting It

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.

22 Comments

  1. This school of thoughts may be unpopular but I 110% agree with everything that you said here, Emily. I personally post once a day, I don’t stress about it anymore and I post what and when I want to post. If people like it then I hope they stay to interact and if they don’t well, then maybe another profile is their cup of tea.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

    Reply
    1. Same here! I used to be too addicted to looking at analytics of when I should post and so on… I try to post once every day, and that’s that!! πŸ˜‰

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  2. I think you have written the most honest post about instagram and how everyone currently feels. I have my days where I obsess over my low follower count compared to others but I remind myself that I should be having fun sharing my photos. So now I wake up and have breakfast and post a picture, sometimes I forget and oh well the world keeps turning =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    Reply
  3. For a few months, I lost interest in Instagram. I was tired of being so analytical about it (and honestly trying to think of witty captions lol). But the break seem to have done me good. I’ve gotten back into enjoying the platform since early this week with a rejuvination of sorts. Breaks seem to be good ideas when you get overwhelmed. It gives us space to understand why we feel why we feel. I wholeheartedly agree that people who blame instagram for “ruining” their lives is just putting the blame on instagram when they probably would have felt that way without it. Instagram just amplified it a bit.

    http://www.ticketforadventure.com

    Reply
    1. Lol, thinking of captions is so hard! I’m right there with you. I totally agree with it amplifying feelings too. I think we all need to sit down and be real with ourselves in terms of what the problem is. Usually it’s not Instagram.

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  4. I definitely know where you’re coming from with this. I decided to stop stressing out about it as much and just do the best I can. I had the best interaction on my account when I was focusing on creating beautiful content and not stressing about the algorithm anymore.
    Dora
    http://www.adropofindigo.com/

    Reply
    1. That’s awesome feedback Dora! I’ve seen the same thing as well, in regards to activity and engagement. I don’t even look at my stats anymore.

      Author Reply
  5. This is so true! For a while I became so consumed with only posting the photos that made my grid look perfect and matchy that I stopped posting about stuff that was genuinely fun and interesting. Instagram wasn’t really fun to me anymore because the only way I could post something was when it looked perfect and fit the “aesthetic”. Then I remembered that I used to have so much fun posting random stuff without taking 15 minutes to edit the photos to look all the same. So I’m back to just posting whenever something interesting or funny happens and I feel really relieved!

    Reply
    1. Yes! This. I would get anxiety if I posted a photo and it didn’t match my grid perfectly. And I can totally related to trying to make everything so matchy, that some photos I would post I didn’t even really like.

      Author Reply
  6. Yes yes YES to all of this! Yeesh it’s exhausting. I completely agree with you. We all need to step away and stop obsessing over what is essentially just a social media platform. Keep taking beautiful photos, stop caring about a number of likes you are or aren’t getting and enjoy other peoples offerings too!

    Musings & More

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  7. This post was so well written *claps slowly*
    You’re right , Instagram is ruining people’s lives because they are letting it. I get it, it’s so easy to compare and feel like you’re less than when you scroll through your Insta feed. I know how that feels, Instagram broke out just as I was going into my teens so I’ve had my fair share of Instagram induced self-esteem issues. As you said, being authentic is the best thing. Nowadays, I simply just appreciate the beauty of a photo and scroll past it. It’s not always easy to not compare but it’s something we should all try to do and I believe that we can πŸ™‚

    Coco Bella Blog

    Reply
    1. Thanks lady! I totally agree. For a while I had this insecurity too. What I did to overcome it was I started unfollowing people who I just envied, and who did nothing for me in terms of lifting me up and making me feel good about myself. That would usually include a ton of models and influencers. But it was like, why follow someone who I get nothing out of? I would literally just look at their photos and feel jealousy. Now I am in a much better place. πŸ™‚

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  8. Omg preach girl!! Seriously I feel like this is a must read post for everyone, but especially bloggers and “influencers” because we’ve all experienced this to a certain degree. The sad thing is that what started out as us posting photos we’re passionate about turned into us doing things just to beat the algorithm, which ironically makes things worse in the long run. I’ve tried countless analytics apps and honestly all they’ve done was frustrate me further and mess up my content & followings (lesson learned, don’t download shady apps that bypass the IG authentication!).

    I feel like I’m at a better state mentally now than I was months ago when it comes to Instagram, but honestly it’s still a struggle to fully let it go and say “I don’t care about numbers and I’m just going to post what I like when I like”. One of these days I’ll get there!

    Jenny | Geeky Posh

    Reply
    1. I totally agree that it just makes it worse in the long run. It’s almost like Instagram knows you are trying to game the system, it’s so weird. It is still sometimes a struggle for me too. πŸ™

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  9. Well said Emily. I love the part where you mentioned…”if you don’t believe me, email me and I will show you bloggers who broke the ‘perfect grid’ rules”…or something along those lines. I totally agree with you. I think people really take this platform waaay too seriously sometimes. I have learned to use it to my discretion and not to obsess over it as much. I don’t wake up in the mornings and check Instagram first, like I used to, which is really refreshing. It’s more about posting great content that you feel good about rather than some shitty pic that just matches your grid. Just saying!
    http://www.lacasabloga.com

    Reply
  10. This is a great post, I never stress about my social media channels, what’s the point in posting anything if you don’t enjoy it.

    I think it’s important to embrace social media and not to worry about what everyone else is doing, and instead be you, stay true to yourself, and most importantly enjoy it!

    Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

    Reply
    1. I totally agree Laura! It’s way more fun to be yourself and not worry about numbers or what everyone else is doing. πŸ™‚

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  11. Great post Emily, I really enjoyed reading this. It’s good to know I’m not the only who stress about their IG feed. Although, I’m not as obsessed with it or let it bother me as as much as others do. I can definitely see why others think Instagram is ruining their lives because I’m guilty of letting it make me feel less creative at times, which is why I’m on my account less these days haha. I love your feed though and how consistent and genuine you are with your work!

    Reply
    1. Thank you Kris! It definitely happens. I totally get the “it’s ruining my life” thing. I think people just need to be more accountable as to WHY it’s happening. And at the end of the day, it comes down to you and your choices. Not literally YOU haha. But you get what I’m saying. πŸ˜‰

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