Things I love/hate #3 | Struggling with Instagram

Hey there my lovelies,

Welcome back to my Blog!

If you are like and a good majority of bloggers out there, you have surely an obsession for #instagram (I know I 215853_52b7e8c2dc7f49cdaaffb25872613349_mv2do).  Also a fact, you must be pretty fed up with Instagram at this point (I know I am!!!). For many of us, no matter what tricks we pull out of our hats, engagement, follows and um, you know – dignity, are at an all time low.

See, in my mind: there’s a massive difference between using Instagram for your blog and being a pure ‘Instagram influencer’. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from ever becoming an Instagram Dream Girl.  I don’t get daily sponsorships and press trips based on my IG presence (I would like to think that is what I will eventually do with this blog).  I also like to think that this blog and my IG go hand in hand, the latter as a means to promote more the blog itself.  After being at it for a few years now trial, error and all that lies in between, I’ve think I am on the right sort of mindset and strategy that allows my Instagram to be a platform for me to grow and for people to get to know me and my Blog.

One thing though, the best thing about the gram is building relationships with my followers, it is by far the fun part after all the mental breakdowns – also bare in mind that I am at a very high level of frustration at the moment so it will probably seem to you than I am on a rampage!

First thing’s first – Instagram plays a big role in putting my self esteem very low

pageIG.jpg
My current feed

 

When it comes to tip toeing the very thin line between inspiration and making you feel like trash, Instagram is #1.  Sure, while I love consuming what I think are gorgeous photos and meaningful content, sometimes the constant perfection can feel like a big bowl of “eff you” #moments.

Your brain starts to overload itself with thoughts like I should be thinner, my legs should be longer, I wish I travelled to cooler places, why isn’t my breakfast in a pool, where’s my ballgown, etc. It doesn’t matter that you know they’re staged, it doesn’t matter that you know they take hours to create or that Photoshop is involved in 90% of it – it doesn’t matter because all you’re confronted with is what you aren’t and what you should aspire to be… and especially when this industry revolves around image and popularity which are equated with success.  It gets really hard to admit that maybe, you’re just a normal, stubby-legged girl with frizzy hair and not much of a cool life.

According to Fashionista, you would need to spend about
$31,400 a year “to maintain the standards of physical beauty
represented daily in our Instagram feeds.”

Living my life through a screen

The scariest part about this new version of me was that it began to overtake the real me.  I genuinely started to believe that my life needed elaborate breakfast spreads and fancy experiences. The staged photo shoots I used to pursue “ironically” became a  necessity, and nothing ever felt like enough.

Once upon a time, I could eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast and feel like an absolute queen. Today, Instagram trains me to think my #goals should be an elaborate breakfast spread with 4 juices, 3 courses, all spread out precariously over crisp white bed sheets (side note really impractical by the way).

Some of my best photos (most likes)

Plus, the algorithm turns me into a salty, vengeful beeyotch

If you’re a fellow creator reading this, you’ll be familiar with Instagram’s painful and frustrating algorithm. And if you’re a regular user with no clue what I’m talking about, just know that the struggle to get your content seen for months on end, ever since IG’s feed changed from chronological to the random cluster what that it is now.

Like many others, I am constantly stewing in a pot of negativity. I am obsessed with trying to “master” the algorithm rather than produce value for my followers, and as a result, as much as I thank God I have a ‘theme’ going, my content is becoming a burden on me as on most day I spend endless hours going through my camera roll trying to find the perfect photo, only be come out disappointed and feeling worst when I started.  All this summed together ultimately makes me feel like “this is not me”. No disrespect to the gorgeous girls killin’ it in high fashion outfits and beautifully staged shots… but their life does not reflect my life.

And so, Instagram is not fun anymore

Once upon a time, I looked forward to logging onto Instagram. Somewhere along the way though, it began to feel like millions of people trying to one-up each other.  To me, the most toxic thing about Instagram is the way it feeds our desire for more.  MORE followers, MORE likes, MORE stuff to get us noticed… and it is honestly the most emotionally exhausting first world problem.

It is even more emotionally frustrating when when you are tied up with your ‘paying’ job which is a totally different world from being a blogger on the other hand. What happens is we get caught up agonizing about all the things we don’t have instead of valuing the things that we do. The clothes we don’t have, the press trips we wish to get invited to, the sexy AF photographer boyfriend that all the “big names” seem to flaunt around ??!! I mean I can’t even!

Some of my worst photos (less likes)

Anyways, the truth is this: Instagram is 99% illusion. Not just the dreamy imagery, but the success. The millions of followers that can be bought, the thousands of likes that can be faked and yes, even the weird “BFF” friendship trend where all the attractive grammers are all besties and just hang out together all the time looking perfect. None of them accurately reflect reality or at least my reality.

In 2018, I am letting all these things get to me. I am so obsessed with the idea of IG success that I forgot to lead by value first. I am becoming more fixated on numbers and vanity metrics than what I should be prioritizing first and foremost: building connections with others, inspiring people with my content and having FUN.   As much as this is part of my job as a blogger/influencer it’s also supposed to be enjoyable, right?

I chose to add this ludicrously unpredictable hobby together with my office job… because I thought it would bring me more joy.  If I dread everyday opening up a freaking app, then clearly I am not “chasing this dreams” properly.  Also, truth be told the problem is clearly not Instagram to a certain extent (as in my case the app is not working optimal), but it is how I am letting it influence my life. I mean, duh.

My IG page analysed

This epiphany might sound stupidly obvious to you, but I am so caught up in this filtered dream world that I am not realizing the obvious. The way we treat social media platforms like sentient angst-machines is the problem, along the way, I am failing to realize just how much control we have over how these platforms influence us and shape our lives. Social media can be toxic … but I need to make it inspirational again .

The artificial world that negatively impacts on mental health, but at the same time, it can also be a connector, and a platform for SO much good.  The most beautiful thing about social media is that we have the power to use it however we want. If you see content you hate, hit ‘unfollow’.  If you feel the space is over saturated with hurtful content, create something unique.  For me, I’m will never be the “IG dream girl” and making everything about “me me me” is sad. Moving forward, I want value, education and knowledge to be the focus of what I get back from social media.

The community is there, the friendships are there… it’s just up to us to sift through the white noise and find them but I can do this! This is my goal for the rest 2018 – to reclaim Instagram, hopefully I will find why I cannot actually add the real people that follow me  😦 and you better believe I tried it all and seen all the YT tutorials.  I want to start enjoy using Instagram again, and I want to start by focusing on building deeper relationships with my followers, and putting the focus on adding value to the my IG space. Will I continue posting pretty photos (by my standard)? Yassssss. But I’m also going to make it a priority to share knowledge, stories and all the amazing facts I learn through my life.

In the name of consistency, I’ll try as much as possible to post daily as I do but it that is not the case it will be OK, if I do not have the right content to post, I will not stress about i. I’m committing the rest of this year to learning or doing something new each day. That can be as simple as visiting a new place, or filling my brain with a mind-blowing fun facts … one day at a time a day and you can come and join me riiiiiight here.

So, tell me, did this post resonate with you, or was I being a total drama queen? Have you ever just wanted to quit Instagram? Drop your two cents in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time,
XOXO
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