I feel like this is coming from an angry place and I don’t know why – but I want to talk about Instagram and why it winds me up so much.
The premise of Insta is simple; post a square photo, chuck in some hashtags and people will like and comment on your posts. Simple right?
Except it’s not that simple – there’s so much pressure to ‘be cool’ and pretty up your life.
I joined back in February 2017 as a brand I was working with said ‘it was a must’ and straight away I felt anxious.
Why? I don’t fit in on Instagram.
I live in a tiny terraced house, with no view. I’m skint, and I’m never on trend with anything. I have crazy hair and sixteen chins. I’m not ‘insta-ready’ and I don’t care to be honest.
I love Insta for its stories and the ease in connecting with anyone you follow or follows you. It’s ease of use and ways of liking and commenting make it one big awesome community. And I love it for that.
But it’s not all sunshine and filtered roses – people play the follow/unfollow game just to gain followers, and the pressure to ‘be cool’ and show off makes many people unapproachable. There seems to be a multitude of ways to grow your following and engagement, and the jury is out on whether these are morally right or wrong. Some of these methods like nitreo claim to grow following without the use of bots, but does nitreo work? It’s not something I know enough about.
And so things have moved on from just connecting with others and having fun – people are using the platform to earn money and, many seem to be defined by how many followers they have, the figure seems to drive what content they share, whether it’s real life or fake.
They just want to be ‘insta-famous’.
And it’s that side of Insta that pisses me off.
As a blogger, it’s really hard to get your blog read. You spend ages writing something and it can be a real struggle to get it out there.
Facebook & Twitter are no bother for me – I love a chat and so over the last year or so my followers have grown slowly and steadily and I’m chuffed to bits.
But Insta is a slow platform to grow if you don’t have wallpaper from Laura Ashley and perfect eyebrows.
I’ve had multiple messages from, well, complete arseholes who have told me I don’t have the face for Instagram – I’ve been called fat, ugly and a skank.
The issue with Insta is that you effectively judge a book by its cover – you scroll through your feed and only like/comment on the things that catch your eye.
I’ve spoken to a few bloggers who agree that, every October, the barrage of perfectly filtered and posed pumpkin picking photos are boring and samey. Who wants to see the same shit day in day out?
And it’s all very well following a well known mum blogger with her perfect eyebrows and perfect house – but it’s not real life, and it makes me feel just a little bit shit.
Earlier in the year I loved the #BowWowChallenge hashtag which came about after the singer/rapper posted a photo of his private jet on Instagram. Turns out it was a stock image and he was spotted on a domestic flight, cattle class with the rest of us mere peasants.
And so people began posting behind the scenes photos of what appeared to be perfect shots; such as showing a perfectly baked and decorated cake and then showing how it’s surrounded by dirty kitchen equipment and a really grim kitchen that looked like it came fresh from the Saw movies.
If you want to immerse yourself in photos of perfect lives and escape normal mundane life for a bit, then IG is the place for you. If you want to nose and just enjoy the community – then blinkers are recommended.
Social media is, after all, just a bit of fun – take it with a pinch of salt and make what you want of it.