Why I Decided To Not Adhere To The Instagram Rules Anymore

Why I Decided To Not Adhere To The Instagram Rules Anymore

Are you all already fed up with Instagram bashing articles written by frustrated bloggers, who just can’t seem to reach their audience anymore? Well, good for you. Because this one’s entirely different. Of course, Instagram’s new algorithm sucks. It most definitely does. And it sure as hell is frustrating if you get shadow banned on a picture. BUT. To me, this change in Instagram’s politics actually came as a blessing. A blessing as in, I decided to not play by the Instagram rules anymore and just do ME now. 

My Instagram Story

Let’s start from the very beginning, shall we? When I first downloaded Instagram a couple of years back I solely used it for personal reasons – uploading little snapshots of my life, mostly to share with my friends on Facebook. Over the time, my photography improved, I started to learn about the value of a good hashtag and accumulated followers, whom I did not personally know. In early 2014 my Instagram channel revolved mostly around fitness and had about 10k followers. I started to realise how the app was consuming me more and more and deleted my account from one day to the other, for the sake of breaking with my slowly evolving Instagram addiction.

 I didn’t stay away for long, though. And quickly started to get my followers back. I had so much fun sharing beautifully styled pictures from my life. Snapping away on my travels. Sharing pictures with an extremely engaging community. Instagram was fun and easy back then. After quite some time, and a few thousand followers more, I started to actually make money from my account. Crazy, isn’t it? I still sometimes cannot believe that I actually get paid to do something I so genuinely love doing. Anyways, that’s not the topic here.

The Instagram Frustration

Lately, Instagram became more and more frustrating. Not only for me but many influencers and bloggers from all over the place. People started buying followers and likes. Bots started commenting your pictures. And the algorithm changed to something that we all kinda hated. And with that, my engagement started to sink. I became increasingly frustrated with the app and all that it entailed. I felt uninspired and didn’t know what to do to get my followers to engage with me again.

And one day, the realisation hit me. I could either sulk around and complain like all the others about how fucking terrible the app had become. Or take it as an opportunity. An opportunity to change things up. To make my account mine again. To represent who I am with the pictures I post.

@missgetaway 2.0 – not adhering to the Instagram rules anymore

When I say Instagram rules, what I actually mean is adhering to the patterns that are so common on Instagram and are followed by almost all the major (and not so major) accounts. To hell with bright and airy pictures. My life isn’t all white and clean. It’s messy, it’s dark, it has ups and downs. And that I want to reflect on my account. Why stay away from all the green nature pictures just because they get fewer likes than your generic flatlay with MacBook and ripped jeans? I do love walking through the woods and also want to show that aspect of my life on social media. Our lives aren’t perfectly curated Instagram feeds. So why not be a little more real and share the dark sides too?

And you know what, ever since I started sharing those pictures I felt like I was breaking free from a cage that hindered me from spreading my wings. I realised that few hundred likes up or down do not say anything about me as a person, nor about the picture I took. It doesn’t really matter. As long as I do what makes me happy. And when I look at my feed now, I can actually recognise myself – as opposed to the feed I had one year ago, when it was all cutesy and white.

That’s not me. And it was about time I show the world how I really am, instead of copying every generic blogger out there. 

I’m not saying that we should all ditch the clean feeds. Nor am I implying that a perfectly curated feed is bad. It just isn’t what I’m about. I want to share my life on social media – not a collection of pictures, which I think would perform well. I want to collect moments, not things. And I want to represent who I am on Instagram, rather than just doing what the others are doing for the likes.

What do you think about Instagram rules and the new algorithm? Do you like clean feeds, or do you prefer those that reflect the real life of the person behind the @@ ?

*Picture 1 via Unsplash

30 Comments

  1. 19th May 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Dankeschön für diesen tollen Beitrag! <3
    Instagram hat sich in der letzten Zeit so stark verändert. Neuer Algorithmus, Stories, Shadowban, Pods… manchmal blicke ich da gar nicht mehr durch und deswegen habe ich mich dazu entschlossen, die App ab sofort wieder ganz unbefangen zu verwenden, ohne Blick auf Follower und Likes. Immerhin konnte ich damit auch keine 100k bekommen. Also kann ich gleich das posten, worauf ich Lust habe. Natürlich werde ich weiterhin Wert auf qualitativ gute Fotos legen und cleane Bilder gefallen mir trotzdem sehr gut. Allerdings habe ich keine Lust, mir ständig Gedanken um den Feed zu machen.

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:53 am

      Ja natürlich, du hast Recht. Aber ich finde man sollte nur posten was einem gefällt. Wenn du der Typ für cleane Fotos bist, dann ist das doch toll. Ich bin es einfach nicht und musste deshalb einen Schlussstrich ziehen x

  2. 19th May 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I really loved reading this! I completely agree with you. Honestly, I just want to post what I love. If others love it too, that’s great. If not, they can just swipe by and move on! I don’t find it worth it to compromise what you want for likes and followers. This was an awesome post, I love your optimistic attitude about the changes on Instagram lately!

    http://mylovelierdays.com

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:52 am

      Exactly. Thank you for your feedback and happy weekend x

  3. 19th May 2017 / 11:10 pm

    Ich finde es toll das du es so machst. Instagram war von Anfang an eigentlich dafür gedacht Momentaufnahmen zu teilen. Was daraus geworden ist, ist wirklich schade. Bilder werden geplant und farblich perfekt miteinander abgestimmt. Ich bin ja selbst so und bearbeite Bilder so lange bis sie meiner Meinung nach in meinen Feed passen. In letzter Zeit erschrecke ich aber immer wieder selbst wieviel Zeit da oft drauf geht… Diese Zeit könnte ich wirklich besser nutzen. Du hast mich mit diesem Beitrag auf alle Fälle zum nachdenken angeregt. :)

    Liebste Grüße Tamara
    http://www.fashionladyloves.com/

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:51 am

      Ja du hast Recht. Wir verschwenden so viel Zeit damit die Fotos unseren Feed anzupassen – dabei sollte es doch eigentlich umgekehrt sein x

  4. 19th May 2017 / 11:15 pm

    I completly agree. However gorgeous some accounts truly are, and how consistent a cleverly planned curation can give a professional look- im more of a spontaneous post with whatever editing I feel that specific shot needs, rather than a strict editing routine.

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:50 am

      True that! I’m trying to be like that too in the future. There’s no fun in planning everything – I want to share impressions from my life the day they happen and not wait for them to fit my Insta-feed. x

  5. Abi Street
    20th May 2017 / 1:07 pm

    I can’t even express how much I love this post! I don’t have a huge following, and it is definitely something that I want to grow. However, at the moment this currently seems to be impossible and my followers/engagement isn’t growing no matter what I do. But this post has inspired me to really not care!! You feed looks incredible and if it express’s you that is all that matter! x

    Abi | abistreetx

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:49 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words Abi. I think there’s a change in perspective coming towards Instagram and us, smaller accounts will definitely profit from that x

  6. 20th May 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Liebe Kerstin!

    Ein wirklich gelungener BLogpost, das ein Problem anspricht das viele Blogger bzw. Leute die Instagram häufig nutzen, kennen. Auch ich kenne das nur zu gut. Die “Mainstream- Fotos” bekommen die meisten Likes, anstatt der Fotos die die meiste Aussagekraft haben oder die wichtigere Botschaft vermitteln. Hält man sich nicht an diese “Instagram- Spielregeln” ist es leider sehr schwer Follower zu gewinnen, deshalb versuche ich die klassischen Instagram Fotos mit Fotos die mir wichtig sind und ausdrücken wer ich bin, abzuwechseln und trotzdem einen harmomischen Feed zu haben. Das gelingt mal besser und mal schlechter.

    Dein Feed gefällt mir, so wie er jetzt ist, deutlich besser als früher, da er einfach dich selbst mehr widerspiegelt und es trotzdem sehr schöne Fotos sind (:

    Liebe Grüße,
    Nina

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:49 am

      Vielen lieben Dank Nina. Du hast Recht, Follower bekommt man leider mit den klassischen Instagram-Fotos leichter als mit Individuellen Ideen. Aber das ist mir mittlerweile egal – ich will einfach wieder Spaß an der App haben und mich nicht gezwungen fühlen, spezielle Fotos posten zu müssen x

  7. 20th May 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Ein toller Beitrag und ich stimme Dir vollkommen zu. Die Idee von Instagram – sein Leben mitzuteilen – ist ja eigentlich super. Urlaubseindrücke etc aber leider wurde Insta zur Plattform mit einem Wettkampf, wer das perfektere Leben führt – bzw es darstellen kann. deshalb verwende ich mein insta praktisch nie, mein leben ist das gegenteil von perfekt und mein feed sieht daher auch genausowenig aus. schade eigentlich, da die grundidee eigentlich ganz toll war..
    liebste grüsse
    Janinne von https://www.yourstellacadente.com/

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:47 am

      Da muss ich dir absolut Recht geben. Deshalb arbeite ich gerade daran, Instagram wieder ein bisschen zu dem zu machen, was es eigentlich ist. Eine Plattform um sich mit gleichgesinnten zu verbinden, inspirieren zu lassen – und nicht um Neid zu schürren. HAPPY SUNDAY x

  8. 20th May 2017 / 7:09 pm

    Love this so much! I love creating imagery too, but what I want to create, not so things just look a certain style. Love your feed now, it’s much more interesting when it matches your personality :) xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:46 am

      absolutely agree frances xx

  9. 21st May 2017 / 3:36 am

    Aaaahh I couldn’t agree more!
    First of all I’m SO happy for you and that you found your silver lining. I do agree that with the new algorithm (not to mention their ~*original*~ “Stories”) I’m starting to like the app less and less. But you’re totally right, as much as I try constructing my feed to look more like those bloggers who seem to have these clean-cut, seamlessly perfect, Instagram-worthy lives, I just couldn’t! Now I just focus on telling my stories and sharing pictures I personally like and ones that matter to me. So I totally get where you’re coming from.
    And anyway, your feed looks fantastic just as it is. I’m so glad I read this, and I’m a big big fan of your blog. You’re such a cool person in general and I so aspire to be able to live like you one day. <3 Thanks for sharing!

    • 21st May 2017 / 10:46 am

      oh my joanne, thank you so so much for your kind and genuine words. you just totally made my morning and I hope you’ll find your peace with instagram and own story to tell – I’m always so much more interested in unique feeds and pictures, rather than a perfectly planned out feed x

  10. 21st May 2017 / 5:55 pm

    I think the new algorithm possibly is a blessing in disguise. It’s definitely frustrating, but at the same time I’ve found myself properly engaging with more and more real and raw accounts and mine in turn is becoming a bit more everyday lifelike!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

    • 24th May 2017 / 2:42 pm

      That’s exactly what I just said to my friend too. Agreed x

  11. 22nd May 2017 / 4:38 am

    I can definitely see the difference between your old style and your new one. Everything that you do should definitely make you happy, and I’m glad you find happiness in Instagram once again.

    http://www.ticketforadventure.com

    • 24th May 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Exactly. Happiness is the most important thing, isn’t it? x

  12. 22nd May 2017 / 6:36 am

    Danke für den tollen Beitrag, Kerstin :) Passt ja perfekt zu meinem Digital Detox am WE. Auch hauptsächlich wegen Instagram :)
    Ich würde gerne wilder posten, einfach, was mir gefällt. Aber ehrlich gesagt bin ich da etwas befangen. Bei manchen machen 100 Likes weniger nichts aus. Bei mir schon, da ich meistens “nur” knapp 100 pro Bild bekomme. :D
    Aber vielleicht schaffe ich es, jetzt, nach meinem internetfreien Wochenende, eine schöne Mittellinie zu finden. :)
    Und ich LIEBE deine Account, Coffeegirl :)

    Feel hugged.
    Wishes, Kat

  13. Julius
    22nd May 2017 / 11:07 am

    Hi Kerstin,
    I prefer those who reflect the real life. For me personally Instagram is not about making 100 shots to get the perfect one which is good enough to upload. For me this is something to do for curating a blog. Instagram is more about doing a snapshot of what you are doing at the moment.
    To underline what I mean: I only upload pictures I took with my mobile. Everything I took with the camera is blog content – just as a rule for myself.
    Best wishes, Julius

    • 24th May 2017 / 2:41 pm

      That is such a lovely idea. I do love to share camera pictures on the gram when they relate to one of the blogposts i just published – otherwise, it’s iphone only for me too

  14. 22nd May 2017 / 6:39 pm

    YES! Finally! I hate generic ones that are literally all the same, a clean image with just no personality.

  15. 22nd May 2017 / 7:54 pm

    This is such a refreshing read! I decided this month to try to stick to a theme and make my Instagram pretty, but in less than two weeks, I was over it and decided to just post what I wanted because the white and bright themes weren’t me. I love darker vibes and I literally don’t care anymore and it feels great.
    I think your feed looks great the way it is and I love that you’re ditching the typical Instagram posts!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

    • 24th May 2017 / 2:39 pm

      Yeah right. It’s so much more fun when you do what you wanna do. Best wishes for your insta story x

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