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