I am absolutely addicted to Instagram. I use it as inspiration, a way to see what people are up to, find out information about brands, to kill time while I’m waiting for a child to finish something, it is probably the most used app on my phone. I can easily spend (and lose) hours scrolling through my feed, even more so now they’ve added stories to the mix. But, it’s become too easy to also waste hours scrolling through utter crap, all because of the lovely algorithm that seems to be in place.
No, don’t ask me, I can’t explain it properly either. In a (very small) nutshell, it’s something to do with high engagement. The more likes, comments and shares an image gets, the higher it ranks in the feed. Instagram thinks that posts which get a lot of interaction (and how fast that interaction happens) are high quality, popular posts so it pushes them out to more people. Literally a case of the rich getting richer.
The only problem with that is, quite often, the pictures getting the high numbers of hits aren’t all that, and they’re not getting their likes for the right reasons. And good god, scrolling through the crap to find that one image worth double tapping can be mind-numbingly dull. It can also leave you feeling like crap, the good old “compare and despair” – what does that feed have, that mine doesn’t? Why do they have so many likes and followers, when I seem to stay static and consistent?
I want to grow my account, of course I do, I wouldn’t be any kind of social media whore if I didn’t, but, I want it to grow naturally. Sometimes I want to post a highly staged, flatlay (wanker) image. Sometimes, I want to post a picture of my kids being complete morons (it happens a lot) but I don’t, for fear of losing followers who are only interested in the lifestyle, blogger-esque images. But, if they’re going to unfollow me because I post real pics, are they really worth having in the first place?
Newsflash, they’re not.
On the flip side, being a serial poster is never a good look. No one wants to see 56 images from the same event. While Instagram is there to be enjoyed however the hell you like, there needs to be a level of editing, otherwise we’re all up in Facebook’s grill, and that can get annoying. Why, yes, hello Sandra and your 438 pictures of the dog walk from last Tuesday. Good to see you in ALL of my social media feeds…..
I’ve decided to whittle my Instagram down to accounts I really love to follow, the accounts that ALWAYS get a double tap from me, or drag me out of my robotic scrolling to leave a comment. Those are the accounts I like, the ones that make me click through to see the rest of the feed, or read a blog post. Accounts which have personality, but not so much that it feels like a slap in the face by a wet fish.
I’m also going to change the way I post. I’m not going to go to ‘crazy Sandra’ levels – I still want my own grid to look together & stylish, as much as I can, but I’m not going to be afraid to post an image I love, just because it might not be the thing to do. It’s my feed, it needs to reflect me, and anyone who knows me knows I am all over the place sometimes. A lot of the time!
Aside of the serial posters, I’m going to get rid of the slimming world accounts, the animal lovers, the nothing but (non) funny memes, the people who I have literally no idea who the hell they are, anyone who doesn’t float my little Instagram boat. To take it back to my inspiring, happy place. A place where I don’t have to scroll through hundreds of images before I find one I love. It might not get my followers into double figures, but it will be authentic.
Plus, I’ll get that swipe up option eventually, even if it’s just because they roll it out to everyone…….!
What do you think? Has Instagram lost it’s appeal for you too?