Why I (kinda) hate Instagram

I open up the Preview app on my phone and let out a sigh. I am staring at my 9-square photo grid, attempting to rearrange my queue of future Instagram posts for the millionth time–to little success. I can’t figure out why, but something doesn’t look right. Maybe it’s the position of my new outfit post. I try switching it with a couple other photos, but it still looks off. I sigh again. It feels like I’m trying to work out an unsolvable mathematical equation.

After several minutes of swapping and contemplating, I give up, deeply unsatisfied with the results.

“That’s it,” I think myself, tossing my phone to the side. “I’m done with Instagram.”

But even as the thought crosses my mind, I know it isn’t true.

Like brushing my teeth or filling my car up with gas, my Instagram struggles are part of my daily routine. By this point, I’m pretty certain that every active Instagram user on the planet knows exactly what I’m talking about and goes through the same thing. Feed curation is practically a mandate nowadays. If you want your account to stand out, you can’t just take good photos; you have to take good photos that blend together in one harmonious, color-coordinated grid.

fashion blogger wears cream sweater and camo skirt

From photo booth filters (remember how cool we all thought that thermal camera one was…lol) to meticulous editing softwares, Instagram content has evolved a lot over the years. I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but it honestly blows my mind to think about how different Instagram is now than it was in 2012. The cheesy filters? The blurry uploads? The lack of worry about whether or not the picture you want to post will match the rest of your feed?

So much has changed since the early days of Instagram. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all become better photographers and content curators (not to mention spared our future selves the embarrassment of looking back and seeing 2012-style content online in 2018). But at the same time, I think these changes have instilled in us the idea that whatever decisions we make in terms of the content we post will never be good enough. Because the Instagram standard for “good” hasn’t just gotten higher–it’s gotten to a point where it’s simply unattainable.  

Not only have I noticed this when I’ve (inevitably) compared my own feed to someone else’s; I’ve noticed it when I’ve compared my current content to that which I put up in the recent past. When I look back at photos I posted a month or two ago, I often catch myself thinking they are exponentially better than the photos I posted over the past one or two days. It’s a self-defeating thought pattern. And I can’t help but roll my eyes at the fact that the photos I deem not good enough become the photos I wish I was still taking as time goes by.

fashion blogger wears camo skirt and sweater

You see, what I’ve come to discover about the Instagram standard nowadays is that it compels us to want whatever we don’t have and then causes that want to dissipate the moment we get it. If I decide I like a certain style of photos and attempt to replicate myself, I will immediately feel like I should be doing something totally different. Ultimately, whatever I’m doing isn’t good enough.

The algorithm doesn’t do these insecurities any favors either. As I watch my engagement slide up and down on a constant basis, I can’t help but translate the number of likes and comments into a reflection of my content. Why did this post get half as many likes as that one? Am I getting less views this week because my feed has gotten boring?

Instagram is an endless battle, and there are many moments (particularly for me as a blogger) that I catch myself wondering if it is more hassle than it’s worth. Despite the annoyance Instagram may cause me, I don’t think I can see myself ever dropping off the platform altogether. I like taking photos and seeing what other people are up to. And at the end of the day, it’s just social media.

How do you feel about Instagram? 

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Hi, I'm Paige and my favorite things are lipstick, books, and coffee.

19 thoughts on “Why I (kinda) hate Instagram

  1. I totally get you sis and I can relate so much to this! Instagram has changed over the years and I feel more pressure now to post color-coordinated pictures and that’s something I never cared much for.
    In as much as there’s pressure, it’s also quite entertaining and keeps me on my feet🍃

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I feel like as long as I keep Insta in check, don’t scroll the feed too much, and make sure to only engage with things or ppl I care about, it doesn’t get as annoying as it probably could. I try to keep it in perspective of it is simply a fun way to engage with others and let it only be that much.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have deleted and reopened my Instagram several times. In 2012 it seemed so easy to get many likes on mediocre photos, now I feel like my photos are much more quality but with much less attention. It has just gotten so competitive and too popular.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I actually initially started following your blog primarily because I felt that your IG was so well put together, considering the size of your subscriber base.
    This post (and IG in general tbh) reminded me of a book I recently finished: The Power of Glamour, by Virginia Postrel. IG seems to be largely an exercise in Glamour – of creating an image of effortlessness that inspires longing while simultaneously hiding the drudgery/grind. Anyways, I feel that book might refine your outlook on this in a way that is interesting/robust.
    I like the way you present your content.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also love and hate Instagram! Great to look at (though it makes us perceive a life that isn’t necessarily real) not great to feel the pressure to post yourself. -Have you done a paid promotion? If so, do you regret the first one? (Eg:did it too early or for the wrong reasons)
    -is this something you want to do as a job or is it just a hobby?
    -You’re known quite widely for your mental health and self care work, have you found it difficult trying to sustain your channel doing something different to the crowd?
    -If there was one thing you could change/stop about YouTube what would it be?
    -was/is there a stigma around YouTube/blogging at your place of education?
    -What’s your favourite thing about your channel?
    -if when you started your channel, YouTube was like how it is today, would you still start it?
    -What’s your funniest/best memory that has come out of your channel?
    -What’s your worst memory from your channel?
    -What’s your favourite video of yours? Why?
    -Was your parents and family supportive of your channel from the start?
    If you could immediately go to 10million subscribers or go back to 1000 (you could still work back up) which would you choose?
    -if you had to choose between all of your subscribers and your friends you’d made from your channel, who would you pick?
    -Do you think that the ‘new youtube’ (Logan Paul, dangerous challenges, etc) is as bad as it’s being made out to be?
    -Is there times where you regret making your channel? Why?

    Finally, a fun, unconnected question:
    -What flavour and brand of crisps would you eat if you could only eat one for the rest of your life?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah yes, Instagram. At my age, striving for a curated feed isn’t in my priorities anymore. Just keep your account private, to keep out the bots and thots infesting the platform. Avoid using a lot of hashtags, too!

    By bots, I refer to the users who subscribe to an automatic liking/commenting service to the point that they put unrelated or plain insensitive comments to every post that contains a certain hashtag. Thots, on the other hand…you know their tactics. Following you then pressing the unfollow button once you become a +1 to their follower list.

    I’ve wrote about this issue two years ago here: https://themonchingsguide.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/171-on-bots-and-thots-on-the-gram-reflections-on-four-years-part-1/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoy Instagram but I don’t trust it or any other platform that may be used to make money. No one is gonna let anyone make money off of them without getting a cut, and thats what Instagram is doing. Sabatoging and making it harder for you and easier for them to get their coin. But I enjoy it as a diversion.

    Liked by 1 person

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