These are my honest thoughts on Instagram and the use of Instagram to grow a following. This is a bit of a ranty post based on a number of articles and blogs I have read during my first week as a ‘blogger’. I am in no way singling out any one particular blogger, and for this reason any images I have used are freely available stock images and from Pinterest, and are credited in the tags. Buckle up ladies and gents, here we go!
I use Instagram a lot on my personal account, pretending I’m an amateur photographer when in reality, my pictures are pretty crap, and mostly of my cat. When I started my blog, I was instantly drawn to countless articles on how to get that perfect Instagram flatlay, how to grow your Instagram following, or how to master your Instagram aesthetic.
My issue is, where has the individuality gone?
I tried a flatlay (image below). Purchased some pastel tea towels from Aldi thinking they would make a nice background. My first attempt wasn’t awful, it’s not great but it’s not terrible.
The colours match, I happened to have some pastel tombow dual brush pens. Probably should have ironed the tea towel first to get rid of the creases, and maybe gone a little easier on the filters. It took about half an hour to get a shot I was happy with – time I could have spent creating content.
And I posted it on Instagram and my blog post.
I wish I hadn’t. I won’t take it down as it is a reminder to me of what I am about to talk about.
Typical Instagram Photos – Just doing some browsing on the laptop
This picture is lovely, don’t get me wrong. The creator has obviously thought about the style and aesthetic they want, and the image reflects that. They probably have more time and more patience than me to get that perfect shot.
If I was to create this photo the key differences would be;
- Unless it’s a Sunday, I probably haven’t shaved my legs
- I’d have to find 2 socks that matched – and the white bits were still white rather than grey from when I have mixed them up in the wrong wash
- My nails would have to be perfectly manicured – which they are sometimes don’t get me wrong, but had I done any housework or washed any pots before hand no doubt they would be chipped and ugly AF!
- My bedding hardly ever matches!
- How clean is that laptop? I take good care of mine, but you will still find crumbs in the keyboard and a bit of dust on the screen
What’s in my bag?
The casual “I just tipped stuff out of my bag” shot. This instagram feed is probably full of similar styled images, using pastels and rose gold colour themes throughout. Honestly, whose stuff looks that good just tipped out of the bag? My perfume is missing its lid, my sunglasses are proper mucky, and any books are probably dented in the corners or stained through food/drink that has been shoved in there.
This person probably has no pets. If I were to lay my clothes down like this, I would not be able to wear them without a good 10 minute lint rolling session. Also, most of my clothes are dark colours so wouldn’t fit in with the colour theme here. And the roses? They look pretty, sure, but I would have to make a special trip to the supermarket to find roses that would match what Instagram picture I would be taking that day.
As lovely as these pictures are (and they really are!) I could just never meet this standard. And honestly, I’m not sure I want to.
It’s just not for me
I hope this blog is a real reflection of my life. Including all the ugly and not as aesthetically pleasing aspects that are often left out of Instagram. I am honest, and to the point, and would hate to think that someone out there thinks bloggers have this perfect life, pastel coloured life, when in fact, they don’t.
But by this point, there are so many accounts using whites, greys and pastel’s that they start to look the same, and it becomes hard to differentiate between one blogger and the next.
Maybe I’m just jealous, don’t have the time or patience, haven’t got a fancy camera or lightbox, or just lack the creative ability to create these photos. And I am not belittling anyone who does – whatever works for you and whatever you enjoy creating – go for it. Maybe it’s just a sign of getting old – I’m not as down with social media as I perhaps once was in my early 20’s. Or maybe I’m just grumpy. Or a combination of all of the above.
For me though, I might make an effort sometimes, other times I just can’t be arsed. If anyone other than my mum reads my blogs, I want them to because I am real, honest, and just me. If that means I do not build a huge following, then that’s absolutely fine.
Ok, I have ranted enough now. For all those bloggers out there with perfect Instagram feeds, I salute you. For all those like me, who just want to keep it real I salute you too.
Bye for now.