A break from the mold

A few days ago, one link led me to another and I ended up reading a post called “It was never about the likes”.

The author explained how she felt she needed to re-think her using Instagram after a Facebook discussion about struggling with the app and how frustrating it can be to get little engagement recently despite consistent posting.

She explains how annoyed she gets when “models and styles just feel like they’re copied and pasted repeatedly. And that is what I I tend to see rewarded by the platform”.

I can’t help but feel I agree with the frustration part! Personally, I don’t use Facebook or Twitter. But I use Instagram which was an app I could not use years ago because I didn’t have a smartphone ! And for a couple of years, its filters made me dream that one day I’ll be able to edit my photos like the other “big” bloggers. I’ve now used it for almost 10 years and I must confess it lost a bit of interest for me too. The thing is I don’t have anything to sell. I don’t do consulting, coaching, mentoring, freelancing… I’m not an INFLUENCER. But I feel these sorts of people stole my favourite playful creative app and turned it into yet another marketing platform which deals with curated content full of … air!

But it is as much the fault of these influencers as it it the fault of the Influenced! How come so many people become infatuated by Instagramers’ seemingly perfect lives and start mimicking their every moves. The same pictures. The ridiculous quotes. The self-absorbed selfies. The outfits where brands become a noun. It’s not a handbag anymore, it’s a Vuiton (or whatever)…

Marina and I already shared a common passionate dislike for the phenomenon.

The author of the post continues by saying “When Instagram brings me down, it sucks energy and motivation from what I should be working on, and sometimes even goes as far as having me question what I’m doing at all”. Even though I understand what she means, I can’t help but wonder how an app which has been created for photographers who wanted to share their creative talent became a source of frustration for bloggers – most of them celebrating luxury, brands and sharing experiences most of us will never try.

But business is business… It’s complicated to focus on connecting, sharing, creating when everywhere you look, you’re being sold products or pushed to think you suddenly need a new item everybody will soon obtain. Or push you to set up a travel wish-list of Instagramable destinations.

I’ve done a bit of clearing up in the dozens hundreds of wordpress blogs I use to follow. (And Instagram accounts too). It leaves my “reader” section with a small quantity of followed sites. But these are the ones written by real people, those who have a story to tell and who will answer back if I leave a comment. These human beings make me feel I’m not wasting my time. These human beings inspire me. These human beings make me want to share a cup of coffee with them one day.

The post concludes with “Algorithms can get into our head and distract us from the actual goal: connection.”

It seems algorithm is a new cool teen disease – something you want to get in order “to belong”. But once you get it, you realize it makes you feel quite rough.

Here is the new Commandments the author will try to respect in the future:

  • Post what I like and what brings me joy.
  • Post because I want to, not because I feel external pressure.
  • Post in a way that shares experiences and spreads ideas.
  • Post in a way that feels authentic to me.
  • Post according to my own rules, not ways to beat the algorithm.
  • Share and connect in a way that feels enriching for me.
  • Remind myself: you’re not doing this for the likes.

All I can add is : Express yourself, love, share, inspire, be inspired, learn, repeat…

Wishing you all an uninfluenced Sunday!


Ps: My comments above are by no means meant to downplay the work and talents who do find success this way. Especially people who start there posts with “Here’s What to Post on Instagram: 21 Top Post Ideas & Examples“. Or the Kardashians which I truly admire.

Well actually it does!

But I’m happy I found Anne’s account on Instagram. Her post definitely gave me food for thoughts. Which I love!

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17 Comments

  1. Ah, Instagram… I have a similar conversation with one of my best friends recently. Actually, I met her through instagram when I was living in Dublin!
    We were talking about how a few years ago, instagram was a great community, specially in a small city as Dublin. While a lot of already photographers shared their work, for others, Instagram was the beginning of a vocation. And we all connected and shared not only photos, but also tips and counsel and support. It was a great community, and people actually met each other and a lot of real non-virtual friendships begun there! But it’s not like that anymore. With all the bots, fake likes and fake followers, wannabe influencers… it’s becoming a very frustrating space… it doesn’t feel like you can connect (like, real connection) with people like-minded… you just see the same things over and over again. And the only way to progress is paying… So sad! It was a wonderful idea and a place to share and connect with people until Facebook bought it!!

    Like

  2. I must say that I’m quite bored with Instagram! It feels so mindless pressing the little heart to like the photos – I usually don’t do that anymore. If I follow someone’s feed, doesn’t it automatically mean that I find something there that I like? I’m also not at all interested if my photos get any likes, I want to document them for myself mainly and if I can inspire someone to go to a place I like, then that’s great. I’ve now made my account private as I was also getting bored with all kinds of businesses following me (for a follow-back most likely – not going to happen!).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Some people love glossy magazines and are happy to follow because it is someone famous.. Instagram like WordPress for me is finding those who you like to view and comment on and they like to view and comment on yours.. It all depends on why we are doing it.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, some great ideas and backed up by some research. I press the like for this one, hehe.
    Uff, Instagram… Once a source of so many feelings. It used to inspire me, to make me eager trying to become somebody like those insta bloggers, it led to envy and some unhealthy habits… And now when I open it, the only feeling is “yawn”. I just stopped using it. Easy. And it was so good for me.
    Now if I want to share, I share on the blog (if I come to it, in the middle of all this life). Which is a more focused activity, as it doesn’t allow me just to post a pic and some qoute and push “done”))

    It is ironic and sad how a “social media” has become a source of all that pressure and anxiety. All I can say: not using Instagram feels like a spa for my brain. For me it works :))

    Like

  5. Yeah, I stayed away from Instagram for years, and finally got sucked in because a friend was sharing their travel photos on it. I discovered there a whole other world I hadn’t even dreamed of. It’s pretty amazing. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as an Instagram model before. Anyways, yes I’m in my own little world I guess. Oh by the way, I actually came over because I wanted to invite you to the new guest posting event that we’re having at the Seeker’s Dungeon. It is on the subject of From Darkness to Light. If you’re interested you can find the full details here: https://theseekersdungeon.com/from-darkness-to-light/ I’d love to get an article from you.

    Liked by 1 person

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