Life

Instagram Isn’t Fun Anymore

Is it a bold statement to say Instagram isn’t fun anymore?

Regardless of the discourse surrounding social media and what it means to be addicted to or, dare I say it, enjoy it, social media has to have some kind of fun to keep its users from not jumping ship to another platform.

I stopped using Snapchat because it wasn’t fun. I stopped using Facebook because it’s just old school friends talking about their marriage and babies. Another way of saying it wasn’t fun. 

The ones I’ve kept? Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. All having distinct and separate reasons as to why I own them. The easiest one to own is Tumblr. Despite all the chaos it’s going through, it’s actually the smoothest, most consistent social media I’ve had. It’s primary function for me is to join fandoms, reblog gifs and funny text posts, and find others who are just as anti-social and obsessive. Sometimes I’m active, sometimes I’m not. My favourite part of Tumblr is that you cannot see other people’s follow counts and others cannot see yours. This fact will become important later.

Twitter is a little different. While having a similar function as Tumblr, I see Twitter as more of my outward personality. It’s not formal, but it’s not the absolute me. I retweet things that I like or agree with, tweet funny (or attempts at funny) things, have made life long friends, but I also network, market my blog, and talk about my passions, the main one being books. I don’t really talk about fandoms on there, and, weirdly, I don’t talk about books on Tumblr.

And then there’s the developing villain of my social media story, Instagram.

My Instagram does not have a function or purpose anymore. In the beginning, I created a personal account which showed snapshots of my life. I only followed my IRL friends. After starting my blog and slowly changing my online presence into one of books, writing and publishing, my account became book central. A bookstagram. It’s purpose became indulging in fun and beautiful pictures of books, as well as attracting the attention of publishers (I’ve found that publishers love bookstagram).

After the algorithm kicked in, we were all a little nervous as to what that might do for accounts. And while I like to blame everything on it, I think it doesn’t help that Instagram just isn’t fun anymore. Follower count has become a hierarchy, where DMing someone with 10k feels like shakily handing a fan letter to a celebrity as they pass you in the street (even though said person with those numbers is the nicest person ever). Twitter also has follower counts visible, but weirdly, I’m not bothered by that. My count fluctuates on both platforms, but when someone unfollows me on Instagram, I’m concerned with what I did wrong. I’m active, responsive, I change up my account’s theme so as not to become stale, I comment and like other people’s posts; surely I am the perfect Instagram user?

Becoming this stressed out mess who frantically looks through their explore page to find inspiration and wonder how other accounts are growing so rapidly when mine has stagnated ever since the algorithm came in is exhausting. I just wanted to share pictures and look at other people’s pictures, I didn’t want to become a slave to immediate gratification.

I feel like social media should be treated the same way as gambling: when the fun stops, stop. 

I’ve decided I’m going to be thinking about my Instagram a little differently from now on. It’s very hard to get out of the mindset of ‘gotta get more likes/followers’, because of the aforementioned immediate gratification, but I want to place all of my focus back onto the pictures and the people I interact with. I’ve begun unfollowing inactive accounts and people I find never appear on my feed anyway. I’m still whittling it down, but hopefully I’ll get there. With my pictures? Instead of keeping to a theme or posting what I think will get more likes, instead I’ll post a picture because I like it.

The algorithm may not like me for it, but I refuse to let something like that play with my feeling of self worth. On a social media site no less. 

Will I end up removing it completely in the future? Maybe! But nevertheless, I love taking photos, and I would love a place where I can share them without feeling inadequate. A social media site has no place making someone feel like that, and switching off/unplugging should be a part of everyone’s routine.

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12 Comments

  1. kirstyreadsblog

    January 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    I love your insta, but I agree when the fun stops either stop or develop a new way to enjoy it. I only started doing “professional” gramming as opposed to posting on my personal account in August and I can’t believe how slow my follows are growing compared to some people who just started a week ago. I truly do not get it

    1. Hollie

      January 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      Thankyou! I know, my dad created an insta and gained 200 followers despite having no posts. And I always lose followers when I post. Insta is a mystery :/

  2. Christina Reid

    January 16, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    I only joined Instagram recently so seem to have already missed the ‘fun’ times! I find it quite tricky to get my head around as people seem to follow and unfollow all the time – I just follow people I ant to follow and continue following them, but I have tonnes of people who seem to follow/unfollow almost daily which just confuses me…
    For now, I enjoy taking photos when I have time and seeing all the wonderfully-creative photos other people take so I will keep using it casually for now!

  3. Cerys @ Browsing For Books

    January 17, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Awesome post, and I definitely feel very similarly towards instagram, particularly my bookstagram. I feel so much pressure for everything to be perfect I won’t post something that I’m not happy with incase its not as successful as I want it to be. I haven’t posted in over a month and it feels so freeing!

    1. Hollie

      January 17, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Yay! I’m glad you feel better now that you haven’t posted for a while. It’s weird that we feel better when we DON’T use the platform. Instagram should do something about that haha.

      1. Cerys @ Browsing For Books

        January 18, 2019 at 3:41 pm

        Definitely! I think part of the reason is the new algorithm – everyone has become so stressed out over how it works and whether or not their posts are reaching their full potential people are forgetting just to have fun!

  4. Lost in Literature With Liz

    January 17, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I agree with you on a lot of the points you’ve made 😊 Great post!! I’ve also got rid of my facebook due to it not being fun anymore and I don’t really like people being able to find out tons of stuff about me lol. Instagram I agree with totally, I don’t have alot of followers on there (my pictures aren’t creative with alot of props, they’re just pictures that I like) so that’s probably why. Sometimes it does drain the fun out of it because I feel as though I’m getting nowhere. Twitter is a nightmare for follows and then unfollows 😡 so my follower count fluctuates constantly.

    1. Hollie

      January 17, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      Exactly, I hate that it’s a competition for likes! That’s so true with Facebook! I barely use it anymore, just the messenger feature :/ But I try not to reveal too much about myself on there too, especially as I don’t want old school ‘friends’ FB stalking me!

  5. Ashleigh

    January 17, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    This entire post is A Mood. I use instagram but use stories more than actual posts, and I barely comment on other people’s posts anymore simply because I never see them?? Like my Instagram at the moment only seems to be showing me about 5 posts every time I go on, despite following hundreds of people that have no doubt posted in the hours I’ve been missing. It’s frustrating.

  6. Katie Brown

    February 14, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    You put into words how I’ve been feeling lately! Instagram has started to feel like a chore I need to keep doing rather than something I look forward to posting. It doesn’t help that I’m always comparing myself to others! It’s definitely wise to take a step back from something when it stops being fun.

  7. Gjori

    March 14, 2019 at 9:29 am

    This might be a stupid response, that you might not even want, but whenever I see one of our posts it does really drown a bit in the mass waves of pictures out there. However, I can always see that it’s your because of the orange tones, and whenever I notice that it’s your name on the top, I always get super excited.
    I don’t know when this shift happened, but I just care SO much about what you’re up to, what you’re reading and what you have to tell. This might mean nothing to you (or it might be a bit creepy and I’m so sorry if it is), but as inconsistent as I am with checking my social medias, I really enjoy your content.
    Wish you all the best <3

    1. Hollie

      March 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Hi! This is such a lovely comment, thank you so much for caring, and it’s not creepy at all! I work hard on all my content, so I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to say that you love it! Wishing you all the best also <3

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