Oh, good old gram. We all love it and we all hate it, especially us, bloggers.
I love taking photos and I certainly do enjoy scrolling through other feeds finding inspiration. Instagram is a fantastic tool for finding new travel destination or even beautiful spots for photoshoots that you didn't know existed.
Don't even get me started on how this social media outlet changed the digital industry - it gave thousands of creators opportunity to earn money and if they work hard enough even travel for a living.
It all sounds so great, isn't it? Yet this year I decided that I am 100% done with Instagram.
This app started bringing less joy to me and more stress than anything else. I got frustrated when the post I've been working on performed badly, my mood was ruined if I lost 20 followers in one day and I always felt pressured to post something at least every other day because other way people will unfollow me and it will look bad on my media kit.
Sometimes it even got to a point where I wanted to throw my phone across the room because the app kept crashing and I had to rewrite the caption all over again 3rd time in a row.
Now that I'm writing this, I feel so ridiculous. There are far worse things in life than complaining about crashing app and not getting enough engagement on your posts. But this is how I felt and quite frankly, I don't want to feel this way anymore.
I don't want to wake up every morning thinking about what can I do to get more followers on Instagram, so the brands would take me seriously. I don't want to waste 2 hours of my day rewriting captions and comparing my feed to others.
One of the reasons why I even started Instagram account was to have a different outlet other than a blog where I can share my day to day struggles, wins and whatnot.
Of course, I also thought that it would be a great platform to promote my new blog posts as well, so people who follow me could catch up with the latest articles. However, somewhere along the way, I started thinking about the idea of earning more from Instagram and this is where I slipped.
No disrespect to creators who earn money with a help of Instagram. I applaud you and I bow down to you, you have all my respect.
But I, personally, simply can't do it because I see how much it affects me and my mental state. It makes me irritated, mad and disappointed more than it brings me joy and that is where I draw the line (and you should too).
Nothing that brings you more negative than positive emotions is worth the struggle. Your well-being always comes first.
I noticed how Instagram affects me daily but I still didn't make a change. I thought that it was worth it because I scored some amazing opportunities and brand deals simply by having and curating my Instagram feed. Until quite recently a thought popped into my head - what if one day the app would simply shut down? We see apps crashing and being shut down all the time thanks to a wonderful Twitter community.
Not too long ago Instagram did crash and everyone went nuts. Fortunately, it was fixed quite fast and everyone continued with their life.
But what if one day the creators of Instagram decided to shut it down completely? All those hours you spent crafting amazing captions, worrying about followers count and complaining about it on Twitter - would they feel wasted?
Would you regret spending all that time on one app that can disappear in one minute with all those incredible numbers, photos and captions? After all, life will continue as nothing happened after the shut down of the app but what about you?
This simple question was all it took for me to make a decision of giving less shit about Instagram, about the numbers there and about having a perfect feed. I don't want to wake up one morning seeing 'Instagram down!!!' on my Twitter timeline and getting frustrated with the fact I spent SO MUCH time worrying about the app simply for it to go down and take everything I worked for with it.
After all, Instagram is an app that in no way belongs to us, we have no upper hand over it and we can't control it.
So, I choose to give more shit about my blog which is my OWN platform. I control the lifespan of my blog, unlike Instagram.
Don't get me wrong, I am not planning on quitting and deleting the app any time soon. I still enjoy sharing my joys and snippets of life there. As well as looking at what other people are up to and looking for ideas once in a while.
But I no longer want to waste time on conquering the algorithm, getting angry on updates, thinking of better hashtags to use, scrolling aimlessly for hours and not posting a photo simply because it doesn't go along with my feed.
I know it will take time to completely stop caring about the numbers and all those things, especially being a blogger, after giving so much shit about it in the first place. But I am determined to make it happen. I don't want to be the person from a real-life Black Mirror episode anymore.