The Classic Brunette: How I'm Learning To Love Instagram Again

Thursday, August 31, 2017

How I'm Learning To Love Instagram Again


Y'all it's been a ROUGH few months with Instagram. I don't even have to just call out the bloggers with this opinion, since it seems like everyone is frustrated with the app in one way or another. I'm not going to lie, I've loathed using the app since around July after my optimism of the new changes officially ran out. I was only using it because it's necessary as a blogger. I would open the app, passively engage with others, publish my post and then toss my phone to the side. I don't think I've enjoyed scrolling down my feed since May, and because of that I haven't wanted to engage with people in the way that Instagram was originally made for. Sure, I've replied to comments (sparingly, and I'm trying to change that!) and I've interacted with some accounts and hashtags to try and make use of the new algorithm, but I haven't enjoyed much of it. I'm tired of hating Instagram though, and have decided to make my use of the app less about what I can get from it and more about how I can enjoy it again. I want to use Instagram the way I used it in the beginning. It was a way to build connections with others, view inspirational photos, and interact in a genuine way. I'm slowly starting to take steps in this direction, and thought I would share what I'm doing in case any of you are feeling the same way!

Unfollow Everyone Who Doesn't Inspire You

Doing this has already made such a difference in my Instagram experience. I was following 2600+ people. Some were people I met once and connected with on Instagram and then never talked to again. Some were people I followed back in the day when I followed people back. Others I'm not even sure when I started following them. I decided to purge all my followers that I no longer liked seeing. It takes so long to go through that many followers and I'm currently down to about 1200, but I'm already seeing such a difference in my feed. I used to scroll through my home feed and not know who 90% of the people were, but now I see familiar faces and fun posts that I actually care about. I think this will be the biggest step in learning to love Instagram again. If I love what I'm seeing and can recognize who I'm following I'll definitely be engaging in the community more.

Stop Focusing On Numbers

This is the hardest one to accept, especially for bloggers, but I think it's necessary. Will I still want to increase my followings and likes? Of course! But it's not what I should be caring about most above everything else. Community building and taking quality photos should be your main concern, otherwise just enjoy looking at everyone's images! I would (and still do) get paranoid about my numbers going down, but it's something that I haven't been able to change in the last few months and I want to stop worrying about it. If I focus on creating better content and actually engaging with other people and bloggers, I hope that my following will reflect that. But if it doesn't change I don't want the numbers to dictate how I feel for the day.

Use Stories More "Authentically"

I put authentically in quotes because although I feel like I'm already using the stories feature authentically, I want to start using it not just to update you about new products and blog posts. I love seeing other bloggers post photos and videos from their daily lives that have nothing to do with their latest posts. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing and viewing stories that go over new posts, fun mail days, unboxings, etc. but I also like to see the "real" side to bloggers as well. I figure that if I like seeing this side of bloggers, I should probably follow their lead and share aspects of my life that aren't so curated. I haven't started applying this yet because of my current situation (which many of you are aware of, but I will probably hold off talking about on the blog for a little while), but hope to do so in the upcoming weeks! 

I'm excited to see how these tactics work out for me, and would love to know if you try these tips out for yourself! I really hope we can go back to the old Instagram ways where connecting with others, or at least start merging back in that direction. I know things will never be the way they used to be, but there's no point dwelling on that and hoping against hope that things will change. (Especially because it's looking like Instagram won't budge on anything.) Hopefully we can make these changes ourselves and make Instagram enjoyable again!

What are your thoughts on Instagram lately? Do you have any tips that have helped you enjoy the app more lately? Also if you feel like giving me a follow on Instagram you can check me out HERE! :)

40 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more! Focusing on numbers is a drag. I enjoy Instagram way more when I don't focus on that!

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    1. Same here! There will probably always be that little voice in the back of my mind thinking about the numbers, but I'm trying not to let it take over and just enjoy Instagram for what it is!

      xo
      Sami

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  2. I totally agree! I unfollowed over 800 accounts a few months ago and did a recent purge of over 100. There's no need to have your feed clogged with pictures you don't want to see!


    - xo, Azanique | www.lotsofsass.com

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    1. YES! Purging seriously feels SO good! My feed is so much better now, glad you did the same and are having a better experience too!

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  3. I totally agree!! I recently went on an unfollow spree of people who didn't inspire me, I got out of Instagram pods and just posted what I wanted to share!! Loved this post!

    xox, rebekah
    RebekahBlogs.com

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    1. I'm still in some pods, but mostly because I still really love the accounts I'm with and we chat more often than we post, haha! But unfollowing people made things so much better! Glad you're getting back to loving Insta again as well! :) And thank you!

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  4. Ugh I can so relate -- instagram has been stressing me out which is silly because at the end of the day it's just social media.

    I love these tips. For me personally I've been forcing myself to spend 24 hours without instagram on Saturdays. It's been a really great way for me to step away from the obsession and focus on real life and being in the moment.

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    1. Yes, seriously so much stress has been coming from Instagram and I just want it to stop! I definitely need to spend more time without the app. I normally don't post on the weekend, but even so I still spend so much time on it! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Kayla! :)

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  5. I LOVE insta-stories!! Definitely makes melee more connected to those I follow and my followers!

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    1. Me too! I hope I can start utilizing them more and show a more fun side that isn't all about the blog!

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  6. I follow 200+ people, I don't know how you managed following that many! That would drive me nuts as well. I also love using the stories feature to share things with my followers that doesn't really fit with my theme. Glad you're liking Instagram a bit more now :)

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    1. I don't know how I managed it either, it was such a mess!! I definitely want to start using stories for stuff outside of the blogging world too! Thanks for reading, Audrey!

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  7. Yes to everything you've said in this post! The new(ish) algorithm is just plain bad. For everyone. Why bother? BUT I learned to like (love it too strong a word right now haha) it again. As soon as I stopped seeing it as a "job", because let's face it, the algorithm ain't doing me any favours in the sense, and started to casually engage with the people, photos and pretty feeds that I genuinely like, I'm enjoying the app a lot more. It sounds like you're pretty much doing the same thing - here's to hoping Instagram brings you joy again.

    Christie's Take on Life.  xx

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    1. Haha yeah I think I'm currently at "like" with Instagram, but hoping to love it again in the future! I know I want to blame it all on the algorithm, but if it's not changing I guess I just have to adapt! Love hearing your thoughts about it too, Christie! :)

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  8. As a photographer I still love Instagram the most out of all social media options because it's so visual, but you're right, you have to be very intentional with who you follow so you can enjoy scrolling through your feed :) I hope these approaches improve your experience with it!

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    1. The visual aspect is what I love most about Instagram, so it's nice seeing photos I actually care about now! And thank you!

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  9. I love Instagram when I am following accounts that interest me and take time to engage with their accounts by commenting and not simply liking the images. I have been working on my feed but haven't tried the stories yet, not sure when I will find time for that but they do look fun.

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    1. I agree, if I don't find the accounts I follow to be interesting I'm not going to engage! You should definitely try the stories, they are pretty fun to make and watch!

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  10. I have been really burnt out on instagram too. I love it for some reasons but hate how contrived it can feel. I have lost followers since I've stopped pressuring myself to post and curate perfect posts but I don't want instagram to control how I feel and I certainly don't need followers with expectations I can't meet!

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    1. Definitely know how you're feeling! I've been losing followers left and right even when I'm trying to keep everything perfect, so I don't see the point anymore! Hopefully Instagram can start being fun again! I think engaging and just connecting with others that I enjoy will help!

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  11. I like all three things that you're doing to fall back in love with Instagram. I'll definitely try to do #3 for sure.

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  12. I don't think I could ever love IG, but I may try to like it again using your tips. I do love using stories! I also should probably unfollow a lot of accounts, but I hate to do that because I hate the whole follow/unfollow thing and wouldn't want anyone to think I was doing that.

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    1. Haha, I think I'm with you there. Loving it will be hard, but I'm going to try to make an effort to really like using it again! And omg I know that. I've unfollowed a ton, but people are unfollowing right back. It sucks because that isn't what I'm explicitly doing as I've been following these accounts for so long, but that's definitely what people are going to assume! I guess it just comes with trying to clean up my feed.

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  13. Thank you for this!!! I definitely needed this right now - actually, you've inspired me to go through and unfollow a handful of accounts right now :)

    - Kaitlin
    kedgotwed.com

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    1. Yay!! I hope it works out for you, I'm already feeling much better about my Instagram experience!

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  14. I need to follow these tips! Such great advice!!

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  15. I've been crazy demotivated with Instagram for the past couple of months, but I just started posting back up yesterday so this post came at the perfect time. With the perfect tips too! Thanks for the super helpful post, Sami!!

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    1. Aw thanks so much! Yeah it's been a really hard few months, but hopefully these tips help you out! :)

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  16. Great tips that I can relate with lol You are incredibly smart and inspiring!

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    1. Aw thank you Pammy!! Hope these tips can help you!

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  17. These are super awesome tips! Once I stopped worrying about the numbers it got a little more enjoyable.

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    1. It's so tough because in the back of my head numbers are still so important! But I'm trying not to let them take over! And thank you!

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  18. I find it frustrating that I don't get to see the people I want to see in my feed! I always miss my friends posts!
    -Nicholle
    www.nichollesophia.com

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    1. Yes yes yes! I feel like I never see anyone I actually know anymore, completely unfair! Unfollowing people has helped though!

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  19. I was feeling the same way you were. I created a 2nd instagram page to intereact with people who have similar hobbies and likes, because interesting with certain pages from my blog page was making me not as visible to my target audience.

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  20. YES!! I've had to focus less on the numbers with Instagram because I was getting too obsessed. Focusing on the engagement with your audience is so much better :)

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  21. I feel the same way, but I just keep chugging along. I have been trying to use insta stories more to get my followers more involved.

    xx,
    Amanda || www.fortheloveofglitter.com

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  22. Yes, these are all so important! Instagram has certainly been horrible lately.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I read and appreciate every one!

 
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