I hate Instagram. There, I’ve said it. If anyone ever wants to waste 20 minutes of their day, give me a soap box and let me rant about Instagram, please.
I am, in general, a private person. You may have just spat some tea out over your phone because let’s face it, someone who spends their life writing and documenting their family on a blog and promoting it to thousands of people on social media probably shouldn’t say the words “I’m a private person.” But I am. I love to write and I love to talk about the things I enjoy. I have an opinion and it’s sometimes quite strong and I bore the pants off my friends and family. I can’t tell my mum why she should buy organic cotton (well I could, but she’ll fall asleep) and my best friend definitely doesn’t want to hear about my son’s issues with constipation, but someone on the internet does (I hope). I love the idea that maybe I can help other parents negotiate this minefield that we call family life or at the very least, offer empathy and support.
So I write, document and share – sometimes oversharing, whilst the reality is I’m an intensely quiet, introverted, shy, over anxious mum who probably doesn’t get out of the house as much as she should. I share because it gives me an outlet, I write because I love writing, and social media allows me to connect with people, get feedback and yes, validation too.
I quite like Twitter. It’s fast paced and I feel comfortable there. I don’t mind Facebook, it definitely has it’s purposes, especially groups and I’ve met lots of people there. Pinterest is pretty cool, even though I’m not very good at it, I find it inspiring and interesting and fun to be part of. Linked.in is unique, with a professional purpose that I appreciate.
And then there’s Instagram. Oh, Instagram, why do I use you. You are the worst platform for someone like me.
So here are the reasons I hate Instagram:
- My life isn’t Instagrammable – Instagram is about everything that I’m not. I don’t have a house with open clean spaces. I live in the inner city where finding a background to photograph against will be littered with graffiti (not the cool kind the fashion bloggers use) and old beer cans. I don’t have a clue about fashion. Or lighting. Or photography. My attempts at a flat lay look like my son made it, and perhaps that’s an excuse I’ll stick to. I’m not into beauty or fitness. I think I’m rather boring and mundane to be honest, so what am I supposed to take photos of? I do have a cute baby (it’s not just me that thinks that, right?) and some pets, so it’s mostly that. I feel that with every other platform I have a chance of being successful, but I don’t think I will ever be successful at Instagram. I’m not even upset like a lot of people that Instagram encourages “perfect lives”, I know a lot of it is fake. I know sometimes they’re showing their best side whilst crying into a box of chocolates at the end of the day. I don’t suffer from social media envy. I just wish I was better at it and had something interesting to share.
- I’m bad at Photography – I try. I read guides. I do online courses. I bought a digital SLR at a cost of £500+ and I can’t figure out how to use it. I was recently gifted a cake, so I took pictures excitedly. Over 50 pictures in fact, on a beautiful background with accompanying things that I thought would compliment it. And then my mum and I ate the cake, as you do. I was naive you see and I assumed if you take an hours worth of photos one of them will be decent. Right? Right?! Let’s just say I had to post slightly out of focus photos. It was a delicious cake though.
- Algorithms – What are these algorithms? I don’t even know. I’m not even talking as a sharer here. I follow people on Instagram whose pictures I want to see. So show me their pictures! Their recent pictures. It seems like if you don’t have time to watch Instagram lives, you’ll never see anything recent from people you care about, because my feed is mostly full of the same few people (that it shows me time and time again out of 900!) and stuff that for some reason was 2-3 days ago. How am I supposed to wish someone a Happy Birthday if you’re showing me their feed 2 days late, Instagram? Why do I never see pictures from certain people even though I follow them and they post every day? I just don’t get it. I don’t see what I want to see, and I know the people who want to see my photos don’t get to either. I get most of my interaction from hashtags, despite having 1200 followers and the whole thing feels a bit frustrating. I like Twitters crazy algorithm. If someone tweets, and you’re online, you see their tweet. Madness!
- Unfollow / Follow – More than any other platform I am absolutely plagued by big name Instagrammers, bloggers and businesses who follow me and then unfollow. Constantly. My follower count goes up and down like a yo yo which is bloody annoying. This happens a small amount on Twitter, but it’s absolutely ridiculous on Instagram. Bugger off, you’re making me angry, not making me want to buy your product. And the funny thing is, I spend way too much money buying stuff and reading blogs. If these companies and bloggers actually wanted sales or engagement, I am a time-waster and money-spender extraordinaire. I am your girl. But not if you follow me, wait for me to follow back and then laugh in my face as you skip off into the distance, happy that you’ve tricked me.
- Bots – Instagram seems to have spam bots galore, more than any other platform. It has fake followers in their thousands, and for some reason sometimes they follow me, like my stuff and then make really weird clearly spam comments or smileys but it’s clear that it’s being run by a bot and not a real person, so their engagement is worthless. Shoo, you’re wasting my time and I don’t know what you want from me. Probably for me to follow you so you can unfollow me but instead I’m going to block you, take that!
- Instagram Stories – People keep telling me I need to do these to get engagement and followers now and be a super duper Instagram star. Do you know what I do on a daily basis? I drink tea. Sometimes we go to the park. Usually the same park. I don’t drive, you know, which is probably for the best since a lot of the Instagram stories I see seem to be whilst driving (stop that, please!). Sometimes we walk to the little Tesco around the corner so I’d probably look like I’m being paid by Tesco the amount of times they’d be featured. I do laundry. I do the dishes. I trip over the cat. I listen to 62 million Disney songs on repeat. Posting one image a week just about sums up all the excitement happening in my life that anyone else would want to see. So I don’t get stories. I’m constantly being told that you’ll get followers if you do an Instagram story a day but I think getting an interesting life needs to be on the table first. Not that I care about getting followers anyway, cough pleasefollowme cough.
I just wanted to rant really. I still use Instagram. I’m still going to ask you to follow me. Hey, would you like to see pictures of my adorable son, weird pets (I sometimes post pictures of snakes, lizards and african pygmy hedgehogs along with my cats and dog), cake and travel related stuff (aka slightly blurry shots of my husband against a backdrop that would probably be better off without him)? Then by all means, follow Welsh Mum of One! I apologise in advance for the bad camera angles, terrible lighting and lack of editing.
Yes it’s me again, that weird mum who loves snakes and lizards… 11 month old William is fascinated with all of the snakes and lizards but usually from behind the safety of glass! Last week he cried when a chameleon came out of the cage, so I think that was a bit too overwhelming for him. He’s getting used to the bearded dragons though and loves watching them eat! They also make such good pets for the whole family. . . . #babiesofig #lizardsofinstagram #lizards #reptiles #beardeddragon #familypet #mumlife #littlefierceones #happylittlebuttons #curiouslittleexplorers #kcacols #mmbc #ig_motherhood #ig_kids #myhappycapture #mumswithcameras #letthembelittle #childhoodmemories #babyboy #beardeddragons #beardeddragonsofig #lizardlove #lizardsofig #beardeddragonlove
Despite hating Instagram, I do like it as well. Sorry if I’m confusing you, I confuse myself too. It’s very visual and I love scrolling through my feed (even if it’s not showing me what I want to see). I like sharing because my family does not want to see another picture of my son today and at least one person on the internet does. I’ll keep using Instagram and trying to figure out how the hell I use this expensive DSLR I bought (and then ending up taking a quick snap with my iPhone instead), but don’t ask me if I like Instagram because I’ll sit here for 20 minutes ranting about how much I hate it. Like I just did, oops.
This was one of my random musings posts, which means I basically try to put my thoughts into words on something I’ve been contemplating recently. There’s no real point other than to share my opinion, because now and again I like to remind myself that this is my blog and I’ll rant if I want to. I do feel better now. Off to scroll through Instagram some more.