Instagram: 10 Things I Like and Hate (ok like less!) About You



Hi! Do you dear readers do Instagram? I have been trying to make a slight effort with and wrap my head around Instagram lately. I admit, at first I didn’t really see the point of having yet another social media account which would mostly be full of pics I had already seen on my friend’s Facebook pages.

But as a blogger it is seen as somewhat of a natural extension these days, so I’m trying to balance that with not annoying my real life friends with too many random shots of my feet or whatever. I HAVE considered trying to establish a separate account for the blog, but it just instantly associates with your Facebook contacts no matter what you do as far as I can see, so it seems a bit futile?

Anyway, here are my thoughts!

5 Things I like about Instagram:


The variety. It’s just endless, if you want an inspirational or funny quote, a tropical beach pic or a picture of a moose, they are all right there at your fingertips to gaze in awe upon. Me, mostly I look at pictures of pitbulls and Blondie!

The Fashion: There is a lot of great outfit inspo and people rocking some fabulous fashion everywhere you look on Instagram. I particularly like the depth of vintage and retro looks, it’s not something I incorporate into my own wardrobe much but I could looks at pics of women in Modcloth or Hell Bunny dresses for days, they are just so cheerful and lovely. I think what I also like about that corner of Insta-fashion is the women come in all shapes and sizes, it feels more inclusive to me than the endless skinny girls in slogan vests and leggings tribes.

The PHOTOGRAPHY: I mean, seriously, there are some amazing actual photographers on Instagram. It’s not all mojitos and pedicures on the beach if you have a look around you can find some really wonderful artistic photography.

Meeting other Instagrammers (I probably wouldn’t find in the blogosphere): Some of my pics gets likes and I have no idea why. Maybe they just want a follow? I kid myself it is because of my mad photography skillz I picked up in high school photography 101! (where I admit I mostly crushed on this cute boy in the dark room! ;-0). At any rate I won’t lie, an Instagram like from a complete stranger is a different feeling than a Facebook like. I try not to make my pics too “like baity”, I mean, we all know a picture of ice cream or a fancy coffee or a beach sunset is going to score big. I do feel a bit self-conscious that the quality of the pictures my phone produces is far from spectacular, I take pictures I am much prouder of on my camera.

The occasional bonus pictures of my friends and family: Sometimes people who are getting more into the whole Instagram thing don't share every single pic to Facebook, and that is fun because: a. new pictures, and b. I don't have to like the same thing twice or risk being a bad online friend! ;-0 I do find that most of my Facebook friends treat Instagram as an extension of Facebook, which is fine, but you guys should explore more!

*ok this one makes six so consider it a bonus because "11 things I like"...is way less blog post title worthy! ;-0

Hashtags: I LOVE hastags on Instagram. Ok I don't use them at all properly or cleverly in terms of getting likes, but I just love playing with words and being goofy with them and I feel less self conscious about doing it on Instagram than I do on Twitter for some reason.

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5 Things I like less about Instagram:


Repetition: I mean, it’s inevitable when you follow a lot of bloggers that they are all going to receive their Kylie eyeshadow kits on the same day or be at the same event, it’s not a big deal but it can be a bit same-y.

Unending Cheer: Ok so I mentioned above I am not averse to a motivational quote. But there’s an utter deluge of that most simplistic of life philosophies “Be positive!”, think sunshiney thoughts and the world will be your oyster, all that jazz…it’s just constant and tedious and yes I possibly have leftover resentment from when I had cancer and had to swallow that bubblegum type stuff people say when they don't know what to say all the time like it meant anything. Of course I believe in thinking positive, when you can, but you know what, sometimes you can’t, and that’s ok too! So please stop constantly commanding me to be happy Instagram, m.y.o.b.!

Fat Shaming FitSpo: (Picture on left: A woman, with a body - Picture on right: A woman, with a smaller body). These inevitably draw thousands of likes. Of course I am on my own exercise journey, I need inspiration too, but I don’t really enjoy the whole “Ugh I used to be so fat and gross, now I am thin and societally more acceptable and can show the world my body in a bikini” brigade. I mean, good for them, truly, but there is this sort of weird need for exhibitionism when women lose weight now that I find off putting. I know I put my own pics up here this week, but I promise you I will never ever ask you to look at me in a bikini and sing my praises. If I do you have my permission to throw water balloons at me.

Reality Bites?: Only showing “Instagram-worthy” moments, resulting in a feed that looks less like a life and more like a permanent holiday. Ok I know this falls under my whole, I am not a normal lifestyle blogger who wants to only talk about or show you the pretty things umbrella. Of course I enjoy the holiday moments and the life events and the good times, but I also enjoy the more everyday pictures, the comical pictures with a story behind them.

It feeds you what it thinks you want to see: As in, ok yes, I may have "hearted" twenty pictures of french bulldog puppies yesterday, but that does not mean I don't have OTHER INTERESTS Instagram! (ok I mostly do just want to look at puppies, but you know, change it up!). When you look for new things/people to follow it is pretty narrowly just spewing out stuff you have already liked. So I have a plethora of old movie star accounts in my suggestions feed because I liked too many Viven Leigh shots one day, the aforementioned french bulldog/pitbuill puppy addiction, so it can feel a bit like it is just feeding you the same junk food you love but not offering up anything new or exciting. The algorithm is pretty narrow in scope, I wish they would open it up a bit.

The art of living on Instagram is one that is rewarded for showing only the enviable at times it seems, and I do find that a bit worrisome. I am old enough to recognize it as unattainable, but it does feel sometimes like the younger generation (puts on Grandpa Simpson hat) is less satisfied with a life that is simply…good, whether it is observed or not.

My Instagram admittedly doesn’t have that bright vivid magazine pictorial style that most bloggers' Instagram feeds have, and that does occasionally bring out the "I'm a crappy blogger" sads. I presume a lot of them are DLS camera shots, or using an app on their laptop and all of that jazz. Which…I have thought about, but for me that kind of defeats the purpose. I would like my pictures to look a bit shinier but I don’t know…it’s just more work, am I right?

Saying all of that, I do genuinely enjoy it in small doses, I just think as with any form of social media it is best not to focus on it too much or take it too seriously. I found myself taking a picture of a mango I was eating last night and then not uploading it because I thought: “Who cares that I am eating a mango besides me?”

I do question the mentality that seeps in of “I must share, share it all!”. I think it’s probably a natural side effect the longer you are on Instagram, so it’s best to take a step back from it if you find yourself wanting to document every little thing, because perhaps it can become a distraction from actually living your life.

How about you, do you dig Instagram? I really do enjoy it mostly, it's probably as much a reflection of my own introverted reaction to oversharing as anything that I struggle with certain aspects of it. Do you have any fun or cynical or artsy type feeds you can recommend I follow? I need a little more bite in my feed I think to balance all of the fluffy clouds and rainbows!

You can follow me here for poorly lit shots of everyday mundanity!






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9 comments

  1. Apparently the "stress" of maintaining a perfect instagram, with a perfect square of photos (i did not even know this was a concern, that your profile page looks cohesive and you don't have too many of the same photos together, like selfie back to back), having them all "feel" the same (using the same filter, having a white background etc), and all the time making sure your photos match your "brand" is making SnapChat more popular because its more raw and in the moment. I noticed that some of my IRL friends have learned Instagram much quicker than me, and their first few photos are amateur and fuzzy and then within MONTHS the photos look professional and glossy and national geographic worthy. I have moments of luck and snap a great photo with great lighting, and then not so much, ha. But I don't care about my "brand" because everything in my life is my brand. And I don't care how my profile page looks. Prolly cat, food, cat, cat, food, food, food.

    What I hate? Accounts that post a million photos a day. Who has time for that. I already saw your cat today. Yes its cute, But I don't need to see his face a million times a day.

    What I like:
    Using the notifications to get alerts as soon as someone I like posts a photo. That way I don't need to wade through all the businesses I follow to find my friends stuff.

    Getting inspiration for how to take better photos.

    Seeing lots of cute cats.

    Getting inspiration for fashion. Now to just utilize it.

    Photos use to be the best part of Facebook, so I like being able to just see peoples day to day photos. I am the weirdo that likes seeing what you had for breakfast. What your baby is wearing today. Your favorite shoes. GIVE IT ALL TO ME. ha.

    Overall I love Instagram. Snapchat is the devil. I have a Snapchat account but ohmygawwwwd i'm having the hardest time with it. I'm officially old.

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    1. I am pretty sure I will never try Snapchat, that whole thing is way too young and scary for me! I would love to read your impressions of it though! Yeah I am torn between wanting my pics to look a bit nicer but also not losing the "Instant" aspect, because isn't that the point? I will have to check out the notifications thing, is that something separate you have to activate?

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    2. ^What Heather said about "I don't worry about my brand because my life is my brand." EXACTLY. Perfection.
      I do love instagram, but for sure mine isn't cohesive and I kind of don't like pages that are too cohesive and perfect and even kind of just wigs me out and I almost never follow that kind of account. I guess the majority of people find the repetition appealing but to me it seems a little...um...evil boarding school. And yeah, a lot of those pics are the 497th shot, the angle was changed a jillion times, the lighting was perfected, the background was specially selected, they didn't just use one filter but layers of filters and editing and...ugh. I admit to using filters or editing to improve quality but I really have no time to layer them and probably wouldn't be able to do it properly anyway.
      (Random side note: I will likely in the future do side-by-side comparison shots, but I promise you they will NEVER, EVER, be in a bikini or anything similar.)
      I totally can't stand when people post a million times a day. I unfollowed a person for doing that. I was all "I get it, you're playing with your dog." "Okay, you're at the gym bully for you, please stop posting now."
      Okay, as for the motivational quotes: ugh. To be basic white girl - I can't even. I like some. But the ones that are always like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps and carry on" and I'm like "really? Because people with crippling anxiety see this and it just makes them feel shitty that it's not easier for them." I am fixing to do a whole blog post about the motivational quotes stuff. But yeah, when I was talking about this with my therapist, she was saying that yes, it is coming out that the whole "positive thinking" thing has gotten way out of hand and in some ways is doing more harm than good. It's a blog post.

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  2. I use Instagram for both work and pleasure, and I find the work account - which is very aimed at the Bookstagram community - quite stressful in some ways, like I'm always trying to keep up with other bookstagrammers and feeling pressured to have perfect shots. However my personal account I only follow people I actually like and who aren't gonna fill my feed with fat-shaming bollocks, health stuff or inspirational quotes. I'm more there for the body positive fat stuff, cat photos, street art, travel inspiration, etc.

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    1. I can't even imagine how competitive it is on a professional level Janet!

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  3. Hey Becky I can't reply so Idk if you will see this...but glad I am not the only one who feels weird about the tone of the "Get Happy" crowd. I feel like life is about lightness and dark, we all go through dark times, and having someone demand we "be positive" is just the worst most condescending and excluding thing imo. I guess it's as much the volume of it as anything that gets to me: like "You are all full of karmic pink light and thinking happy thoughts all day long, really?!" And I am kind of a hippy, I own crystals, I try ot think positive too. But drowning out all of the other emotions we go through as a lot of these mantras seem to, feels suppressive to me. I cried a few times this week and felt much better for it. If someone had told me to cheer up that would not have helped AT ALL. It's just brain dead idiot philosophy is what it is. PLEASE do write something about it, I would love to read that!

    oh I am cool with anyone sharing their weight loss journey, as long as they have not photoshopped their fake tans into abs in a bikini or whatever, it's that kind of thing that bugs me! Plus I just think it's shameless click/follower baiting, sorry.

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    1. :) I came back and saw your reply - it didn't hit my email, but I checked back; no worries.

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  4. I do like your instagram feed because it's real and true to what life is really like. Insta perfect pictures are great for inspiration but I find it rather hard to connect or feel some sort of bond with a person behind the account. I feel that when everything is so perfect, spotless and just 'right' it's lacking the personal touch, which is so important for me. I want to see messy hair, I want to see photos with people sweating at the gym, I want to be able to relate so I did say bye to a few accounts lately.

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    1. Ha my hair will always be messy! ;-) I do like pretty pictures too, it's just like with blogging though, eventually some people seem to stop putting up the less than real stuff. It's all about balance, I guess. Your Insta feed is beautiful but also inspiring! :-) xx

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