Instagram Thoughts

I love Instagram. It’s the only other social media platform I’m on everyday, besides WordPress. I’ve been wanting to write a post about Instagram for a while. I kept trying, but I couldn’t ever get all my thoughts down in a coherent way. But, I recently read Ella’s latest post which was about whether Instagram may be toxic for us (which you should all ready by the way). So here I am, trying again to write coherently how I feel about Instagram. Bear with me as I try ramble out my thoughts and also share some of my favourite photos to break up all the words.

When I first heard of Instagram, I thought it sounded neat. A visual platform where people can share photos, play with filters, and connect all over the world. Obviously, I heard about the negative parts of Instagram too. How it can influence people, and make them anxious or envious because of the photos they were seeing. Beautiful, skinny people in amazing far-off places, creating amazing dishes and just having that perfect aesthetic. Sure, I get bouts of jealousy, but then my thoughts turn to planning a holiday, where hopefully one day I can go somewhere like that. Or I look at my own photos of my of past trips. My mindset is able to often turn things around and turn negative thoughts into positive. But not everyone thinks like that. So if someone’s posts are continually making you feel bad, it may be time to unfollow, or maybe step away from the app for a bit.

Another thought I have about Instagram, is the whole mess of following and unfollowing. For the first few months I had my account on private and didn’t really upload anything. After I started getting more into blogging, I moved my account to public and began following fellow bloggers. Since then, my account has grown fairly steadily. I have over 400 followers currently, but it was a confusing time to get there. Sometimes when I publish a post, new accounts will just randomly follow. Then an hour later they vanish. Then there’s all the bot accounts that say they can increase your followers by thousands. It gets a little messy. But sometimes, you get a follow from someone whose feed you like, and a mutual bond is made which is cool!

Instagram also changed it’s feed algorithm, so that the photos you see aren’t in chronological order but rather what has the most likes. So now I have to scroll for ages, or go to direct pages to find photos from the people I really want to see from. It’s weird, but I think I’ve figured out a way that works for me.

All these strange thoughts about Instagram aside, it really is such a fun platform. I love seeing what pictures everyone will post, whatever it is. It’s a fun addition to blogging, seeing bits and pieces of everyone’s life when they’re not on here. I also have gotten addicted to trying think of as many hashtags as possible. I try to limit myself at 10..most of the time ?

What are your general thoughts on Instagram? Do you agree that it’s a fun, photo sharing app but could probably benefit from being a little less confusing?

Angela.

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Hello internet! My name is Angela. I write daily about my travels, life, thoughts, and ramblings. I live down in New Zealand with my lovely husband, Rory. Thanks for stopping by!
64 comments
  1. I joined Instagram past year to see a dear friends photography. But after 2 weeks of logging everyday, it wouldn’t let me log in unless I gave them my mobile number. I don’t, nor have I ever used my phone to do anything online, instagram, or otherwise, so that was the end of my instagram :):) I was also amazed that, although it let me view photos from my laptop, it wouldn’t let me upload any photos from my laptop into my account. I even downloaded the “laptop/desk top” app but there is no upload photos. After googling it, yep, you have to do it from a phone.

    1. Ah yes. Instagram is one of those apps where you have to put in your number. Like what’s app or Snapchat. The desktop app doesn’t allow you to do much really. The photography aspect is amazing, but if you don’t want to share your number, then Instagram doesn’t let you use much of its features ?

      1. It’s unfortunate for people like me who don’t use their phones for internet stuff:(

  2. the algorithm is a bit annoying, but as usual, you have the best attitude ? so glad Iโ€™m following you on insta, love seeing your pics pop up on my feed! the follow/unfollow culture is a bit sad to me, but itโ€™s still such a fun way to share pictures & see what everyone is up to ?

    1. The algorithm is so weird, but the positives on Insta definitely outweigh the bad ? I love that I’m following you on Insta as well! ?

  3. Like with anything, I think it is all about balance and it has the pros and the cons. I definitely prefer it more then Facebook, because I am still able to connect with people, but without all the drama Facebook creates. <3

    1. It’s definitely all about the balance. I’m with you on it being better than Facebook ?

      1. Hehe that is where my Gemini starts to show lol. <3

  4. I like Insta. I love posting photos so it’s more suited to me than Twitter etc. Plus I love seeing other people’s photo? The algorithm is annoying as sometimes I miss peoples posts or they miss mine. If I want to see more from them I just go on their page? x

    1. That’s how I feel about it too! I prefer pictures to words, which is why I’m always on Insta and never on Twitter haha. The algorithm means I miss lots of posts too, so I like to check out profiles as well like you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Instagram is probably my favourite social media platform but it does annoy me when they make changes without really testing them first to see what the users want. I agree that the follow/unfollow thing is annoying.. just this week I gained 10 new followers only for them all to disappear again within a few days. I hate that. And I agree about the jealously thing.. I just have to remember that all those ‘perfect’ shots sometimes have hours of prep work & if thats what you want to do then cool but I couldn’t be bothered haha.. I’m more of a take the photo, wee bit of editing in Snapseed, upload photo kind of gal. Love Insta Stories tho!!

    1. It’s so weird how they implement all these changes all the time without them being needed. It’s fine how it is guys just leave it haha! I don’t understand the whole follow/unfollow thing. It’s so random! I do love playing with filters when it comes to my photos, but that’s about it. No spending hours tweaking that one photo cause I don’t have time for that ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Exactly!

  6. Thanks for the post. I just started and am quickly learning.

    1. You’re welcome. Although Instagram is always changing, so it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on with it nowadays haha! It’s definitely a fun social media though ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I remember making an Instagram on my birthday 5 years ago, lol! It’s crazy how much it has changed since then. I agree that sometimes Insta follows and unfollowing gets a little annoying and messy but in the end I wouldn’t trade the creative outlet for anything!

    1. 5 years ago wow!! I always forget how long lots of these social media platforms have been around for. But they’ve changed so much over the years! It is an amazing creative outlet though ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. It’s so annoying that it’s not in chronological order any more!! I want to see everyone’s photos and choose what I like and not Instagram choosing instead of me. Ugh, but it’s still nice when I see a familiar face pop up while I scroll down ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It still bugs me that it happens. Sometimes I reach the end of my feed and I’m sure I’ve missed lots of photos. When I can, I just start searching up profiles and checking out pages so I can see the photos haha! It’s definitely a lot more fun though when I do see that familiar face pop up ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I love Instagram. I actually built an account before blogging and it was centred around me wanting to get in shape. And I couldn’t believe how encouraging some people were. I’ve made some of the greatest friends from there who are around the world.
    There’s definitely negatives and the algorithm is annoying. But I guess everything has a downside.

    1. Instagram is definitely amazing. That’s so cool that you’ve developed a supportive community there before blogging!! But like you said, everything has a downside, but I think the positives of Instagram currently outweigh the bad ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. I agree. I also think it depends who you encounter. And it’s hard to judge with images. I’ve met some people who post images of themselves daily, but then when you talk they are so down to earth and not even focused on appearance. And vice versa.

  10. I enjoy instagram but I agree it can be so messy due to what you mentioned and the pressure that comes along with it. ๐Ÿ™

    1. I think that’s how a lot of us using the app feel. It can be really strange, but it is still a really fun platform!

  11. Interesting thoughts Angela. Hate the follow/unfollow thing. It creates a load of uncaring followers and bugs everyone else – no one wins.

    1. Thanks Zac. It is so weird. No one benefits from it, but it keeps happening for some reason

      1. Itโ€™s vanity metrics, it gets more followers – but itโ€™s the same people who arenโ€™t engaged over and over again

  12. I love Instagram too and still use it a lot, but I don’t post on there nearly as much as I used to. It became a place for me to dump all my photos, but I felt I couldn’t (or maybe shouldn’t) say much with them because all my friends really do is scroll thru and double-tap along the way. That’s one of the main reasons I first started my blog…to get into a community that wanted to read what I had to say and enjoyed all the tons of photos I have to share as well (:

    1. Instagram is definitely great for sharing photos, but I get what you mean. When people follow lots of accounts, they may not read what’s connected to the picture and just hit like. You can share a lot more when it comes to blogging ?

  13. I love Instagram! However, I definitely have my frustrations with the algorithm that seems to switch up every other week. I also make it a habit to every now and then be really conscious about when I’m scrolling and what I’m seeing, and unfollowing people or accounts who really don’t add anything or benefit me in a positive way, especially when I was younger and had such a huge influence taken from people on Instagram in terms of the lives they led or the way they looked. This was a great post about the platform! xx

    1. I’m glad you feel the same way! It’s frustrating how Instagram seems to have little changes every now and then, and they never really announce it. Unfollowing accounts that aren’t adding anything or benefiting you in a positive way is a really good idea! We can get caught up in following lots of people, but it’s good to keep in mind how it may be affecting us ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you for reading!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. I love all of your Instagram pictures!

    1. Thank you so much Haya!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. I love being able to showcase my photos and create a certain style with my page. I’d love to get more followers though, if anyone out here in blog world is listening lol. I have the goal of posting more consistently and refining the look of my page. Although the changes are hella annoying, I do like that we get to put our stuff out there to the world for free. It’s also a great platform for getting inspired. Your page is lovely, btw ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Having a space on your own to showcase your pictures is definitely the biggest positive on Instagram! Same with getting inspired ๐Ÿ˜€
      Yeah, the changes are so random, but it’s out of our hands so we just have to roll with it. I keep trying to get a more specific ‘look’ for my page/feed, but I don’t know what that look would be haha! Thanks Lyz ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I love Instagram and have been in it for years, since 2012 I think before I ever thought of creating a blog space for myself. Itโ€™s true that some may feel like their life isnโ€™t good enough or seeing lots of pretty pictures makes us a bit jealous, but itโ€™s actually an opportunity for me to learn more about angles, aesthetics, lighting etc lol. Itโ€™s a chance for me to grow in my photography and thatโ€™s why I love it so much
    I do hate the follower / unfollowers it drives me insane but at least I have an app so I can unfollow those people back lol. Apparently what they do is they go around looking for accounts, follow like 50 people, follow another 50 people a day later and unfollow the 50 accounts from the day before. Itโ€™s supposed to be some type of exposure, like telling people โ€œlook at my page with my photos, I existโ€ and if people like it they will follow but that method is seriously flawed you canโ€™t get engagement with that and more often than not, they wonโ€™t even be long time followers.
    Anyway, in terms of the algorithm, I usually go to peoples pages and like a bunch of photos at once when I see their name pop up in my notifications after they have liked my photos. I tend to return the like even to those accounts that only like one picture, sort of like supporting other for supporting me lol.

    1. Instagram is definitely a great place to learn more about photography as well as get inspired! That follow/unfollow routine sounds like it would be exhausting! I can’t see how Instagram would be fun if that’s all you’d do. I do the same as you, when someone gives me a like, I go to their page and like a few photos too. Like for like as they say ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. I agree it gets annoying trying to sort through my home feed with the algorithm. I have post notifications turned on for some people so I don’t miss their posts, but there’s no way to turn on a notification for everyone without having my phone constantly going off xD
    I think it’s up to the individual to be following accounts that inspire rather than make us feel bad about ourselves, I’ve been working on that this year! I still love instagram despite all the follow unfollow silliness haha

    1. I didn’t know you could have post notifications for some people! But yeah, there’s so many I’d want to keep up with, I don’t think my phone would ever stop giving me notifications haha!
      Despite all it’s little glitches, Instagram still is amazing! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Yeah! On they’re account/feed you hit the little three dots in the corner and theres an option to turn on notifications โ˜บ That is the downside though, your phone is always blinking if your friends post a lot ?

  18. I love instagram but don’t really find it confusing. Although I get what you say about people randomly commenting like “get more followers” and its like gahhhhhh

    1. It is random that. I have a feeling its just bots. Despite that though, I definitely still love Insta! ?

  19. I used to love instagram and post almost daily, but now I really don’t enjoy it as much. They changed algorithm so many times since last year, it’s really hard to keep up and find genuine followers who are interested in your content. Still I love the whole idea of Instagram, sharing photos is so much fun. xx

    1. They have definitely done more changes than was needed. When i first joine early last year it seemed fine. Everything was chronological, but now it makes less sense. I do my best to check the profiles of people so i don’t miss posts, but it is confusing. The idea of Instagram is still very fun ?

  20. I love Instagram, its my goto social media now. Ive kind of gave up on Facebook and Snapchat and while i look on them i haven’t been posting anything lately. I agree with you on the timeline it drives me insane i just want to see posts that have just been posted not from 3 days ago! I find it difficult to gain decent followers / get likes on Insta though, i try and think about my hashtags and think yay ive nailed it but then you get 3 likes and im like, ok, my most popular post was a piece of Avocado toast i got 60 odd likes and ive never felt more popular. A lot of people i like their page and i follow them and i think well theyll follow me back and they dont and i feel discouraged lol. A few people have posted that when you hashtag followme, are you so desperate for followers and this seems to be from the people with lots which kinda annoys me, yes i want blooming followers i want people to see my lovely photos that i take! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will keep plugging though and hopefully itll all become apparent at one point lol.

    1. Instagram is definitely one of the biggest popular social medias at the moment. It’s definitely one of the most complicated places to grow your account organically though. I still don’t know how to do it, there’s lots of advice and tips out there, but they’re pretty vague haha. Just keep plugging away on it, I’ve been on it for 9 months now and I still don’t really get it ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. The follow/unfollow thing can be annoying but I accept it happens and don’t bother with those accounts ๐Ÿ˜› I ignore the accounts that claim you can gain lots of followers. I do like Instagram, it’s fun and it’s nice to get to know other people through their pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yeah, that’s a good mindset. Just ignore those accounts and focus on the fun part of Insta! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I agree, Instagram can be a fun and exciting way to share photos and creative content! However, I do feel like it can be overwhelming at times. The algorithm and follow/unfollow thing can be a bit annoying. I think breaks from the app can definitely be beneficial! My grandma recently passed away and I have been taking breaks from social media to focus on family. Still think Instagram is a great app! Loved reading your opinions on this topic

    1. Thanks for reading Natalie!! It really does have both it’s positive and negative aspects. Taking a break, especially when you’re going through something, is definitely needed! I’m so sorry for your loss Natalie <3

  23. I love Instagram…for me it’s almost like tv, I know everything I see isn’t necessarily a reflection of real life but its fun to look at some times.

    1. I agree with that. It’s very entertaining to look through, but we’re aware that it’s not ‘everyday’ life ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I am in a love/hate relationship with Instagram. My husband and I love creating content and sharing our work, but the follow/unfollow just gets to me. Today I had 126 follows all from Italy. Looking at their accounts I believe most will unfollow me. It is so cut throat. I wish that it was a more supportive community.

    1. It definitely isn’t a supportive environment in comparison with the blogging community. I think the follow/unfollow aspect is just part of it. I try to focus on the engagement I do get, rather than getting fixed on numbers. It is hard though.

  25. Great articleโ€ฆI definitely prefer Instagram to any other platform, and seems a lot more do as Facebook shrinks its younger deomographic!

    1. Thanks! I’m with you there. Instagram definitely seems to be much more popular as a social media platform than Facebook at the moment. Especially with the younger demographic like you said ?

  26. There is a special place in hell for those who follow only to unfollow ?

    1. Haha, possibly. It is incredibly annoying. They can be joined by people who play music on the speakers of their phones in public ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Yeah, or talk on speakerphone in public! ?

  27. Really enjoyed reading and related so while you are getting unfollowed people I am going to follow you for speaking the truth. I also wrote a post just now about unfollowing and when it’s actually OK to unfollow people.

    1. It’s mostly accounts on Instagram where I get bothered by the whole follow/unfollow thing. I do agree that it is okay to sometimes unfollow, if you aren’t enjoying the content any more, or for other legitimate reasons ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Wait where jsithe follow button ??

    1. On my site? Since I’m on a self-hosted site, you have to enter your email and follow my blog that way, rather than the usual follow widget! Sorry for the confusion ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Ah it’s okay ?

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