September 24, 2013

Blogging: My Love/Hate Relationship with Instagram

(Image via Glitter Guide)

I will be the first to confess my love for the highly addictive Instagram. I check it far too often, I think about photo ops more than I should, and I freak out when it's down. I love seeing notifications that people have liked, commented, or started following me. It's an obsession and I'm fairly certain I'm not alone. Right, gang? However, I will also admit I have moments with instagram that I become frustrated, irritated, and consider (only for a nanosecond) deleting the app (heaven knows I never actually would!). Tell me, friends, do you feel the love/hate, too?? Here's my break-down:

1. It's fun
There's no doubt about it, Instagram is an incredibly fun way to share what's happening in our everyday life. The one-line captions, the endless hash-tag possibilities - honestly, there are times I agonize over a caption more than a blog post. I love reading responses from my readers saying they just ordered that same scarf, tagging a craft that I inspired them to do, or just saying "I love that!" - bottom line, it's my social media outlet of choice.

2. It's pretty
Instagram is capable of making even the photos taken is the most unflattering light look like a million bucks. It's notorious for taking life's simple, everyday moments and making them seem more interesting, more fascinating, and just plain pretty. Shoe shots, coffee cups, and magazine stacks have never looked so professional!

3. Connections
There are plenty of accounts that I follow who don't write blogs - instagram is their blogging platform, if you will. I love that IG has created an opportunity for it's users to build incredible followings without feeling the pressure of starting a blog. Their photos are enough and their followers keep coming back for more.

1. It's no longer quick-sharing
I know I'm not alone in saying that I agonize over every little detail of my photo - is it cropped enough, is that the right filter, should I use the blur tool, should I add a border, should I add some sparkle, should I add a doodle - the possibilities are endless and sometimes you lose the value of the photo for worrying about the extras.

2. The "follow you, follow me" users
I'm not sure how to describe what I mean by this, hopefully you'll understand. I'm not just referring to spam accounts (although those are very aggravating, as well) I'm talking about the accounts that you know only follow you with the hopes that you'll follow them back. How do you know that was their intention? Because a few days later they've unfollowed you. I hope my opinion on this one doesn't sound snotty, I just have trouble understanding the fun and authenticity in having this approach.

3. Are we buying followers without buying followers?
Finally, the one that gets me the most, and I may be going out on a limb here - Are we (myself included) buying things just so we have an awesome instagram opportunity (or blogging opportunity, for that matter)? I truly believe that there is a universal equation for a great IG photo - we all know the ones that are likely to get the most likes and comments and rope in new followers. But, I have to ask, are we making purchases with the sole intention of creating pretty content? Pretty (purchased) content equals more followers?? Honestly, I could probably write an entire post about this single point, and it makes me kind of sad.

I would love to hear your thoughts!



Ashley J said...

I love this post and I 100% agree with everything you said! I get so frustrated (with myself) if I take a pic for IG and it doesn't look as pretty, cool, etc. as some of the other bloggers that I follow. It really makes me not want to post any pictures at all.

Lelia Wendel said...

Yeah I feel this way about all social media forums. It's insane how often I say "I should really instagram this" or "oooo this setting could really use a strawberry lemonade to pop off my bright pink nails" I also feel like Instagram and blogging in general is so materialistic so I have to slap myself into reality a lot. "No,'s not normal for people to spend $1000 on a bag." Some bloggers are so insane in their J.Crew and Nordstrom everything that I just have to laugh. Totally understand girl! You're no alone!

Unknown said...

I've never given much thought to the negative aspects of Instagram, but I totally agree with your point. It's become so much about acquiring likes and followers at any (literal) cost, that the fun and creative parts have almost gone out the window.

What Kate Likes said...

On the one hand, I love Instagram because it feels so personal--it literally is snapshots of someone's daily life or what they find amusing/inspiring/beautiful. It's so interesting! It really is one of the easiest social networking tools to connect with people--they get to see what's important to you and you can see what's important to them.

On the other hand, there's a lot I hate about Instagram: the 'shout out for a shoutout' people, the atrocious grammar on comments (thanking the good lord that I am not a celebrity and don't have to deal with that), the spammy posts...and then the fact that it's been turned into such a promotional tool by brands and companies. I just feel like it's gotten really commercial in the past six months or so, and I understand why brands are using it, but at the same time it annoys me.

I know there are times when I think to myself "oh this would be SUCH a good Instagram!!!" and then I'm horribly ashamed that I'm so dependent on an app. I totally understand your last point on the cons side, and I think it's one of those things that you just have to be mindful of when Instagramming.

Sorry for the long comment, I apparently have lots of thoughts about Instagram! I happen to follow you, and I love your account! It's very "Julie" :)


Lili said...

i hear ya julie! ive considerably slowed down in posting - its security and privacy reasons that made me do that. no more "out-of-town" pics or even location tags. it got a little scary.

and of course, i lose several followers everytime i post a "selfie" LOL! although i'm not taking it pesonal - it still makes you second guess yourself! ha!

great post!

glitterfancy said...

As a follower, I won't follow an account if I know it's only there to advertise/get followers. I understand that it is part of what needs to be done if you're a blogger, but if all of your (and I'm speaking generally, here...not to you) content is the same thing (shot after shot of what you have on your blog that I already follow)over and over again without anything personal/cute/random, what is the point of me following?

I also get to the point in that situation where I feel like saying, "Yes. You have 1,000 different sparkley necklaces. I GET IT." Which is terribly judgmental of me, though I don't mean it to be. I mean, to each his own...I just won't follow that account.

I have to say that I really do enjoy your instagram. You mix it up and you're genuine. You also are *gasp* willing to show yourself in the same item more than once! I think that is much more genuine and true to life, which is what I enjoy seeing.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to this -- my husband makes fun of me and says "you just want to go there for the instagram" -- which honestly is sometimes a little bit true! It's a love-hate relationship for sure, because part of me still absolutely loves it!

E said...

I love instagram but my least favorite part of it are accounts that only re-gram other people's photos (especially when they don't credit the original) and accounts that just seem to exist to tell people to follow other people.

Sometimes I feel like I do things just to instagram them or blog about them. But the upside of that is that I've been doing more interesting things and going to more places instead of going to the same places over and over again.

Franziska said...

I love instagram - I find you can connect with people over that app a lot more than you can through just a blog because most people have instagram and are comfortable using it, whereas not everyone will comment on a blog post. It also allows for a flow of conversation unlike twitter, because you can see the whole conversation from all sides. I don't like people who hashtag all the wrong things (you know #sky #trees #boy #girl #coffee) in a picture of a book, but meh, whatever. My lame goal was to have more followers on there than pictures and i just past that this week and it was so exciting. so stupid, but ya know, all of this is a little bit stupid ;)

(found your post via Here & Now - I'm so glad she linked this post!)

Anonymous said...

I applaud you for your honesty! I think there are a lot of people who can relate to these thoughts but would never admit it. Not that I'm one of them, of course.

~Sarah of Sarah's Real Life