Confession: My Instagram isn't an accurate representation of my life. In fact, sometimes I fake my Instagram posts.

What do I mean by this? There are some times that I go out and purposely take photos (batching, a phrase coined by a blogging advice website that I can't remember) in order to save and post on Instagram when the time comes. While I'm sure that this is something that companies probably do in order to be constantly on top of things, creating these artificial depictions of my own personal life seems a little wrong.

The thing is, as a blogger, my personal identity is part of my brand. Therefore cultivating an authentic (yet likable) image of myself on social media is crucial. However, because of that, I've noticed a lot of bloggers taking these photos of themselves for social media that are high quality, taken with nice expensive cameras, but are clearly posed for the sake of social media, not nearly an authentic representation of their lives.

With the Instagram algorithm, it has become incredibly difficult for bloggers to shine through and get the engagement that we used to receive. It's strange how I'll post a pretty photo that I was positive would have gotten lots of likes on the old algorithm and end up with a quarter of what I used to receive. It's just so discouraging.

However, that has also caused me to become more and more obsessed with cultivating the perfect Instagram post. I'll spend an hour trying to put together a flatlay, saying that THIS will be the thing that will get my engagement back up. And it doesn't work.

Because of that, I'm trying something a little bit different.

I'm sure that you probably didn't notice, but lately, on Instagram, I've been throwing my old rules out the window. I'm not posting everyday or even every other day (something that I only used to do in the past thanks to batching), I'm not spending my free time planning up ten different Instagram posts that I can easily create and photograph within the hour or two, and I'm not really using any Instagram strategy.

While this might be a total mistake in blog promotion, I figured that it can't get worse than my plummeting Instagram stats. It was emotionally stressful enough to see the hard work that I had put into building my Instagram engagement and following fall to pieces, I wasn't about to continue placing that stress on me by worrying about posting daily Instagram posts that are not really accurate representations of my life, as they're staged.

At this moment right now, I still stage my Instagram posts to some extent. I think that we all do, I mean we all want to put our best foot forward. The "staging" is done through the little things: editing the photo with the perfect filter, making sure your hair looks amazing before snapping the photo, or moving around in order to get the best lighting.

While it seems wrong and inauthentic of bloggers and companies to post "fake" Instagram photos that are not entirely accurate representations of what happened, in social media, a little bit of "faking" or "staging" is done to some extent regardless of if you have no followers or millions.

However, instead of sitting down and brainstorming an Instagram post, I'm trying to see where the moment takes me. Maybe I'll take a picture of my actual outfit of the day instead of having a photoshoot of myself in the outfit that I wore last week. Maybe I'll post a picture of something that I was working on during the day instead of something that I planned to Instagram.

Because in real life, I don't carry an expensive camera around everywhere to snap gorgeous photos of my gourmet macarons and specialty coffee (those are super pricey and let's be real, sometimes it's just not worth it) before getting some fresh flowers and walking around the city in my designer clothing.

Those photos are a slightly fake depiction of reality.

My point is, I'm trying to stop faking my Instagram posts and trying to make them more real. I'm trying to find that healthy balance between Instagram and myself. I constantly feel a love-hate relationship with it, so maybe stepping away from it and letting things happen they way they do will help me rediscover how great Instagram can be.

Based off of the last month in which I've been implementing these changes, I think that I have been liking Instagram a bit more. I'm not necessarily gaining more followers, but they're not plummeting either. The same is true for likes. They're definitely not what they used to be, but I'm a little more okay with it.

It's time to start using social media in the way that we used to, just to share moments of our lives with others, instead of cultivating the perfect "aesthetic" and amazing digital life for people to fawn over. 

On my Instagram, you can start looking for low-quality iPhone 5s photos, random photos of food and selfies, and less pictures of pretty aesthetic things that don't mean anything. Take it or leave it. Because this is my reality.




2 comments:

  1. Great post. I have been having a similar feeling about my own instagram. I always said I wanted to post pictures that made me happy. But the stress I felt to make 'perfect pictures' was crazy, so I took a little break from it and came back determined to use it differently.

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    1. I hope that your break helped you refresh and took away some of that stress, because it did for me!
      - Rebecca

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