Is Instagram ruining your life?

Are we all spending far too much time moaning about Instagram engagement, we forget to actually y’know, live?

A big Instagram Problem

I lost 5 followers over night, it’s a usual thing these days. I didn’t post a photo so I know those five people chose to click my name and press the unfollow button. Meh, I manage to shrug it off. Now it’s 10 am and I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed. I come across 3 tweets from various people complaining about their Instagram engagement, sometimes they post about it more than once. That little section called “What You’ve Missed” pops up and last night 4 people were also moaning about the same thing, I can tell it’s really ruining their day.

We all know that Instagram and various other channels (oh hey YouTube) aren’t what they used to be. Growth doesn’t happen very quickly, if at all and unless you’re an instagramathon celeb, most of the time your follower count gets lower rather than higher. YouTube views are down too and the constant social algorithms make it harder and harder for your subscribers/followers to see your content, so they can’t like it even if they wanted too. Whilst I understand it’s disheartening and frustrating… I still get really peeved about the constant complaining.

We’re all entitled to a little rant about it and I’ve definitely taken to Twitter in the past, but it’s the “my life is over” style complaining that grinds my gears. Infact those I see constantly complaining about it become so negative to me that I almost want to start unfollowing them myself. The internet is meant to provide an escape from reality, not the need for a strong Gin and a lay down in dark room. Is Instagram engagement really the worst problem in the world? No. If your account is losing followers and likes, is that really worth a day feeling low and like your world is ending? No.

Recently the world and many people in it have been through some serious bad times (homes burning down, hurricanes destroying towns and so on) So to me, if all that happens during my day is I lose some followers on Instagram, 10 subscribers on YouTube, or get a negative comment over here on the blog.. that’s not so bad. Again like many, I’ve dealt with far worse in life than bad social engagement and it makes me sad that some people get so low because of it. It makes me raise the question, are we all so worried about engagement that we forget to actually engage with LIFE?

How To See Past It

It used to be way, way easier to grow a following, at one point in my ‘YouTube career’ I gained most of my following in just a few months. These days? No chance. Now it seems this hardship has spread over to Instagram too. But it’s happening to (mostly) everyone and I accept that it’s just the way it is, everything in life changes (I remember dial up and paying 1p per minute of internet) I work a lot harder on my content these days and still get less recognition for it but I also have a life to live. When I find myself getting sucked into the downward spiral, I simply imagine someone disconnected from the online world asking me why I’m in such a bad mood and my answer being “I keep losing instagram followers” I can picture the face they would give me and that’s when I always realise… there is way more to life than an app.

Because lets face it, it really is just an app. I sent a tweet out a few days ago which read “If your biggest problem in life is your Instagram engagement.. well, I want to be you.” and I stand by it. That tweet inspired this post – 147 of you liked it and 17 people retweeted it, so I know I’m not alone in these thoughts.

So, what can we do to get past this Instagram shaped issue?

Change it up

Sometimes it’s not all down to the app. My friend told me she thought my account had a few too many selfies. I was just so used to uploading them and thought it was “my thing” but once I stopped and altered what I was posting, I gained followers. I get bored by content that I see over and over again because I want something new and fresh, not the same old. Sometimes you have to dig a little deep but changing it up and having a refresh can definitely help.

Perspective

Like I mentioned, there are far bigger problems to deal with in the world. If you look at your own life and Instagram is the only thing you have to feel sad about, you’re one of the lucky ones. Channel that negativity into positivity and thank the lucky stars you have nothing major to be worrying about instead. Afterall it is just one app, on a phone. It’s sad, but true. Sometimes you need to step back and just enjoy life.

Acceptance

Instagram is not the only thing about you. You have a personality, a life, friends… there’s a whole world out there! If you’re relying on a follower count to make you feel better and more accepted then you’ll never feel 100% complete. What if tomorrow the whole internet collapsed, what would make you feel happy? Once you’ve figured that out spend more time doing it.

Spread The Love

It’s really easy to spend all your energy worrying about your own Instagram/social account that you forget about other people and I’m definitely guilty of this. Commenting on posts and liking content (whether it’s an ad or not) will gradually make people do the same to you. It’s not called being a bot because hey, you’re human and hopefully your Instagram account isn’t called ‘bigboy69’, so it’s all good. Infact it’s this method alone that helped me get my blog “out there” – I used to spend every evening engaging with other bloggers, reading and commenting on their posts, sharing their accounts, following them, not because I WANTED followers for myself, but because I really enjoyed it. Perhaps we’re all so busy worrying about our own accounts that we forget to share the love a little.

So next time you feel like instagram is being unkind, just imagine that guy down the road who hasn’t even got broadband let alone a mobile, asking you why you’re having a bad day.

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