Instagram, the big blogger’s joy and the small blogger’s misery. IG has become a platform for the big’un, the bloggers with the followers – The money, the camera, the look. No longer can you take a quick snap of your outfit on your iPhone, swipe on a filter, and post it. Nowadays, it’s more common for bloggers to snap IG pics on their Olympus PENs with a pricey 45mm lens, edit, filter, (obvz add some Grain because that’s really in right now) and then posting can occur – but not without an obscure, witty caption of some type.
The honest truth is that I’m at my breaking point in the world of social media. Particularly Instagram, with it’s new updates and shitty algorithm – I’m finding it increasingly more difficult by the day to find joy in posting on the platform. I don’t have a DSLR, I don’t have a iMac, and I don’t have a lot of money. I outfit recycle a lot, with shots taken on my iPhone – oh, and none of that fancy editorial bokeh. (Sometimes pronounced: BOH-kay – the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens)
SHOP YELLOW LEATHER
My engagement is lower than ever, and Instagram keeps prompting me to “buy sponsored content” to boost my posts… is Instagram purposefully not putting my posts out there so I have to pay to get the Impressions I usually would? Between the algorithm and the shadow ban, there really is no way to “win” Instagram these days as a start out or small time blogger.
Yep, controversially I am referring to myself as a small time blogger here purely because I don’t have any of the photography or editing equipment that most of the ^^ up there, 50K follower bloggers do. I don’t actually feel like you can make it to the big leagues without buying a fancy ass camera and editing you photos like you’re in vogue. You can read all about my views on “levelling up” in the blogging industry here if you’re nosy. Instagram has “you’re only as good as your photography” vibes right now – it’s pretty shitty.
I know full well that I’m not skinny enough to be anyone’s Instagram goals, my phone camera doesn’t product those magazine-worthy images that entice people to hit the “follow” button, and I don’t have the mula to be purchasing a Celine bag or Gucci belt to make my outfits look effortlessly luxe. So why do I still persist with a platform that now only plays to the strengths of a very particular clique of bloggers?
Throwback two years, and lil Hols was a non-blogger who adored the world of Instagram. Back then, I think everyone did. It was a platform of self-expression, creativeness, and a window into the lives of real people. Unfortunately, the Instagram of today doesn’t ooze the same appeal. Anyhow, it was a platform I really did enjoy creating content for – and I wasn’t even a blogger! I used to get a real kick out of taking a mirror selfie of my outfit, a lifestyle shot of the brekkie I made that morning, or perhaps a beautiful view on a brisk morning walk. Back then, it was literally a point and shoot situation with my basic iPhone 5, and I fucking loved it.
SHOP THE LOOK
Nowadays, I literally can’t do a photo shoot without getting some form of photography anxiety. I feel so sorry for my boyfriend because he has to put up with me having a mini breakdown when I can’t nail those bokeh-charged editorial “I’m a fasherrrrn blogger”-esque shots with my phone. Turns out, it’s not really that bad and once the anxiety has settles and I get round to giving my photos an edit – they’re alright. Nothing like the standard of most instagrammy fashern bloggers, but I’m working on the quality of my photography constantly. I’m still on the grind, and I need to accept that that’s totally okay.
I’ve made a conscious decision to remind myself of a few things whenever I’m using the app and feeling down about it:
1) Instagram isn’t what makes you a fab blogger
2) You’re much more than your photography
3) Dwelling on such trivial things isn’t healthy
From what I’ve experienced, Instagram can have a negative effect on my mental health and I can only imagine that this affects others aswell. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others in the industry, but that’s not what blogging is all about, and I’m determined to not let it get to me.
I’m ready to re-ignite my passion for Instagram, are you?