Why I Haven't Been on Instagram Lately
Some of you who follow me on Instagram may (or may not) have noticed that I've not been very active lately. Over December I cut down on my posting and I haven't really looked back since.
December was the busiest month of the whole of 2019 for me. I was tacking upcoming deadlines for uni, working two jobs, travelling to talk on panels and doing more photography than I'd done so far, all while trying to do my Christmas shopping and do all of that other fun festive stuff with my friends and family. Being so busy, I barely had any time to create any content for any type of social media, and I decided to prioritise my blog over my Instagram. Unfortunately, that meant that I didn't have anything to post - no outfit posts, no cute flatlays, only a select few selfies that I'd taken on days where I'd actually bothered with my makeup and this meant that I stopped posting so regularly.
What I realised after all the craziness had died down was that I'd not been stressing over my numbers this whole time. In fact, I'd barely even been using the app at all. I'm constantly on my phone, so that's a big achievement for me. And you know what? What they say is true, my stress levels are so much lower than they were before. I mean, I have plenty of other things to be thinking about and stressing over so it's not exactly been eradicated but it's a big help to not be worrying about engagement.
Instagram has been pretty important in my blog engagement and so I've been, honestly, a bit reliant on the app over the last few months. Instagram is my main avenue of directing people to my blog and engaging with those who read my posts and I've been using it heavily to find people who might enjoy my content, and so it's a bit worrying to not be using it as often now, but I'm hoping that those who already read my posts will keep coming back because they already like me (fingers crossed).
Having said all of this, I've kind of fallen back in love with the app again, just not on my main account. Not worrying about making content has left me time to grow my photography account and focus on this instead. It's allowed me to refine my editing skills and show off my photos in a better way, and I feel like I'm using the app in a healthy way again.
Although, I've found that of the time I've not been using up on Instagram anymore, a good portion of that has migrated over to TikTok... not on creating videos, just on scrolling through the for you page and watching content for hours on end until I realise its 3am and I should be asleep. So it's not stopped me procrastinating at all - I've just found a new way to do that.
I think that there is way too much pressure on everyone to make their Instagram feeds look perfect, especially those trying to run professional pages that sell themselves. Any other professional pages exist to showcase your work - photography, art, tattoos - but when you're supposed to be a brand in yourself - blogger, YouTuber etc - you are that work and it never stops, unlike freelancers who may have breaks in content creation (breaks in bookings etc) being the face of the "brand" is a full-time job in which you can't mess up or else you'll get penalised for it. I may not be worthy of the big influencer title if you're striving to follow that path you see yourself in that same way to get there.
What I've learned is that you almost definitely need a second page to post stuff that won't fit your feed or that may be a little more personal to you - alongside the main account that you use as you main face for brands and followers. That way you can still engage with people you know, and still get the same thing out of social media that they do rather than just viewing it as numbers that mean you're either doing good or bad.
I've enjoyed my little detox, but I am hoping to get back into creating some more content and getting back on the horse again, maybe work with some other local creatives too. This time, hopefully with less stressing over whether I'm good enough or growing enough.
Let me know how you detox from social media in the comments!