honest talk lifestyle Travel

Dear Instagram, I’m calling bullshit

I remember the day I first downloaded the Instagram App in 2010, I was excited about using the filters on the photo I just took of a frangipani and then another of me with the frangipani. It was simple- select your filter and away you go. At this point, I had no idea people could see my photos or that ‘following’ someone was an option.

Since then, Instagram has become a podium for businesses, photographers, ‘models’ , travellers and bloggers.  People are genuinely earning an income from the photos they post- ummm sign me up?

Somewhere along the line, I found myself falling down the insta-fame rabbit hole. My goodness it was appealing. Watching these picture perfect girls with their picture perfect boyfriends, living their picture perfect lives. Hundreds of thousands of followers and zero need to work. Who wouldn’t want to be paid for taking good pictures of their lives.

It sounds amazing and looks amazing but I’m calling bullshit on you all * note this is not directed at all instagrammers- you know who you are.

There was this one particular travel blogger- she even made it into my list of top 5 you should know, she’s young and she’s beautiful and honestly, I’ve looked up to her the past 12 months. She is always gallivanting around the globe and her audience is growing daily.

She was a bit of an inspiration, UNTIL I realised it was fake. Maybe not all of it but a shit tone was. Yes, per pictures are beautiful. Yes, she’s always travelling but what made me change my entire perspective is when I was searching for fresh inspiration so decided to check out her list of “following”.

My assumption was It would be full of travellers alike. To my surprise the first few were complete randoms with a thousand followers but one photo of a cat. It got worse from there. Countless people that were following her and being followed back were undeniably fake.

Okay- are we that desperate in the numbers game that we have to spend our time following fake accounts so that we look like our posed photos are influencing? Maybe that’s not you- that’s okay- I’m sill calling BS on the entire Instagram ladder to fame.

I understand that it’s purely business to many people- that was the only reason I got so sucked in. BUT as a result, there are 13 year old girls wearing Gstrings JUST to get followers. I know this because my sister is 13 and i follow her friends. Regardless of the fact that their parents should be monitoring their social media, these girls are so influenced by the instagram models that they now believe it’s perfectly plausible to take off your clothes to gain a following. Jesus, at 13 I was playing sims and trying to beat my own score at snake (god bless the Nokia)

Image result for sjana earp
* I am not implying Sjana is fake. This is simply an example of the type of photo I see 13year olds copying *

Even to get where I am, with a mere 1300 followers, I had to post on the regular, use hashtags AND like loads of other accounts- just to be noticed. I found myself scrolling through 100s of travel pages, liking photos and waiting for growth. Why? Because “how to grow your following” blog post told me so. In fact, every blog post related to Instagram says the same thing.

Feeling entirely frustrated by it all, I went through and deleted all the accounts that I didnt’t know and blocked a great deal of people. It was not surprise that nearly 100 people unfollowed me within a day #followfordollow #unfollowforunfollow #springcleaning.

The point of my rant? It has challenged me to  switch off my phone and start living. Our life is exciting; we don’t need an orchestrated photo to prove that.  I genuinely love photography so it’s very likely we will still have our canons hanging from our necks in weeks to come but I’m throwing my hands up and saying noooooooo more BS! Sayōnara, Bullshit. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’re going to see a whole lot more crazy and a great deal less “pretend your not looking” photos. I am totally weird and you would never known that by seeing 99 photos of my back.

In saying this, please note this isn’t a “I’m quitting social media” plea. Even before all the nonsense, I have been blogging. In fact, I have had a blog since I was 15- on many different platforms. I’ve always been an over sharer and I’ve always tried to be transparent, sometimes my silence is more truthful but most of the time, I write it as it is. Even if I basically failed English and STILL don’t know the correct positioning for a comma, I write because I like too.

Until next time. #rantover

What do you think about instragram these days? I’m so open to a rebuttal

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31 comments on “Dear Instagram, I’m calling bullshit

  1. This is not a rebuttal. 🙂 I just thought I’d drop in my “2 cents.” Amazingly, I wrote on just this subject this morning – but I noted I actually now “prefer” Instagram over Twitter (for now anyway).

    First, I completely get where you are coming from in terms of businesses and some seeking “Insta-fame” – whatever the heck that is.

    I come at Instagram after years on Twitter, where I’ve had an account since 2009. I’ve posted less and less there recently because it has become (in my opinion) a cesspit of trolls and hate and abuse and snarky journalists. At least for the moment.

    One thing I like more about Instagram is it’s essentially (to me) harmless. I treat it as a “quick” outlet to engage with people I “know” (at least I’ve gotten to “know” them via social media; but some I do also know in person), and who know how to laugh with me – and occasionally even laugh at me good-naturedly. It’s also faster posting a photo and making a comment or two there than it is to write a complicated blog post.

    I have been at it only months and treat it as an extension of my writing and blogging. The key to getting value and satisfaction (for me) has been not to think about followers at all and not to take it too seriously. The best thing I find to do is just be genuine and be myself.

    [Click] I’ve just followed you. And I am absolutely a real person! What we real people need to do is stick together and just point and laugh at all the fake, contrived silliness out there! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • I agree~ I know and follow many travellers and bloggers who are 100% genuine and it is a lot quicker to post a photo and engage rather than a long blog post. Infact, posting to Instragram is often a prerequisite for the brands/hotels i have worked with in the past. I know it is a powerful tool (when used correctly) I am just disheartened by the amount of young people getting sucked in, thinking its real life or blurring their lines of moral because its online. I am very guilty of the posed photos for Instagram and have just had a little reality check to become more transparent with my sharing.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment! I think I may have even been inspired by your post a few days ago, if i am remembering correctly.

      Louise

      Liked by 3 people

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  3. McKenzie Lawson

    Yes! I agree 100%. I follow a ton of people that are “insta famous”, and for the most part the ones I follow are real people trying to make a living for their families (photographers, bloggers, ect) and using instagram to help kind of pimp out their careers. Which I think it totally fine. I even think it’s fine when they have a “sponsored” post, as long as they keep it true to themselves. If they can make money off instagram, good for them! But I have seen a great deal of those fake people who buy their followers and pretend their life is perfect, which is sad. And honestly, really boring.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, couldn’t agree more. I have advertised hotels that i have stayed at on Instagram etc. I know a few people who are paid to post and I agree- Good for them. I suppose my rant came from discovering someone who I admired had bought/used an app/ whatever other option there is. You’re right though- it is boring! The key is staying true to who you are.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Louise,

    I am loving this post and I could not agree more! I am scared for women who see this type of account and try to emulate it, body type and all. It’s more about copying someone else rather than being your own true self i.e. “where did you buy that swim suit?”

    Secondly, although I enjoy IG, there are way too many influencers and users trying to sell me things…not good things either, more like detox tea and a waist trainer. Sad! I am a marketer and even I have had enough. #springcleaning

    ~Rhiannon

    Liked by 3 people

    • Rhiannon, Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a reply. Having a 13 year old sister has opened my eyes to how influenced these young girls are. Skinny has become redefined and what is appropriate ‘online’ has been blurred. Sadly, they do not understand how orchestrated these images are- that people only post their best.

      I know, it is a catch 22 and hard to remain true to who you are. I have fallen into the posed image trap and I am hoping to pull away and have a true audience instead. My new favourite hashtag – #springcleaning

      – Louise x

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It annoys me how people follow and then unfollow. If you like what I am posting then follow me and if not don’t! Simple!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know!! I get the like 20 photos and comment ” love your account” but then no follow OR the like 30 photos, follow and then unfollow.

      Once I had captioned a photo with a sad/real caption and the comments were full of “lovely” and “wow” and “nice”.. So annoying.

      Like

  6. This is SO true (seriously), and pretty eye-opening for teens like us. We love your blog – it’s stunning and hilarious at the same time!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much- I appreciate it!! I can not even imagine what it is like to be a teenager in today’s society. The only thing you can do is be true to yourself and try stay authentic. My goodness, highschool can be a challenge when it comes to staying true to WHO you are! Know that a lot of these people only post the best- behind it all there is real people who experience real problems and live in the real world. Thank you for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very good rant 👍🏽

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This post speaks so much towards how I feel about Instagram! So well written. I’d much rather present a life on social media that is true to me, even if it doesn’t get me followers, than try to be someone I’m not in order to boost my follower count. I might not be reaching a lot of people, but I’m happy with what I’m doing. And posts like this encourage me to continue to do so!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Ciara! I lost more than 150 followers within a few days- but I feel better for it. I was so fed up with it all and realised how easy it has become for people to get caught up in it. I want to be authentic and I admire those who are. I will have to look you up on Instagram- I need more REAL humans on social media. Thank you for taking the time to read. x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Authenticity is such an admirable quality! I strive for the same thing, both with my writing and what I seek out on social media. It’s more rewarding to experience life as it truly is. I’m looking forward to getting to know more about your life! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • 100% I have not even posted on Instagram for a few weeks. I am taking a break to ensure the next time i take to social media, it reflects who i really am. Perhaps I should re-post your 50amazing questions!

        Likewise xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • I completely support and encourage you to take on these 50 questions. The process of answering is rather difficult, but a lot of fun, as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. WHAT! WOW! I had no idea that people did that! Its crazy because I’m an insta lover and I too sit on instagram wondering how these girls with her lavishing pictures get so many darn likes come to find out half of the accounts are fake! Thats a real eye opener and to be honest it makes me feel better because at least the likes I get I know are real. This was such a good post! Thank you for sharing your instagram thoughts and finds!!

    xo, JJ

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know right? Makes me feel OK about having a smaller following than others. I’m glad the people who follow me are people who are genuinely interested. I only just realised this too- As I said, I only came across it when I was going through someones followers and found an enormous amount of very odd characters- people that couldn’t possibly be genuine. Eye opener- hey?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love Instagram, it’s my favourite social media platform but like you I am completely over the whole ‘follow me and I’ll follow you’ stance. I follow people when I genuinely like their photos. I enjoy seeing how other people see the world and getting inspired by their posts but I get so frustrated with the constant lack of control over getting so many followers in one day and losing double the next. And more than anything, I hate cheaters.. those people, like you said that seem to gain loads of followers that are obviously fake. I’ve struggled to get to over 500 followers but I find that I don’t have the ‘likes’ to back that up.. but you know what, at this stage I don’t even care any more. I still love posting and I will continue to post – if one or 500 people like my post then that’s completely cool…

    FYI – I’ve started following you but you totally don’t have to follow me back if you don’t wanna 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • 100%. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. How frustrating is the follow for follow situation? I have completely zoned out to how many followers I have and don’t plan on worrying about it again. If someone wants to follow and then unfollow me well then that’s their game- I’m not playing! As much as I love the big response to this blog post, I already feel much better about it all and have not really given it a second thought. We get to choose how we use each social media platform and who we choose to engage with. I’m looking for genuine people and I think i’ve found a few through this experience 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I have just written a post about Insta and trends around it. You have a lifestyle pro approach, you will get followed(sounds creepy). Otherwise, forget about it. You need to hit the trend, else you are not cool(according to whom?) have a good evening. kiss kiss. k

    Liked by 1 person

  12. buckwildbohochild

    I could not have said this any better if I tried. I touched on this topic a while back on one of my own posts. But this really drives it home. I use to get so infatuated with other peoples’ lives on social media (particularly Instagram) that I would totally disregard the documentation of my own. At the end of the day, all we see is what is on the surface. Instagram doesn’t expose one’s burdens and hardships, which can cause us to fall subject to the desire to live an Insta-fame lifestyle. Social media can cause us to crave instant gratification and success. Excellent post, very encouraging.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I don´t follow instagram, but I know what you talk about, and I agree with you completely!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. All the feels reading this post! I’m still waiting for my big break on instagram.. I mean I also read all those “How To Grow Your Following” posts, surely I should be famous too? It really is quite tiring!
    Well done for an awesome and totally relate-able post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know, right!! After all the effort, editing apps, strategic photography and tips on how to grow my following- where are all my followers!!? Haha. And then i think I’m making a break they all disappear again.

      Liked by 1 person

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