Friday, 10 February 2017

Why I Love To Hate Instagram


I watched a hilarious YouTube video the other night which was a  parody of Instagram captions and what life would be like if people spoke in Instagram captions..and it got me thinking...

I think a lot of us (especially bloggers!) have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. When I started my Instagram account in March last year, I really didn't have a clue where I was going with it or what I was doing. I just started by taking pictures of my daily makeup or "#MOTDs" as we in "the biz" call them haha..and of whatever else that I thought was pretty or beauty products that I thought people might like to hear mini reviews of. Pretty soon, I realised that I actually enjoy the creative side of it, the arranging of a flatlay or deciding what sort of backdrops to use and sometimes I've been proud of my results. (Mind you, some were total flukes and a lot of others ended up never being posted or deleted shortly after!)

So why do I love it?

Getting Creative.

Firstly, as I mentioned, it's become a creative outlet for me. Obviously the blog is me exploring my creative side too in another way, but if I don't have time to write a blog post and shoot and edit all the photos for that particular post, I might do a mini review on Instagram instead. This means I'm still "creating content" as they say, and sharing my views or highlights of my day, without having to spend so much time as I would on the laptop on a blog post.


Connecting and networking.

Secondly, Instagram for me has been a brilliant way to connect with other bloggers - in Ireland and on the other side of the world. It probably sounds funny to say but I often feel like I "know" these ladies even though I will probably never meet most of them - and there's always someone to chat to. 
I'm thinking of doing a post as well on my favourite Instagram accounts to follow so let me know if you would like to see that too?

Escape from reality.

Thirdly, in a way it is a form of escapism. Yes I'm a grown woman and I've a full-time job and I'm a Mammy to a threenager and all that, but sometimes I like to pretend that I don't have the post-baby belly still and that I don't have the under-eye bags and the beginnings of crows' feet to prove it. It's nice sometimes just to scroll through and "ooh" at all the prettiness before you go back to the endless laundry and the bottle washing and the packing the bag for work the next day. Even if you are sitting there in your PJs and a hoodie sporting a "hun bun" and slurping a cup of tea while you're at it. 

Promote your blog.

My last reason will probably only apply to bloggers it does have some benefits if you are trying to grow and promote your blog and "network" as they say. I've found it a way of sharing my latest blog posts without being "in your face" about it. It's also a great way of connecting with brands that you enjoy or would like to work with - if that's where you're headed with your blog- and of keeping up with new trends in the field that you blog about. 

And why do I hate it?

The Follow-To-Unfollow game.

My main rant these days is about the incessant "follow to unfollow" game. The sad reality is, while micro-blogging is being seen as a "thing" now, numbers are what companies, PRs and brands are looking at. As a result, there are some out there who just want to grow their numbers quickly and follow as few others as possible, to increase their own perceived popularity. This is so disheartening to newer, smaller bloggers like yours truly - who are looking to engage and connect and build a rapport with others in the long term as well as feeling like a few people might actually like what you post and want to follow you. This week in particular I've noticed this a lot on my own account, with numbers going up and down every day and often the same people repeatedly following and unfollowing. I'm hoping that more and more companies realise that it's not all about numbers - it's about whether those people are interested in what you have to say or not!  Until then, I'm watching the unfollowers and trying not to beat myself up over it!

Having "The Feed".

You would think the idea of Instagram is to take a quick snapshot and share it with the world, right? Wrong. Your "FWIS" or "MOTD" might look fabulous but if it doesn't match in with the photos beside, above and below it then your feed won't look cohesive or have a theme to it. Which means the whole thing isn't spontaneous at all. In fact it's meticulously planned - probably with apps like UNUM or Planoly. And it's also probably been edited to within an inch of it's life too. 

Not being able to use products until you've taken "The Shot". (Bloggers will know what I mean!)



How many times have you wanted to use those new makeup brushes or that new eyeshadow palette but you can't because you haven't photographed it yet? And of course you can't photograph it yet because it's 9pm on a Wednesday night and there's no natural light left. This applies to blog photos too but not everything I try out will end up on the blog so you're more likely to see it on Instagram first. 

Over-analysing whether I'm posting too little or too often. 


If I don't post on Instagram for a few days, it's probably because "real life" has taken over. I'm probably looking after a sick toddler or up to my eyes in work and too wrecked to go near social media in the evenings. I tell myself that I'm not going to post something just for the sake of it, to fill up my feed, all the while wondering how on earth others come up with these fabulously styled photos every single day? 

Being "Insta-Famous".



Ah this annoys me about as much as wearing the wrong socks annoys my toddler. This is actually a thing now and if you search it on YouTube you will find a ton of videos telling you how to become famous for your Insta. So many young people these days seem to want to achieve some celebrity status on their Instagram accounts. Fair enough if that's what you're in to - no judging here - but I'm far too old for that! 

The Dreaded Algorithm.

In the same manner as Facebook, Instagram's algorithm now decides which posts it thinks you want to see based on what posts you've interacted with recently. Frustratingly, this means that I miss some posts on my favourite accounts if I don't log on regularly enough to spot them. It also means that not as many people are seeing my posts. Cue the paranoia, the obsessive checking of insights, views and engagements and the worrying about whether I should be on here at all. Surely if I'm following someone it means I want to see their pics, right? Bring back good old fashioned chronological news feeds and all will be forgiven!

I still have a lot to learn about Instagram but what I have learned so far is shared in my Top 10 Instagram Tips and Tricks.


Are you in the same love-hate relationship with Instagram? I'd love to hear your thoughts as always!

If you would like to check out my Instagram and will forgive this bit of cheeky self-promotion, you can find me here where you will find some occasional rants and some hopefully pretty pictures of some hopefully useful products. 

Bye for now,


Catch up with even more ramblings of Mama Voom over on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. You can also check out what I've been up to throughout the day on my Snapchat, mamavoom.




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2 comments

  1. Yes to everything! I have been using Instagram for a good few years now - first as a personal account, then as a beauty page x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes to everything! I have been using Instagram for a good few years now - first as a personal account, then as a beauty page x

    ReplyDelete

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