The one where I deleted Instagram




I was always one of those defiant people who insisted the fabled instagram algorithm didn't bother them. In part, because I don't actually think it did affect me for a good long time. I was enjoying just sitting back and posting my pictures and chatting to people. I've always tried to pay little attention to numbers in regards to instagram (though I will say the number of 'likes' has always been helpful to me if I've been on the fence about a piece of work) I have a decent chunk of followers, although I appreciate them all I do think my engagement is overall quite low, so I've never put too much thought into follower numbers.

I couldn't sleep one night the other week (insert millennial joke about coffee) and I was deeeeep into the pits of instagram, realising there were so many posts from my Instagram friends I hadn't seen because they'd never popped up on that god damn fucking timeline. Then I noticed a pattern with mine, my engagement was in the toilet. I have the insights tab on my posts - essentially a tool that tells you how many times your post has been shared, bookmarked and the 'reach'. I'm no expert at the technology (eg - it took me one whole day to figure out how to change my profile picture on here, eventually found out through furtive googling like a sad old mole) but reach is, I think, the amount of people your post is reaching (I should be a teacher, right?)



An average posts reach had gone from a sort of reasonable 17000 to 3000. So three thousand people out of, I assume, 34.2K followers are seeing my work. I admit I was sad and deflated. I didn't want to be particularly because at the end of the day it's a fucking app. But for me, like so many others it's become one of the strongest platforms to share my work, connect with other artists and make friends. Clients have found me through it. I did what any emo would do, had a small breakdown and deleted the app for a week. Not gunna lie, it was great. It was the perfect escape from the constant noise of social media. I finally finished 1Q84 (c'mon I've been reading it for FIVE YEARS) I truly cleared my brain and it felt nothing short of luxurious to not be "on" for a while and go off grid. I didn't / don't really want to come back just yet (not sure what to do about that one..)

This epitome of a First World Problem gave me a little wake up call and burst my Instagram bubble - why am I relying solely on one free app (owned by the bane of my fucking life, Facebook no less) Sure, instagram is great. But it crashes, it has blackouts and people randomly get their accounts deleted and have to start from scratch. It's not a reliable base to build a business, it's just a tool. So what else can I (we) do?

- I want to bring back my blog (here's hoping I stick to this)
- More real life interactions (I'm thinking fairs, classes, workshops and live drawing events - I better try and find even a modicum of extroversion then)
- Tweet more (you know what, I love Tweeter)
- I'm never going to use Facebook, soz.

What social media do you use? Share your links!


Steph xo

Comments

  1. I recently listened to a Rich Roll pod about digital minimalism, talking about how our attention and flow are destroyed by always-on tech. The expert recommended blogging and talked a little bit about how creatives could use IG in dedicated time chunks to keep it in its place. I quit Fbk after listening. It didn’t help my business and I hate it. I hate Twitter. I love Insta for personal use but it doesn’t do much for my Etsy shop. Commenting on a blog post (within IG) is weird! And hard! I’m going to copy this to your post too.

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