Seriously, I’m done with Instagram.
At work, I have a few rules I have to follow. I have to be vaguely helpful to the constituents who call in, even if they’re extremely rude to me. If my boss sends me a cryptic text on a Sunday night, it’s best if I try and work out what he’s after and answer it. I have a few things I have to get on day to day, to make sure the office works. That’s not far off being it. I get paid for that privilege. It all seems to work out vaguely well.
Instagram, however, is a completely different kettle of fish.
There are a few rules I should probably follow. I should make sure that I don’t use the same hashtags in the two consecutive posts. But those hashtags shouldn’t be spammy, they need to be relevant to my posts. They need to change according to the most popular hashtags and what’s “on trend”. I need to make sure I follow people but not too many people. I need to engage with other posters, but my comments can’t be considered spammy.
There are probably certain times of the day that I should post in order to make sure that my photos get the most amount of likes. My captions need to be lengthy, not too lengthy, but they should tell a story. The captions need to end with a “call to action”. I need to have high-quality images, think about having back up photos and a separate Instagram planning app to make sure all my images flow.
These are also pretty arbitrary rules. A lot of the time I reckon it’s total guess work.
Basically, it’s about twice as much work as my day job and I don’t get paid for it.
I know I could, and some people make some serious cash from posting on Instagram, but I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of them. Because despite some effort on my part, reading up on it, learning what to do for the best, I still only have around 400 followers.
Yes, it changes daily. It changes almost hourly. For absolutely no reason. At least not any that I can fathom.
It probably all sounds a bit like I’m just begrudging the fact that after so much effort, I don’t have much to show for it. And yes, I admit, that’s a little bit of the whole problem for me. I’m not so keen on putting effort into things and never seeing results.
But a lot more of the problem is that I used to really like using Instagram. My Instagram focused on photos of London buildings. The photos were the thing I enjoyed taking, editing and showing off – even though I would never call myself a photographer and never really thought I was any good at it. Instagram gave me an excuse to go out and see more of the city I’ve called home for over three years and to indulge in my love of good architecture at the same time. I liked finding new accounts and always marvelled at other people’s themes even though I knew it was something I’d never personally be able to keep up.
More than that, I used to like seeing what everyone was up to. I could indulge my nosey side. My friends were having nice breakfasts or at festivals. Now the algorithm has even changed that. I see my friend’s breakfasts at 9 pm. I look like a stalker for liking a photo that’s two days old even though it’s only just appeared on my feed. I’m following over a hundred people, but seeing the same 50 people over and over again.
I know I’m not alone in this. I see the same complaints on twitter over and over again about Instagram. It feels like we’re all waiting for Insta to make some huge changes, or we’re all waiting for the next big app to come along, which means we abandon the platform altogether. It seems unbelievable, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted what happened to Myspace when we all loved that.
It’s not the end as such…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to use Instagram. But there’s no way in hell I’m going to invest as much time into it. I still want to take photos of places in London that I think are pretty, but I won’t get bogged down by worrying if it was taken on my phone or my camera. I won’t worry about whether it clashes with the photos that are already on my feed. I’m gonna remove the Instagram planning apps on my phone – Lord knows I need the space on there. I 100% refuse to schedule posting times and I won’t keep staring at that follower number.
It’s time for me to invest my time into something a little more positive.