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13 Apr 2016

Instagram. I love you but you drive me crazy.


EDIT: I wrote this blogpost a couple of days ago but refrained from posting because I worried it make me appear...wait for it....shallow. 

HAHA

Look I know I am a bit but this is also an opportunity to take the michael out of myself so I'm hoping that is how it comes across....Here's hoping.

Over the last couple of days I have been struggling to come up with a witty and pithy bio for my Instagram page. How do you summarise your aesthetic in just a few carefully words so that your potential audience will understand your feed offering and find you appealing. How about:

Lipstick hoarding, eggs benedict loving dog hugger who posts on a sporadic basis. Welcome into my highly contrived visual life. 

I can't come up with anything that ticks the box and through this self-inflicted angst I realise just how far my Instagram obsession has come.

When did it all get so bloody pretentious?

When I first signed up to Instagram I posted any old bollocks. Really I did. At that time it wasn't the social beast that it is now. It was akin to the early iPod days when seeing someone with white earphones resulted in a visual high-five. It was a quiet little club that saw some dodgy filter usage and a dubious reliance on bokeh.

In the years since it has transformed into a monetisation cesspit with people legitimately claiming self-employment status as a "full time Instagrammer", and with image quality cranked up to 11. Even the nomenclature has changed - in 2012 we posted photos, now we post "content".

As the standards transformed so did my attitude towards the 'gram and I realise now that as much as I tried to rally against the pretension I have proven weak and succumbed to it. Here are some examples of my futile behaviour:

1. Content Culling
I, buy now/blog later, do declare that I have deleted photos because they did not fit my feed aesthetic. Even using the word aesthetic makes me feel like a prat but yes I have removed photos because they did not work in the overall story/did not contain enough white.

Maybe I should just upload a series of white boxes and call it a day?

2. Getting performance anxiety
Tonight I am going to a wine festival and I know that the PR agency are expecting me to Instagram from said venue. It's unspoken but in exchange for consuming buckets of wine I think there is a pretty likely chance that they will want coverage. So now, even as I write this during my lunch break, I am wondering if the lighting will be good enough for a photo. It's a nighttime event so I am thinking not and I sure as hell am not going to be the person that gets the venue to change their lighting arrangement. Yes, bloggers actually do that! Will I get the picture? Oooh it's edge of your seat stuff.

Update: I did not. But I did drink a lot of good wine. 

3. Whitening those whites
When those "How I edit my Instagram" videos started popping up on YouTube, I eye rolled. Hard. A ten minute-ish video on how someone vigorously uses the whitening tool on Facetune to whiten those white sheets to a whiter shade of white. How silly I thought. I won't ever do that I said. Fast forward to now and you can regularly find me swiping my phone screen in an attempt to do the same.

4. Going all VSCO cam
I have had VSCO cam for a long time but didn't understand it. What is a grid and why should I care? I decided it was too complex. It felt like Photoshop - and I hate Photoshop. This year though, because nearly all my photos are now just snapped with my phone (a move that deceptively makes me sound all casual and non-chalant), I find that those filters in the right combination can do magic. HB1, HB2 and A6 - I love you. But no, I still don't really see the point of the grid.

Now I could talk about how much I can sit down and discuss feeds with other Instagram obsessives and how often I check Instagram each day (as soon as I wake up/after every meeting/during every taxi ride/when husband is watching Daredevil in the evening) but I feel like that would reflect badly on me so I will leave it there.

In an attempt to add some depth to my shallow I'll end it with this: as much as I jest I truly find this the most inspirational of all social media channels. The quality of some of the imagery from some accounts is tantamount to art. I am not at that level and nor will I ever be but it's a fantastic platform to dip into for a creative boost. Yes some images are massively contrived but I'll still like them anyway. At the end of the day I just want to see some pretty pictures.

If you want to get inspired check out some of my latest finds:

Alabaster fox - stunning photography and lots of coffee
Sarah M Park - don't follow if you get offended by nips because she likes to get them out.
Bealubus - do not follow if hungry - the same goes for GatherandFeast
Lucy Florals - personal style blogger from Glasgow
Fashion by MNP - another blogger from Glasgow - Glasgow has it going on!

What's your take on Instagram?

How addicted are you? Or have you moved on to another platform...Snapchat?

PS. If you have a bio suggestion for me feel free to contribute below :)

Thanks for reading
x

45 comments

  1. I'm entirely addicted, but sometimes I have to put myself into timeout. I'm a working single mom, so no, my life and feed will not match a DINC fashion blogger living in NYC. I think it can be fun to have a glimpse into people's lives and see beautiful photos. I don't have an aesthetic, although for a time I did have a white border around all my non- boxed sized photos. That lasted about 6 pictures. I say all that to say, I love it, I hate it, It gives me FOMO, it gives me ideas, it is what is it. I do love your feed though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's annoying to be tied to my laptop and not have instagram moments every day but I love it for the same reasons you do :)) Thanks Whitney xx

      Delete
  2. Instagram is definitely not the same beast it used to be! I'm the same - used to post any old crap, but now I find myself stocking up on pictures to post at a later date. All in the name of my 'aesthetic'. Maybe originality is too boring!

    Rachel | www.currentlyrachel.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THIS is what I need to be smarter about - the stocking up. I have yet to master that!

      Delete
  3. It's so crazy how much Instagram has changed! I remember when I was using it in the beginning I would post anything, looking back on them now they actually are quite lame... But I definitely find myself only posting the best of the best these days.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I posted the most random rubbish - one of them was something I did on the Draw Something app. Somehow though I can't quite delete those :)

      Delete
  4. I'm so torn on this too. I first loved Instagram because it was so...instantaneous - you were there real time at events etc. Then I realized that it would be better to take a more strategic approach, post only "pretty" pictures and keep a unified feed. I now turn to IG for pretty inspiration - not reality lol. And for the instantaneous and unstaged, I turn to Snapchat!

    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly - I have slowly realised the need for the pretty. Thank God for Snapchat :)

      Delete
  5. Great post! All I can say specifically about this post is that I am in total agreement but as a whole, I would like to say you are a fantastic writer and I seriously enjoy reading your posts. Other bloggers who cover similar content don't hold a candle to your ability to be creative and intelligent even when discussing the most trivial topics and small details. I don't mean to sound like a kiss@** but I wish other "professional" YouTubers/bloggers would be half as well put together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is such a lovely comment - thank you so much. It really does mean a lot to read that someone enjoys my writing :) I'll keep churning it out for you! :) xx

      Delete
  6. Yes yes and YES! Guilty on all of the above (hangs head in shame) Loved this post Laura. I am obsessed with Instagram, more so than any other social media platform (apart from Snapchat) In fact I'd go as far to say I'm addicted to it and definitely feel the pressure to post gorgeous pictures on a regular basis. Or not posting a picture of something because it doesn't fit in with the 'scheme'. It is all SO pretentious, but equally quite satisfying!

    Lis x

    www.elisabethrilatt.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I know .... I love to see the feed come together! Obviously this is something that the other half does NOT understand at all! :)

      Delete
  7. This post is so accurate that it scares me! I relly do love instagram :)

    http://theseasidetales.blogspot.pt/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ana - I can't tell you how relieved I am that I'm not the only one that feels this way :)))

      Delete
  8. I'm obsessed with instagram :) I absolutely love it.
    Lucy xoxo
    lucyannblog.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yessss another person that understands :)))

      Delete
  9. I'm obsessed with IG even though my photos are pretty pants. I don't get the whitewash treatment. I always think my glasses have steamed up when I find accounts like that, ha! ;) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think some people take the white a little too far. My ultimate goals account has to be Song of Style - clean but with colour. One day.....actually no, I'll never get there :)

      Delete
  10. I'm obsessed with Instagram, my photography isn't the best, but I'm starting to become really OCD about how my Instagram feed looks and will delete photos just because it's not as "perfect" as I was hoping for!
    www.missamyguest.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  11. I feel like I use Instagram like I should use Snapchat, just taking pictures of my random life and uploading them. So lately, with all the discussion about "Instagram theme" around, I posted less and less and today finally didnt upload a picture because it wasn't... white enough? I am not sure where I will go, maybe move on to snapchat, maybe keep spamming my feed with random pictures. We will see.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    ReplyDelete
  12. This made me laugh. I totally get you. I once read that your Instagram feed needs to feel/read like a magazine to get some sort of attention. And it's all cool with that but I find some feeds are so unrealistic. I try to follow "real" people too ( as opposed to people that post for a living) so I feel grounded and I not depressed & I feel everyone's life looks perfect when it's probably not the case. I keep reminding myself that it's just a platform and it's a very deceiving one too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. While I like Instagram for a quickie "look at this" pretty thingy, I'm not obsessed with the outcome of the photo or arrangement .. it's just a fun communication tool to me :-) Yup, I'm that boring.

    Monica @pearshapedgal

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice post dear :) Great job!

    http://oonly4girlss.blogspot.rs/

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've always loved your bio! A blog about shopping, it doesn't get much deeper than that or something like that! Only started to see the value of a good clean grid recently and I think I will have to have a go fiddling with VSCOCAM cam soon!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have discovered that the most I use Snapchat, the less I use Instagram. Why? I'm not really sure, I actually didn't like SC before but I think IG is becoming so "plastic" I feel SC is little bit more honest, easier to digest

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm like you, instagram addicted but my photos are still any old crap! I don't have time to prettify them, so what you see is what you get!
    Hugs Adele xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  18. I feel like the ultimate pleb when it comes to Instagram! I totally need to up my game with it and yes, thank God for Snapchat which takes the absolute effort out of posting "content"! Totally recommend TheBeautyInbox on Instagram, her photos are divine!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ooooh I love your new logo on the site btw! Just spotted it, it's fab.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  20. I feel this way about You Tube. There is a massive over saturation on you tube of content that is exactly the same. The videos of these "Morning Routines" are so disgustingly perfect in camera angle, color, editing, makeup, hair...the works. I miss the days when a girl sat on her floor and showed what was in her bag. Or held a compact mirror to show how she used her latest pallet (you did both of these!). Now it's a full-on production where the visuals is more important than the actual content. You see a 5 minute video on how to make a smoothie, for example, and it's just mostly close ups of epic, Oscar-clip pouring and girls with perfect lighting following them around. It's lost its grit, if you will. I can't relate to any of this because I don't have perfect lighting following me around, and I certainly don't find a green smoothie a satisfying - or realistic - breakfast.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. nice post!thank you, by the way did you know how to find your love online?if not check out my article about it https://kovla.com/blog/how-to-find-and-meet-a-girlfriend-online/ here!enjoy

    ReplyDelete
  22. i love instagram, but i do not stress myself with it. I post what i like in the moment and i know my feed is a shambles but i don't care. I spend so much time looking after other people's accounts and ensuring there is a "story". My feed is my real life as it happens, at the moment its all about my puppy as my OOTD consists of leggings and a hoodie! I do however wish my feed looked like yours and other bloggers but sadly unless i deleted all the photos.. it's never going to. I am huge fan of snapchat but Instagram is perfect for quiet times as snapchat you've got to have your volume up.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Eh. I take a picture and post it. It's supposed to be fun. As soon as it stops being fun, it's work. Ballet pictures are my favorite to look at on IG.

    ReplyDelete
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    My ex-boyfriend is back after a breakup,I’m extremely happy that will are living together again.
    My name is Mary Wilkie from England.
    My boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant.I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time.Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity. If you have any problem contact Dr.Unity now and i guarantee you that he will help you.Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,His website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .

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