Ahhh Instagram. The channel we love to hate. The app I check first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The feed that seems to be sapping bloggers of their patience and leaving us questioning why we even bother!
The algorithm changes that have happened lately have had a huge knock-on effect on bloggers, and there’s been some pretty shady activity going on with people trying to beat the algorithm by buying fake followers. People I have followed for years who’s content I love no longer seem to show up in my news feed, some users follow and unfollow me on a regular basis (I can see you!) and great content doesn’t seem to get as much engagement anymore. So many people are over-editing their photos and showing such a perfect lifestyle on social media that it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.
For months I tried to stick to an Instagram theme, painstakingly finding things to photograph that fit my chosen colour palette in the hope that my feed would look aesthetically pleasing enough for someone to hit the seemingly all-important follow button. I’d add colour tints to make sure things tied in with my content, I’d serve food on plates in certain colours just so they matched and it even got to the point where I was basing my outfits on how they’d look alongside my last Instagram post…. and the saddest part about all of that is I’m definitely not the only one!
Its great to have a really beautifully curated profile, don’t get me wrong, but to go to that much extent made me obsessed, and I know many accounts that do the same thing but go to much bigger extremes. It got to the point on a night out where I really wanted to photograph a pink neon sign I’d seen, but doing so meant I broke my blue ‘theme’ that I’d kept up so well for months. Tipsy me of course decided posting said pink sign was a great idea. Cue (a very hungover me) spending the next day cursing alcohol and photographing anything and everything pink to make sure my feed was looking coherent again. Crazy, I know.
That’s why I’ve ditched the whole idea of a theme, and boy does it feel good to be posting freely again! I do try to keep things bright and colourful, (which is pretty easy as my wardrobe is full of colour anyway!) but no longer am I restricting things to a certain hue, or a particular VSCO filter to make every photo look perfectly aligned with the next. I’m not stressing about how often I post, I don’t care if I miss a day or two and I don’t care if a post doesn’t get many likes. If Instagram is changing so much that its becoming a drag, then personally I just don’t see the point in trying to ‘beat it’, especially by posting things that aren’t real or are just too forced.
No matter how much Instagram changes and drives me up the wall, let’s be honest here, its always going to be my favourite channel to post on and spend endless hours scrolling through, so rather than stress about the likes and followers I’m just going to carry on posting photos of my favourite things (clothes and food, obvs) and enjoying it for what it started out as – a beautiful platform for sharing imagery and finding amazing creatives!
What are your thoughts on Instagram themes?