9 months ago…
Instagram started for me pretty much like university did 🍻 🎉 🥳. I tried to make as MANY friends as possible. 👭 👬 👫
In my mind what I want to do – collect and idea share for kids’ activities and of course sweet potato recipes 🤷♀️😂 – involved getting lots of insights into what people are doing and want to do. It also involved getting my ideas out there. So I set about finding like minded accounts. Fast.
I largely wanted parent accounts, so I would be especially prolific on a bank holiday or event like “World Book Day”. I would scroll the relevant hashtag feeds; liking, commenting and following. Trying to get to know accounts super fast! It was exhausting.
I’m yet to do a “Follow Loop” – the main reason being that I find them SO CONFUSING 😂😂😂. I also told myself that it’d be too hard to get to know so many people so quickly.
But what I was doing amounted to the same thing anyway….I was basically following for follows (and quickly waving goodbye to non- follows and unfollowers with a tut, eye roll and mock evil laugh 😂😂).
The next phase….
Anyway, fast forward a few months and I’ve made some proper friends – ones I want to house share with in year 2 (don’t worry, it’s analogy 😜).
I always check in on these accounts first, or find them from the likes and comments on my recent posts. Or by searching the alphabet through my following list. Basically I can’t keep up with my feed at all and spend a lot of time searching out my faves.
Meanwhile I keep trying to grow my account. I get to around 1440 followers. But I can’t get my engagement to stay at the same level. You can take the Maths teacher out of school….”My ratios are dropping 😱😱” 😢😢😂😂🤫
Who am I following anyway? And who is following me?
So I’ve gotten into an informal follow for follow situation and I have to keep feeding the machine with likes so people see me and my posts. Or sponsoring posts that need rescuing. To save face. To save the face of my anonymous account 😂😂😂😂🤷♀️ It’s exhausting. And, on reflection, hilarious.
Now luckily I follow lots of smart accounts; they like what they like, post what they post and don’t really care about the numbers. They’re enjoying the journey. The chats. And I’m enjoying their accounts.
I’ve got so much from Instagram by following these accounts. They’ve given my feedback, support, ideas and inspiration. I would have long given up blogging if I’d not come onto Instagram and met them. Thank you! I hope you know who you are ❤️.
So I decide to be more like them.
Firstly I removed LOADS, LOADS AND LOADS of accounts that are just hanging in there. You know, the people that are following you on the off chance that you want a car valet while holidaying in Vancouver. 🚗 🧼👌
Then I turn to my app and set about visiting the accounts I’ve never liked*. Or not liked recently enough to show up on my app.
*As in never liked a post, as opposed to not ever liking them as accounts!
I visit, like and comment. So many lovely accounts. But some are following SO many, I don’t think it’s likely that they’ll ever see me! 👋🏻👋🏻
BY THE WAY! Can I just say that I can think of LOADS of accounts with a big following and/or followers number that DO see me and that are most definitely amongst my favourites! Accounts that are managing to grow whilst still feeling real; they’re in my faves category as described above too! ❤️
Back to my little tale….in all honesty, in my drive for smaller numbers, I may have missed visiting a few accounts before implementing my next stage….
A few days later I used my app to again tell me who had never liked or commented. I know I unfollowed some lovely accounts. I know that I probably had people thinking I was a follow-unfollow @&£&”@& but I wasn’t! I really don’t get that.
I was just in pursuit of a feed that I know. I expected the unfollows. I expected more than I got tbh. I think there must be plenty of disillusioned/abandoned accounts out there.
Basically my head is full. I’m on the wrong side of 40 with three kids 😂. My Instagram was starting to feel like a mammoth task.
I’m losing numbers by the day 😬 Mainly people who think I’m a follow unfollow £&@&£& 😬😬😬
I’m not actively looking 👀. I may do again….but it takes up so much time and headspace, so I hope I don’t!
I follow back accounts that find me via liking a post and have a feed that I relate to.
If I get a random new follower who I relate to with a massive following list, I drop a few likes and comments about to see if they respond. If they do I follow, if they don’t I just leave them there until maybe they have the time. Or unfollow me again.
I remove new accounts that are just hanging about in case I change my mind about that car valet. 🚗 🧼 🙏
And I am trying to use Instagram less. I’m hoping that I can keep most of the good stuff – keeping up with my Insta’ besties and their posts whilst posting my own random thoughts / blog news (and enjoying/benefiting from feedback along the way). While also having the odd play on my feed 🤭
So that’s how I lost over 400 followers on Instagram. Tempted???!
I wrote this post a while ago now, but I’m still in a similar place. Over the numbers, over the Insta’ obsession. I think…
But…. still really wanting to keep up with the accounts that I’ve connected with; be it recent connections or ones made at the start of this “journey” 🤦🏻♀️😜. And I feel a bit behind on this. Planning on jotting them down in an address book! Also planning my Insta’ one year birthday party 🥳. Not really. Although…
My advice? I know that you didn’t ask for it but you don’t have to keep reading….. Insta’ is a machine and it rewards time spent on the app. It’s designed to keep you there. To make you foggy. Decide on what you enjoy or want to use it for and do that. Use the machine. It’s become a cliche, but don’t let it use you.
And please give me a wave. As I’ve said before, I’ll still be around.
I’m trying to play with google more at the moment to promote my blog, I’m thinking it’s designed to be quick and slick to get you coming back. Rather than addictive and time consuming so you play on it for hours. Although I do love a good google 🤦🏻♀️🤷♀️
If you say something good, google wants to save it for people. It doesn’t need feeding every day. You don’t feel like you’re only as good as your last google.
I’m not getting very far tbh but it’s interesting and I hope to be in touch about it one day, in about 2025.
Mainly I’m planning on enjoying the holidays and cutting back on the whole blog thing for six weeks. I’ll be back but I don’t want to spend the summer looking for time to blog and being frustrated when it doesn’t happen….I have a feeling it’s going to be busy…..and hopefully lots of fun 🎈 🎉 💖 🌞. Happy holidays if you’re still reading! And of course if you’re not!