The past week has been a funny one. I’ve spent a lot of time sloshing about a) in bed watching Criminal Minds b) hungover in my bed watching Criminal Minds and c) fretting about the fact I don’t have anything to post on Instagram and if I did find manage to rope something together WOULD IT GOT WITH MY THEME ??
Does this sound familiar? Do you have this problem? Worrying that your following (and my following is by no means medium sized, let alone large) might forget about you, the fact you existed on their Instagram feed and you’ll drop off the face of this internet world, never to be heard from or seen again. This is called Instagram guilt.
Because I do. It’s been happening all too often recently. Where I don’t have anything to post because I hate how I look in some of the photos I have so I can’t bare to share them online. Or the lighting in my room isn’t good enough for me to throw together some bits for a flat lay or an interiors shot that they can’t be shot out into the world. Or that I haven’t left the flat in days other than to trudge to Tesco to buy a can of Diet Coke and some sweet delicacy.
And then I worry. I worry people will unfollow me, not be interested in what I have to say and I’ll just disappear off into the distance, a mere echo will flutter around of ‘what was The Monday Project again?’
I often feel like I’m doing myself a great injustice. That if I want to make a go at blogging/online content creating as a career (which I don’t always fyi) I should be making an effort now. I should be leaving the flat to find the perfect Glasgow street shots and Instagrammable places. I should be going to gym more so I’ll like how I want to look in style photos in the future. That should be getting up earlier so I can make the best of the morning light even though I know it’s not my fault that Glasgow is sometimes cloaked in a greyness that just won’t fuck off.
This kind of worrying, which is very much a new problem in society but will have no doubt replaced some other ill that has disappeared thanks to the movement of the times, is draining and to be honest, bloody sucks.
Instagram is my favourite platform. I love being able to connect with likeminded people who share similar interests to me. I love being able to follow people I admire (or in the case of Joe Sugg, embarrassingly fancy a lot) and see a little into their lives to feel inspired. I love being able to see far flung places to add to my bucket list. To see the new trends, new eateries, new experiences.
To see the world through someone else’s lens is a gift, to be continuously inspired by the marvels of Photoshop and to find new places, new people, new things, all in one tiny app. It is all reachable by the click of a button.
Suffering from Instagrammer guilt often clouds the other reasons I love Instagram and why I use it, other than to share my own stories and images. Instead of being annoyed/upset/irrational about ‘not reaching my quota’ of posting to Instagram and feeling downbeat that I don’t have anything on my UNUM app lined up to share best, I’m going to try a little harder to see Instagram again as if I’m on it for the first time.
There really is much more to Instagram than we make it. I love curating a theme and I’m not going to stop doing that. I love the challenge of posting twice a day, writing captions, sharing a variety of things from Glasgow to myself to food and editing images to slot together to represent me. I thrive of it.
But as with any challenge, I’m going to accept there are down days and if I take an Instagram sabbatical for any reason, I can still enjoy the app in other ways. I can still comment on my favourite bloggers photos, I can still like all the things that show up on my feed that I like, I can still search hashtags searching for the perfect one to stalk for bedroom interiors or Amsterdam inspiration.
And when I do upload again, people will probably remember my feed and if they don’t, sod them.
[photos by Claire]
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