Instagram Is Ruining my Life


“I hate Instagram”

The confession comes after a few drinks, blurted out by a fellow blogger as we walk home from the pub. Maybe I’m projecting, but there seems to be an air of guilt to the statement. Certainly a slight conspiratorial tinge. Because we’re bloggers, and we’re supposed to love Instagram, aren’t we? But as we walk down the road on a tipsy Friday night, I shrug off the guilt and wearily admit that, yes, after years of it being my favourite social l media, I hate Instagram too.

This past week, I’ve felt it more than ever. I’ve been on a work trip, trying hard to impress a client, and I’ve made myself so stressed over Instagram that it’s made me physically sick. My eyes hurt from how much I’ve looked at my phone. I’m embarrassed to consider the amount of time I’ve spent refreshing the page over and over, watching the likes creep up one at a time. And enough is enough. I hate Instagram! Man it feels good to get that off my chest.

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It’s not just the recent algorithm change – although that might have been the tipping point. Suddenly, it’s much harder to get our photos seen by our followers, and a lot of bloggers, myself included, have seen a drop in likes and comments. Which is not only painful from a business perspective, but also just hurts. It’s a little bit crushing to watch a photo you’re proud of flop. When your career is pretty much standing on the internet shouting “look at me, look at me”*, it really, really hurts when people start turning away.

*sorry, bloggers!

But that was only really the final straw. Instagram has been ruining my life for years now and I’ve only just begun to notice.

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It all began with “The Grid”. Other bloggers know what I’m talking about. Normal people, who use Instagram just for fun (what’s that like?!) probably don’t. Essentially, somewhere along the line, some social media guru or other who knows everything about How-to-Get-More-Followers decided that that golden rule is to curate your Instagram as a gallery.

To think of it not one photo at a time, posted in the moment (remember when the “insta” meant “instant”?*), but as a whole. To post photos in an order so that all the pictures on your profile form a grid. Maybe all the colours match, or you always use the same signature, bleached-out editing style. Whatever it is, the photos have to form a grid. More people will follow you (according to science). And so-and-so is doing it, so you’d better do it too.

*Ah, the good old days!

But it’s BORING. There, I said it. Some ‘grammers love doing it. But for me, it’s taken all the joy out of Instagram. I used to just take a lovely photo I was proud of and pop it up on Instagram to share with everyone.

Then along came The Grid and slowly it took over my life until I was totally obsessed, to the point where I’d hold back from posting a photo I loved if it didn’t “fit”. And slowly, all the fun was sucked out of what used to be my favourite social media.

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Then there’s the other big problem with Instagram, the one that’s already been talked about quite a bit by folks much cleverer than me. This is the bit I struggle to articulate. The way Instagram is quite possibly ruining all our lives a little bit. It’s the unrealistic expectations. The perfection.

Seeing other, prettier, more fashionable bloggers looking immaculate in beautiful dresses while they’re travelling only makes me painfully conscious of the way I so rarely look immaculate or fashionable myself. Of the way my constantly shiny face, my scruffy outfits, my wobbly tummy, my crooked teeth, and all the rest of my least favourite flaws, are completely and utterly un-instagrammable. Of how I myself am pretty much un-instagrammable, because I’m a perfectly ordinary looking mildly flawed (and sometimes reasonably pretty) normal person and normal no longer seems to have any place on Instagram.

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 Keeping it real – complete with tubby belly and inability to get into a hammock. 

Instagram has become the realm of the incredible, the beautiful, and the perfect, not just in terms of people but in terms of everything. You can’t just post a picture of your nice breakfast to Instagram. It has to look like this.

Even when I’ve been served up the most amazing breakfasts in bed, like on my cruise last year, it never looked like this. Because my bed has never looked like that after I’ve spent a night in it. Because I probably already drank the coffee before I even remembered that Instagram existed. Because my life always looks too lived in to be “instagrammable”.

avocado toast breakfast in bed

Taking breakfast way too seriously…

Perfect breakfasts and over edited photos are one thing, but what about the perfect people? Instagram is supposed to be real, but it feels as though unattainable, model-like perfection (often unbelievably edited to re-shape bodies and remove imperfections*), have taken over – and now I’m just flicking through another glossy magazine selling me something I don’t really want or need, and could probably never have anyway.

(*Read more in xameliax’s post about this.) 

I have never really cared very much about my outfits, especially when I travel – opting for comfy shorts and t-shirts, things I don’t mind sweating all over. But wait! All the other bloggers are wearing beautiful, floaty dresses and fashionable, put-together outfits. Shit – should I be doing that too?

Comparison is the thief of joy. Were truer words ever spoken? It feels to me that the more I see perfection on Instagram, the more I see my own flaws glaring back at me by comparison. And I can’t be the only one feeling this way.

Suddenly I’m trying to do it all too, scrabbling to keep up. Except, it’s pretend. Maybe for those other bloggers it’s all real, probably they’re good at picking pretty outfits and putting on makeup and not sweating. Those have never been my strengths – and I never used to care!

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 Apparently I only own one dress nice enough to make it onto Instagram!

But now here I am, caring massively, worrying that I’m too fat and too shiny and not pretty enough for Instagram. As a blogger, your worth is measured in things like likes. And it’s pretty hard not to let that leak its cruel way across to how you measure your own worth as a person, too. I don’t think this is restricted to bloggers and Instagrammers, either. Analysts have found all kinds of evidence showing how much we as a society measure our self worth against social media engagement. This can’t be good for us!

So this is my confession. I hate Instagram a little bit. Or at least, I hate the pressure I put on myself because of things like Instagram. I hate the way it makes me overly, unnecessarily worried about what I look like, and has, at times, made me try very hard to be something I’m not.

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Does anyone else feel this way, or am I the only one? I want to finish off with all the answers, but I don’t really have them. I think for me, I’m just going to start giving less fucks. I don’t like trying to look immaculate, I can’t really be arsed with stylish clothes, and if makeup takes longer than sixty seconds to put on, I’m not interested. That’s just who I am – and the whole point of being a blogger is to be who you are, right? If people like me, great. If they don’t, well, I’ll have to figure out a way to care less about that.

The recent Instagram algorithm change is a bit of a blessing in disguise, for me, because now that all my photos are flopping I can pretty much post what I want. Which is what I’m going to do from now on. Fuck the grid. And fuck perfect. I just want to show off the beautiful world in all its messy, lived-in glory. Wish me luck!

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Instagram is Ruining my Life

About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!

73 Comments

  1. THIS IS AMAZING! God I agree. I feel the same and it’s painful, frustrating and I don’t see how it’ll change or get better. Maybe just worse and less obtainable by the day. I definitely feel the pressures you’ve talked about and I wish I didn’t care as much, but it’s so hard not to when it’s your life and your work. Anyway, I love what you’ve said and will happily be your shiny, unstylish insta pal if you want one 🙂

    • Thank you Chloe!! I knew you’d relate. It’s been stressing me out so much lately that it’s making me feel anxious. Had to decide not to care, and not to post for a while. And then I’ll come back and make it all fun again and stop caring about it all. NO MORE FLOATY DRESSES. I just want to wear the same black H&M dress I always wear every day and sink wash it every night!!!

  2. Well said! I personally love a good grid and will rather follow someone who shows a look I can relate to and like but yeah I hear you… what is up with the engagement?? Is it all the automated prgrams being shut down that there is no goddamn engagement anymore? I hate it too which is a bit sad because I just got a new camera with wifi and kind of loved the ease to post now…

    • They’ve changed the way it actually shows you photos. Not sure how it works now but when I scroll through my newsfeed it’s all stuff from the same 10-20 people, usually stuff I don’t want to see. I’ve turned on notifications for the accounts I really love because otherwise I’d never see them.

  3. Ah! This is so interesting. I’m a relatively new blogger and have been rubbish at promoting myself and gathering followers (oops!). I’ve been using Instagram for about 2 years and it’s still my favourite social media site. But I’ve focused more on posting things I love rather than worrying about likes and silly follow/unfollow games, so the love hasn’t been lost for me. That said, I want to increase my followers, but do it organically. Like you, I’ve noticed a drop in the number of likes I’ve had too. So I’m going to ponder on this a while longer and may, like you, just stick to doing what I love! (And for what it’s worth, I much prefer the realness of your pictures – I can relate to them so much more 🙂 )

    • Thank you so much Jo. You should definitely stick to doing it the way you love it. I’ve been stressing so much and trying to be something I’m not… but that’s not the point of Instagram is it? Or of blogging. I’m going to go back to doing what I do best – being me. And just sharing posts I love because I love them.

  4. That’s why I barely use instagram – I hate what it stands for these days. You do you and hopefully the joy will come back, otherwise don’t bother with it all. I don’t think you need to be on Instagram to be successful as a blogger

    • Thanks Katie. That’s what I’m going to try to do – be me again. I’ve always kept it real on this blog and it’s always served me well. I don’t know why I let that slip on Instagram. But it’s such a visual media it’s hard not to be comparative I guess!!

    • I think it ultimately depends on what you are looking for and how the world affects you… There are a lot of accounts laughing at instagram’s and some istagrammers search of perfection and lack of downtoerthness (like @youdidnotsleepthere).
      I myself (@texturephilias) am part of a community that celebrates the beauty in ordinary things, little details, paint decay, colours, rust… Anything!! And I love instagram, couse since I open that account, I’ve been able to see the world from a different perspective and find art in the most unexpected places!! (Check #rustlord_unity #tv_hiddenbeauty or #jj_texture)
      But I’m not a person who appreciates perfection (even though I’m a designer and work in the fashion industry)… I have embrace my extra pounds, I don’t die my gray hairs… It hasn’t always been the case, but the older I get (I’m 35). The more I appreciate real-every day-little things.

  5. The breakfast argument is brilliant! I would agree that slowly Instagram is turning into another glossy magazine, where in order to be successful you need to look a certain way, only eat at instagrammable places whether they’re good/local/affordable etc or not, and the destinations you go to are controlled by whether they are picturesque enough. Whatever that means… I’ve caught myself so many times not posting a photo that I really like just because I feel like it wouldn’t get enough likes. I’m so glad though to see more and more bloggers totally own it and just do their own thing regardless of the pressure of certain beauty standards! I think stories can be a big game changer in that sense – because there it’s definitely not enough to look like a model and stand in front of a sunset… Thanks for your inspiring words!

    • Definitely. And I LOVE stories – I actually enjoy posting those and don’t feel any pressure. Because I know that it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, and because I think people want to see behind the scenes and see what’s real.

  6. Great post. I feel you. I never post selfies on my ig because they don’t fit. Or I rarely post food unless the colors fit etc. But I’ve always kept it that way since I had Instagram (2013 circa) and when all these “rules” didn’t exist.
    At the end of the day, we are (I am too) bloggers and our priority should be our blog. So if you feel you need to care less about Instagram, do it!

    • 100%!!! I think I get so caught up stressing about social media that I neglect my blog – and writing is the thing I actually enjoy most (and am best at, I think). Need to get back to that a bit more. When I’m doing work trips and events and things, Instagram is usually a big part of that, so it kind of feels like I have to be completely professional and perfect on Insta. But for me the whole point of blogging is that it’s real people – so I want to be more real, on Insta too.

  7. Wow, I was actually just thinking about this– a lot lately! Instagram has become instaglam, and it’s a bit deceiving. I’ve grown tired of looking at perfect girls, in perfect locations, perfectly photoshopped. These days I’m constantly wondering what this instagrammer is getting paid for, where on Earth do these people have time to set up a photo like this whilst traveling, and how is it humanly possible to fit in those perfect outfits while also enjoying all this food you keep uploading photos of?! It’s no longer raw or real.

    Thanks for your honesty, I still love your instagram even if you don’t!

    Lexie

    • Instaglam – that’s a great way to put it. It’s all the perfect girls, if I’m honest, that’s what really makes me feel inadequate. All the perfect painted nails and the perfect young faces and the wavy hair. I’m NOT that perfect (because it would take me hours to look like that and I cannot be arsed). If I’m not perfect IRL why should I try to look perfect on Insta?!

      As for setting up the photo, yeah, that’s the bit that really bothers me. I’m a travel blogger because I love travel. Not because I love spending 2/3 hours setting up a perfect shot and editing one photo. Which is genuinely how long it can take. If I don’t actually travel and experience the world, I can’t write about it on my blog. Instagram has to go back to being what it always was for me, a fun and pretty secondary outlet to give insights into my travels while I’m on the road – before the blog content goes live.

      Thanks Lexie 🙂

      • Yes to this – WHO has time to set up a photoshoot that takes hours when you’re exploring a new country/place!? I just don’t get it. And I’ve heard stories of a lot of bloggers taking changes of clothes with them to each location and changing in public! I literally couldn’t do that, I’m nowhere near confident enough haha.

        However, I’m loving how wavy hair is back in style – my hair is naturally wavy and 90% of the time I just leave it to dry naturally with zero products or anything, and it goes wavy. I just blow dry it maybe 1-2 times a month to straighten it out when I go for a fancy dinner or night out. I think that’s the only part of instagram I like, purely because it’s the only thing I can do with zero effort haha. #foreverlazy

        C x

    • Everything Lexie said! Also, I started noticing that everyone is crazy posting all the food they eat while out and I started getting in the habit (at least on stories) of doing it too! Then I stopped and said –no I’m going to also keep it real and story meals I’m eating a home to balance it out. No one can really eat out all the time-it’s not practical.

  8. Yes to all of this. I got so bored of having to work at getting like a few months back so I abandoned my sort of grid and started posting things I liked. Although I recently tried to take part in #freeupmyinsta and that stressed me out so much – trying to find an image that fitted a theme which was ironically meant to help me post more freely. Horrible.
    I’ve only just found your blog/insta etc through this post, but I love it.

    • Thanks so much!! I love that a project meant to make you feel more free actually stressed you out, that’s the Instagram game all over! Going back to posting things I like and forgetting about the likes for a while. Although first I’m taking a bit of a break altogether 🙂

  9. Fucking hate Instagram… I do enjoy watching people’s stories though. Much more entertaining that some over edited photo of a narcissist looking off into the horizon. HOLDING ONTO THEIR FUCKING HAT. Who the fuck does that IRL?

    • Ahahahahahaha that’s exactly what I was doing in that pink hat photo. I actually said something along the lines of “how do travel bloggers pose?” when we were taking it! I was “trying to look like a travel blogger”. But I AM A TRAVEL BLOGGER so I must be what one looks like.

      Next time I see you I am going to wear a big floppy hat and spend all night holding it!!!

  10. Lisa (Travel Loving Family)

    Completely agree Emily! I’m pretty new to Instagram, I’ve only had an account for a year but even in that short time I’ve noticed I’ve gone from posting when I like and what I like to worrying that if I don’t post at a time when the most people are online my posts will not get seen. It definitely sucks the joy out of it.

    • So many things suck the joy out of it. I get that it pays to approach it like a business, but you can go too far I think. It still needs to be fun and feel like “you”, because that’s why your followers follow you, no? Thanks for reading Lisa 🙂

  11. TBH I’m getting bored of seeing yet another pretty travel blogger from behind in some pastel-looking scene, wearing a long flowing dress while looking out into the distance (while holding on to their hat – good spot VickyFlipFlop) 🙂 But if that’s what the people out there like to see/follow then that’s the way it is I guess 🙂

    • The hats!! From now on I’m only posing in a hat on my Instagram!!

      I think there’s a market for these pretty Insta-model girls, but I’m not one of them and I never could be, so I need to stop comparing myself to that and just get on with being me instead!! I also don’t enjoy following those accounts, I prefer landscapes and photos of actual places!

  12. There is so much truth in realness in this! Very much enjoyed reading it! Thank you for your candor. Xo

  13. Ah I totally agree. I have a style to my photography, just cause I like it but have never given a shit about ‘the grid’. Too much time and effort, and not true to who I am. I try my hardest to leave comparisons out of it all cause it will get me nowhere. I am normally a dress wearer… like wear them everywhere. All kinds of dresses… but in saying that, I don’t wear make up or care about my messy hair.. so yeah I might have a dress on in my pics cause thats how I roll anyways, but really I am a mess. The only reason I wear dresses is its less to think about when getting ready, no need to pick matching shit.. one item and go haha.

    • Hahaha I do love a good dress for that exact reason. Especially a nice casual t-shirt dress (got the exact same one in 4 colours from H&M and wear it all the time). But I don’t ever really look super dressed up when I travel, esp not when I’m sightseeing or hiking or something. And I don’t want to!! I don’t want to keep stressing that I don’t look pretty enough for Instagram, I just want to be able to take pictures of the pretty places I’m in and post those!!

  14. Blergh instagram! I agree, I love it but I hate it! I feel like such a pompous ass every time I post and have to take 50 photos to even try to get the perfect shot… generally I still fail. Then I become beyond obsessed with how many likes and comments I get and generally it just keeps dropping as Instagram makes it harder to be ‘seen’!

    Boycott Instagram? I still love Twitter, bless little Twitter! Always there, faithful as ever!

    • Yep. Yep. Yep. Refreshing over and over and wondering when it’s going to peak. Worrying that it’ll flop and the client will be like “why did you post this pile of shite?”

      I LOVE Twitter. It’s my favourite. So quick, so easy. People are funnier on it and more true to themselves I think. Good old lovely easy Twitter.

      I’m taking a break from Instagram for a couple of days. Just to get myself back on track. And then I’m going to just post nice photos I like and forget about the likes!

  15. Fantastic post! I agree with ALL of it! I ignore most of the “rules” but I have held back from posting in real time at times I don’t feel I will get the engagement. Go do your thing! I love your feed. Just followed.

    • Thanks so much Christina!! I’m going to try to just be me from now on. Also going to try unfollowing and avoiding some of the accounts that spam out ads and post too much perfection. Sick of beautiful flat lays of makeup and lattes on marble counter tops. STOP SELLING ME MAKEUP USING MARBLE. Going to concentrate on being myself, posting stuff I like, and enjoying travel a bit more!!

  16. I still love Insta, but only because I ignore all the stuff you’re meant to do! I’m not gaining many visitors from it, but I’d rather that than end up hating it completely…

  17. I think there are so many people out there who feel the same way so thank you for sharing. The more people who do speak out and who go back to sharing what they want rather than what they feel like they should post, the more interesting and varied the app will be. I loved Instagram when I first started using it but now I’m sick of everyone’s content looking exactly the same.

    • It’s astonished me how many people have said they felt the same. I thought most people would say I was overreacting or being babyish but turns out everyone is like me right now. I’m with you – I feel like so much content looks identical (so many marble countertop backgrounds and “followme” poses). It’s boring. I want originality – and when it comes to travel I just want to see amazing places! Going back to sharing what and when I want to – and doing it for the love 🙂

  18. And yet you have such wonderful Instagram content.

    This was wildly informing. I have just begun to learn and use Instagram, and have already found it to be an odd place. One minute, you are up ten followers. The next your down ten! People seem to follow to attract follows back, and then bail. I was hoping it would be an interesting place to connect with other people.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences !

    • It used to be a lovely place to see photos of the world, interact, discover new amazing places, that sort of thing. But too many people are playing the games or treating it like a business and it loses it’s fun side I think. People who follow and unfollow just to get new followers drive me insane. Stop cheating, and just share good content instead – people follow good accounts naturally!! 🙂

  19. I dallied in the same way with Flickr (a few years ago now). It is a big effort to get people to see and like your photos. In the end I found that most of the connections (not all) were shallow. I moved onto to Blogging where the connections can also be shallow but the blogging platform led me to meet other bloggers and being invited to post on collective blogging platforms and meet up events.

    I have never been tempted to post on Instagram (even though my friends tell me I should post my photos there), the platform reminded me of Flickr. I still post my photos on Flickr but only as a means to link to them from my blog and not use up bandwidth.

    • Instagram used to be similar to blogging in that it felt like a really good place to share, connect, engage, etc. But lately it’s just gone too far in the way of adverting I think. Hopefully it’ll get some more of it’s authenticity back as a lot of people are feeling the same as me I think!

  20. This is so dead on! And I’m with ya on the grid thing. I’ve seen so many ‘how I edit’ posts where people apply the same filters/presets in Lr too ALL of their photos for this purpose! From an artistic standpoint that annoys the fuck out of me! I believe every photo needs to be handled and created individually, not as a streamline of quilt patchwork for a stupid app. My love for IG fell off a cliff months ago if you can’t tell.

    And even though every other blogger posts a photo of themselves in every photo with the flowing dress and floppy hat, it’s never made me feel I need change my wardrobe to do the same. My personal style is more homeless-chic, because I’m a god damn traveler, not a model. I proudly do not own a single floppy hat.

    • Hahahaha homeless-chic!!! I’m stealing that phrase. I generally dress like a sort of scruffy teenager, in life and on the road. You’re so right, we’re travellers, not models – and my photos are real, that’s really me travelling, wearing what I was wearing at the time, doing whatever I was doing. I try not to overedit too, just tweak things so that they look how they did to my naked eye at the time. But oversaturated and overfiletered photos always seem to do better which (as someone with a photography degree who knows what a good photo should look like) tends to drive me crazy!!!

  21. Yep yep yep! You have (far more eloquently) said all the things I’ve complained about for a long time…

  22. I feel the same. It used to be my favourite social media, when i first decided to blog I switched accounts and began a new one featuring mainly travel photos which worked for a while but it had already begun to stress me out about which ones… then they changed the hashtag system and people were obsessing over the grids and I found myself doubting all my great photos and instant became rarer. I started featuring myself more in photos despite being behind the lens more because its what people wanted but I’m an up and down weight kind of girl and it makes me totally paranoid! (Not to mention I am a redhead with freckles, you cannot use contrast like a normal person unless you want to appear like a sundamage advert!). Then this new algorythm… I’ve put a load of things in my archive recently because they didn’t fit in my grid. I think the truth is we all have to start using instagram like we used to, be more real. I will wear my dress that is rollable and been at the bottom of my sweaty backpack for the past three months even though i’ve been eating crap and my hair/ skin are tired/ frizzy/ bare because thats what you do on holiday and one of my favourite/ most successful photos is in that baggy mess! I have started to use story alot instead these days because i feel like you can be real again and just post without pressure of likes, you can still engage with people, even talk to them. But honestly what is the point in me not being able to see up to date posts of people I follow instagram? That just needs to go! The only positive is that I allow more photos to be taken of me… and that every now and again i slow down to look at what i eat before it goes! (Sorry mini rant, love this post!)

    • Thank you so much Jennifer 🙂 I just snorted (with laughter) a little bit at your comment – ” you cannot use contrast like a normal person unless you want to appear like a sundamage advert”. Ha!

      You’re definitely right. I love the stories because they are real and in the moment (usually – some people airbrush and upload haha). I’m going back to posting nice photos I like and trying not to care about it. And yes, if I appear in a photo, I’m probably going to look like a sweaty mess wearing one of the (very wrinkled) 2 dresses I take everywhere, or just shorts and a t-shirt.

      Thanks so much for reading 🙂 X

  23. Wonderful post, Emily. I have been thinking for a while that Instagram is turning into a bit of a monster!

    Even though it’s so refreshing to read your take on the pressure travel bloggers put on themselves, at the same time it makes me a bit sad to read how the pressure of Instagramming has you, and many others, thinking your body doesn’t belong on there, it’s crazy!

    Instagram was a great way for us to share pictures from our travels and possibly inspire someone to see the world, but now it’s all about the flowing dresses, giant hats and extremely over-edited images and that’s so far from what many of us set out to do with our blogs. We’re travel bloggers, not fashion or lifestyle bloggers, but there is this insane pressure to fall in line in order to get more engagement. I worry what the next algorithm changes will bring! 🙂

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. The size and power of some of the big fashion and lifestyle accounts, and the sheer amounts of money thrown at them by sponsors and advertisers, has got us all feeling like we need to make our stuff the same, to keep up. But we’re TRAVEL bloggers. My feed should be travel. And I want that to be real. I would never wear a floaty dress and heels to sightsee – I’d feel like a dick if I did – so I shouldn’t! If a fashion blogger really would wear something like that to sightsee, they can knock themselves out – I want to be comfy and disguise my sweat patches behind my extensive collection of plain black t-shirts!

      I’m hoping we’ll see a resurgence in “real” photos, at least from travel bloggers – because I think lots of people are feeling this way. And it’s nice to show what travelling the world is really like. It’s not easy, it’s not always glamorous – but it IS incredible. I want to reflect that with my photos! X

  24. YES!! Yes to everything you have written. I also realised I wasn’t following you on insta, so I am now, hopefully insta will deign to show me your content in all its unedited glory.
    Also I put my latest photo up and ummed and aaahed a bit because I am not skinny (I don’t care but like you say, instagram perfection pressure) and I am in the shot but then I posted it anyway because screw it.

    • Aw thank you for following me. I’m not posting this week because I needed to take a break. Got some more lovely photos of Austria to share though so I will start posting again soon. Good for you sharing your latest photo.Screw it indeed. We can only look like us, right, whatever that is – so let’s just embrace it. I’m not a model. Wish I was, but I’m not, and I never will be. But I AM still pretty, in my own way. Everyone is!

  25. This is great! I am sharing this with my instagram groups! I can’t stand how fake some people’s post are and I don’t want to turn into that but I know it’s the pressure of Instagram changes. But it doesn’t feel authentic to me. I just want to post my photos and be happy =]

  26. This post made me go out of my way to find you on instagram. SO there’s that. I starting trying to change my philosophy on instagram earlier this year with the end goal of being giving less fucks. It’s a work in progress and ironically it has made my engagement go up. Go figure.

    And it’s funny, because I actually find “the grid” philosophy to be a bit of a stress reliever because it allows me to focus on the overall look and not freak out if one photo doesn’t get good engagement. But I’m not super strict with it, so it’s okay. haha.

    • Haha well thank you for that! I think it’s really important to have a better philosophy around all social media. We’re supposed to be ourselves, I think – that’s what people liked about us. So maybe by giving less fucks and being authentic, you’re actually coming across more genuine to your followers 🙂 Good news for us all I think!

  27. Amen Sister! I used to be an avid instagrammer, but as soon as I started using it to promote my blog and worrying about aesthetics and logarithms etc. I have totally lost interest in photography in general! Trying to go back to basics and snapping and sharing what I love, instead of what might impress my audience as much.
    Thanks for saying what we were all thinking!!

  28. i dont think im following you on insta. honestly, it’s too many balls to keep up in the air if you’ll forgive the juggling metaphor. and i cant work out an easy way to link from blog to insta and reverse which im sure is actually quite easy. i need to google that.

    • I don’t find it gets me much blog traffic – the two are pretty separate. It was always just a nice way to share photos and engage, for me, but now it feels like this whole… machine. Way too technical and ad-filled, not fun an authentic!

  29. I am lucky as i dont use Instagram for work as lets face it travel insurance really isn’t going to be sexy anywhere never mind Instagram – lots of photos of people in corduroy trousers – i do use it personally and still enjoy as it really doesn’t matter if i get a like or whatever and its perfect for posting up stupid photos of me and my girls – T

    • Haha you never know, people might love to see a bunch of people in cords answering phones and insuring stuff!! I think the key is to treat Instagram like a fun, personal account even when you’re using it to promote yourself as a blogger. A lot gets said about bloggers being “brands” and needing to stay on brand or promote the brand etc – it’s easy to forget that the “brand” is me, and I’m a real person. I can’t be an Insta model or a sweat-free goddess in a floaty dress (believe me, I wish I could)! So I need to keep it real and just be myself 🙂

  30. I was really pleased when I saw your post on Pinterest; as I’ve been looking for someone who shares similar views to myself when it comes to Instagram/social media. I have deleted it because of that purpose, because it gives me an unrealistic expectation which leads to me putting myself down. It’s a shame as I get to miss out on great posts like yours.. keep it up 👍🏼

    • Wow, deleting it is a big step! I almost wish I could but I feel like I need it for work because it’s something most brands I work with ask for. And I do love it, or I used to. Hoping I can find that passion and enjoyment for it again 🙂

  31. I agree. I hate that people ‘plan their instagram’ and it is not a represantation of that day anymore…it is all about getting amazing shots and more and more likes….

    • Same! I don’t mind throwbacks and I know that it’s really hard to post in the moment – especially if you’re like me and want to actually enjoy the moment while you’re in it 😉 But I hate feeling like I have to plan everything, and I hate that I’ve genuinely spent over an hour before deciding between two photos because I’m so scared that they’re not going to do well. Going back to caring less, because I need to!

  32. growingupgoingup

    I totally feel this! I always wanted to be a person who was good at instagram, but I just get so overwhelmed. Not only do the pictures have to be perfect, they have to fit in with all the other things you have posted too! I do love the idea of instagram as a whole but it is hard to get past the pressure to be perfect.

    Love this post!

    • Thanks so much! It is so hard to escape the pressure. I’ve genuinely stressed myself for hours over what photo to use next. But it’s killing me – and I just don’t think it needs to. I don’t think most of my followers would even notice if I broke the grid! I’m just going to try to make it fun again, and ignore the #ads, and just be as authentic as possible 🙂

  33. So refreshing to read this! I often take pics to put up, that never actually make it up on Instagram. Now it’s mostly filled with pictures of my dog (probably much to the boredom of others!)

  34. Agree with pretty much everything you said Emily! Although for me you can throw in age – at 39 (and a half, not that I’m counting that dreaded approach to 40!) I feel ancient compared to these young pretty 20 somethings that have no concept of bingo wings or wrinkles lol!

    I’m getting better at just accepting the way I am though, and giving less of a shit about what people might think or what’s the best insta pose – like you said, just gonna keep it real and show people how I travel! (although, I do wear a bikini by the pool but that’s not something I plan to share! ha ha)

  35. Apparently I only own one dress nice enough to make it onto Instagram. This sentence has been the funniest thing about IG in the past two months.

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