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Why I Want to Quit Instagram (& Why I Can’t)

Why I Want to Quit Instagram (& Why I Can’t)

Shocking revelation: I want to quit Instagram. Yes I DO! Don't get me wrong, I love blogging & think social media is a riot, but Instagram? Not so much. It's an uphill battle, especially with respect to shoe blogging.

But aside from personal issues with the social channel related to my blog topic of choice, I'm sure there are quite a few Instagram struggles that many can relate to. Fellow fashion bloggers in particular. So here are a few reasons why this shoe blogger would like to quit Instagram. And why I'm likely not going to. 

Why I Want To Quit Instagram 

1. I can't possibly own so many shoes

In a sense, I get it: it is my duty as a shoe blogger to showcase a ton of shoes & affiliated footwear products. And yes, it's upon me to present such shoes & accessories in various creative ways on Instagram. Understood.

But shoes are not exactly a sustainable affair when creating original imagery on IG: the prices tend to be higher, the brands/companies selling them are far fewer & I only have 2 feet.

For these reasons, I can't possibly buy or be gifted enough shoes to post on the daily & be on brand without a hefty dose of repetition. And running the risk of having shoes take over my small downtown home! Yes, one of the pros and cons of writing a shoe blog. Did you read that post, btw!? 😉

Yep, I'm sure you can think of many creative ways to display shoes. Guess what? So can I. But sometimes me, myself & shoefies aren't enough. Which brings me to my next obstacle… 

2. Lack of Instagram husband

This is a major one for me. Although I do quite well in the shoefie & footwear flatlay department, other types of visuals are hard to come by on my own. When you're blogging about one specific item, switching things up to add interest to your feed is a must. This is where having an Instagram lackey on hand 24/7 comes in mighty handy.

Be it, I have wonderful photographers whom I work with regularly. Such as Conrad, who took the amazing pics for this post! But when you need to schedule shoots in advance, it eliminates the spontaneity that makes for some of the most interesting & engaging posts on IG.

3. No way to program Instagram posts

One the biggest Instagram deterrents for me is that I can't schedule my posts. Especially since the highest engagement times happen to coincide with the worst of times for me: when I'm getting my son ready for school in the morning, or getting him settled for bed.  Yes, there are those smart-@sses who will point out all the heavenly tools available that can almost do it for you. The operative word here: almost.

You can't pre-set image tags. Or pre-answer comments. Building momentum on posts within the first couple of hours is vital. Anyone trying to grow their Instagram following knows they've got to baby that IG post like mad to have it pick up the engagement it deserves. Merely taking one moment to click that “post  now” button on Later (or the RewardStyle app if you're monetizing your post) is not going to cut it. 

4. Typing on an iPhone

If we've ever met, chances are I've talked about how painful it is to type on my iPhone. And how much I miss my old school Nokia 3310, where I felt I could type a million words a minute (yes, I'm that old thank you very much!). But something about Apple's teeny-tiny keyboard doesn't cut it for me.

I'm constantly struggling with jelly fingers, resulting in many more “shits” than “shots” & “fab” vs…well, a derogatory term I would never use but my phone seems to auto-incorrect for me. I believe it's time for Siri & I to have a little chat. Or possibly go Android. Yes, shocking!

5. Getting logged out of my Instagram accounts

I have 2 other IG accounts. This seems to pose a technical difficulty for Instagram.  I'm continuously being kicked out & made to re-login. Seriously annoying because it makes me want to use the platform even less! If anyone's found a solution to this, please let me know. It's been making my Instagram experience that much more unnerving.

6. Bloggers who fake it

And I'm not talking about the bloggers who pretend to have the charmed life they really don't. Nowadays on social media, that's a given. It's those bloggers faking their Instagram popularity. Faking their engagement. Buying followers directly via websites/apps, or indirectly via countless loop giveaways. Many do all of the above. Most irritatingly of all, the majority of brands are buying into it & these bloggers are getting the benefit of many more paid collaborations.

So if it works, why don't I partake, you ask? Well, aside from the exorbitant amount of work & money it takes to keep up the charade, the idealist in me just can't do it. Time & money on IG is better spent creating great content, which can also be used on my blog & social channels. 

7. Thinking in #hashtags

Searching for the best hashtags to use is the WORST. I mean it's the best in terms of getting your IG posts out there, but for me, it's often more time consuming than capturing & editing the photo I'm about to post.

Be it, I do spend a considerable amount of time researching the best specific terms to describe every particular post, making sure I target both the more popular & niche tags. However by the time I'm done, I close my eyes #and #all #I #can #see #is #this. Anyone else miss calling the hashtag symbol the number sign!? Things were certainly different back then 😉  

8. Bloggers who follow just to unfollow

Now this one really ticks me off. Just because you have 50K+ followers on the platform & I don't, doesn't make me follow bait. Especially since I'm also a fashion blogger (of sorts) & am privy to certain “techniques” used to inflate following (see #6 above).

So when I get back-to-back “high rolling” bloggers following me all of a sudden, I have a hunch as to what's going on. And clearly, I'm going to find out. And it puts into question how organic your following actually is. Please don't be that fashion blogger, okay?

9. Repetitive Content

It's not to say that blogger images I see on Instagram aren't beautiful. Or that their feeds aren't captivating. And maybe it's just me, but I feel like I keep seeing the same image recreated time & again by different users. Not that I haven't done it before myself.

I totally get the trend angle. But that doesn't mean being continuously subjected to the same flatlay or subject matter isn't mind numbing. I know, it's hard to be original all the time, but when concepts & visuals are on repeat so often, one has to wonder whether Instagram has lost its original edge & may be on its way out. I certainly wouldn't complain! 

10. #LatteArt

I get it, you like coffee. You love marble. Foam art floats your boat. And for $5 you can get your caffeine fix & post about it too. But the repetition of the same latte art, in the same lighting (and OMG the same coffee SHOP!) that continuously haunts my home feed? Well, it kind of brings me back to my prior point. Just more specifically 😉 

11. I don’t drink coffee

So maybe #latteart just annoys me because I don't drink coffee. Translation: I don't have a cheap & cheerful IG feed filler. I'm not discounting it as a possibility. So maybe I'll take up a caffeine habit & see how it all works out 😉  Stay tuned!

12. I'm a website blogger

I'm not an Insta blogger. I'm a website blogger. Yes, there's a distinction! My @shoetease Instagram is a small extension of shoe-tease.com. I create content & imagery primarily for my blog, not my Instagram. Some of it isn't necessarily fashionably pretty, no matter how much I try to make it so (like talking about shoe inserts or shoe deodorizers). But guess what? These topics are part of what draws a steady audience to my blog & converts into considerable sales. So I'll be sticking to those for an indefinite amount of time.

13. Instagram algorithm changes

Isn't it fun when you've busted your butt posting daily & generally killing it, when IG switches things up & you're back to the engagement you had at a fraction of your current followers?

I understand algorithm changes to eliminate fake followers, bot account & other dubious Instagram activity (totally for it). But it makes little sense when your diligent efforts keep getting beaten down. It's not motivating. And it doesn't make me want to stick around. So bye-bye Instagram?! Drum roll please…

Will I Quit Instagram?

Why I want to quit InstagramPlainly put, Instagram has become a serious pain in my posterior. For all & more reasons outlined in this post.  If I were to apply the 80/20 principle to my blogging life, I would instantly eliminate Instagram as one of my social platforms.

For one, the return on time investment is totally off balance. I'm not saying that my IG doesn't convert. I'm not saying that it doesn't do well (yes, even at just over 6K followers, you can create traction too!). It's that the effort involved often doesn't feel worth the results & it's stressing me out. So why should I put in the time when I can get more bang for my buck out of a blog post or tweet? 

Well, for starters: FOMO. I would totally be missing out on various announcements, fellow blogger feedback & solidarity. The latter is kind of key. Secondly, everyone knows leaving it would be social media suicide. I often fear what would happen if I did (likely nothing, but it's a looming concern nonetheless!). I also have collabs lined up & posting on Insta is an integral part of the required work, which I am extremely thankful for!

Nowadays, Instagram seems to be the channel from which brands find their influencers. Having an IG account that is active with an engaged audience is a big draw. So it comes full circle. And like any job, there will be elements that are way less exciting than others. I guess this “way less exciting part” for me, is IG.  

Although I won't quit my @shoetease Instagram anytime soon, I've decided to chill out about posting all the time at the perfect time & do away with the guilt I feel when I don't. I'll keep to uploading images I truly love, when I can. And on occasion, I'll regram an amazing shoe post from a fellow fashionista. And to further keep my sanity intact, I will start following new accounts that don't post so many darn beige lattes!! 😉

What are your biggest pet peeves about Instagram? Let me know in the comments, below!

xo Cristina

Photography by Conrad C. Photo

Torontoshay

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

Gahhhhh. Good on you for writing this.

1. You're Instagram engagement is insane - that is one of your secret powers. In the world of Instagram social capital followers can be the equivalent to smoke in mirrors but you can't fake authentic engagement. That, my friend, you have lots of and that matters!

2. I have a wonderful husband, but an Instagram husband he is not. I feel your pain, girl!

3. I agree, 6, 8 and 10 are annoying AF. But I have to disagree about the new Instagram algorithm. I think that it's slowly exposing the fakers and cheaters and that is a good thing for people that are playing the Instagram game authentically.

Don't quit! I just found your page and I need it to feed my ongoing shoe addiction ?

Evelina

Thursday 13th of April 2017

Haha, you can just substitute "shoes" for "books" and most reasons will fit for me :D (book blogger) I can so relate to most of this. But the thing with IG for me is that I KNOW my pics are not that great. I KNOW I can't take them, and I never did go out of my way to have a cultivated feed (I'm not sure I'd know how, or care to know how). I am also a website blogger (a new one, at that). So I keep my IG light on myself. I just take whatever I fancy and use it as an outlet to express my thoughts. I share book quotes. I take pics to SAY something, not to show a pretty pic (because let's face it. It's not in me to take a pretty pic, there are so many others who take PERFECT pics!)... So I guess I use IG like any social media? Just for myself. Not really to gain followers. And then when I get unexpected likes it's so cool :) it's especially good because I have been so busy lately, haven't been able to put much quality content on my blog at all :( but with IG, it's so simple. Write a paragraph, snap a picture of a quote I want to talk about - done! It's still something I can share with the community, but I don't have to sit down, wrestle with writing and formatting and looking for GIFs... You know the drill. Except I'm not sure fashion blogging has need of GIFs, but.. close enough :D

ShoeTease

Thursday 20th of April 2017

Hi Evelina! Writing about one subject can be tough, right!? Especially in terms of visuals. But with shoes, I feel that it's still fashion so I still have to take these amazing pictures that fit in seamlessly with my feed. Which is why I keep posting less and less on the platform. I find Twitter much more liberating to share imperfect pictures with an audience that appreciates the content more than the presentation! I like your idea of keeping IG light on yourself and not trying compete with those taking the flawless pics Especially since it seems that blogging is your main focus (like it is to me). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stopping by ! xo Cristina

Instagram Growth Journey, Thoughts Tips & Resources.

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

[…] This is a shitty trick and I’m already sick of it and I’m only 11 days into my growth spurt. I guess it’s part of the game, but it’s still a total asshole move #sorrynotsorry. Yeah if you do that, I’m calling you out. You’re not a celebrity, you don’t have to keep your following number at 71 and doing so deliberately just makes you look like a douche, not to mention that you ruin the experience for other accounts trying to grow and trying to engage with you. And I’m not the only one that feels this way. […]

Instagram Growth. My Experience!

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

[…] This is a shitty trick and I’m already sick of it and I’m only 11 days into my growth spurt. I guess it’s part of the game, but it’s still a total asshole move #sorrynotsorry. Yeah if you do that, I’m calling you out. You’re not a celebrity, you don’t have to keep your following number at 71 and doing so deliberately just makes you look like a douche, not to mention that you ruin the experience for other accounts trying to grow and trying to engage with you. And I’m not the only one that feels this way. […]

LAFOTKA

Sunday 9th of April 2017

Ah Instagram.... Where do I begin! I've even had a dream one night that the app had varnished and my life had gotten a whole lot easier only to wake up to the sad reality it was still there. I've tried almost everything to improve my visibility on it. I blocked hundreds of my own "ghost followers" and left myself with less followers just because I thought that the association with inactive or engaging followers was the problem. I also tried to up my engagement in groups and manually searching and commenting on my favourite blogs as they never appeared right in my feed anymore. None of that really helped by the way...

I focus on my actual blog more than anything now and get a lot of work because of my Insta account, so I couldn't delete it just like you. I REALLY need to focus on Pinterest more though and spend less time on that Insta app! Agh - I love seeing your shoe posts. You're always so creative!

Also, made me laugh about the coffee shops - I'm always in the same cafe haha AND a coffee addict hehe...

Hang in there! Tatyana xx

ShoeTease

Thursday 20th of April 2017

Haha, I had daydream that IG (and all of social media) would vanish and I wasn't too flustered by it. Actually, it was a relief lol! How did you find out which were ghost followers? I too heard that getting rid of them helps, but then again, I've heard a ton of Instagram "theories" that don't seem to hold up. IG is just messy and the algorithm changes just make it increasingly more difficult. I don't get to much work from IG (more on the blog) but then again, it's been over a year that I've started to steer away from collabs (most are very time consuming and often not worth the gain). I've been working towards independent funding by way of gaining high traffic that converts into higher sales, better Adsense returns and selling banner ads :)

Your IG rocks, btw! Your images are so beautiful, not at all cheesy or repetitive. It's a drag to compile all these images, but if it's working for you, that's really awesome. At least the pain is worth the gain! ;)

xoxo Cristina