Ups & Downs of Instagram | 3 Tips
Just like life is a series of ups and downs, so is Instagram. After all, it’s a part of our life, right?
When I first started posting on Instagram, it was just my way to track yoga progress and try to win free leggings by doing challenges. As it so happened, I never ended up winning any challenges, but I did find an incredible community of inspiring humans. So, I kept on posting, meeting new people, learning new poses and having such a fun time. I never really thought about numbers, followers, or anything like that until around the time I hit 10,000. Once I crossed that “milestone”, the numbers started to mess with my head a bit. My account was growing pretty fast, which was incredible and I am so grateful for that, but it started to get to the point that if there was a week, or even a day, where my follower count wasn’t increasing, I was getting frustrated. It started to affect me at home, at work, with my friends. Basically, it started to take over my life, little by little.
I’ve gone through stages where Instagram has really affected my life, and stages where it hasn’t. Ups and downs. Of course, I’d love to have it where my Instagram experience is all ups and no downs, but that isn’t realistic. We live in a world of numbers, analytics, and engagement, so of course there are going to be moments when we are affected negatively by these things. Don’t be discouraged if you have ever felt like this - it’s NORMAL. It can be hard to talk about, because who wants to admit that they are upset about the number of likes they got on an IG post? No one! But, it happens to all of us. I am the first to admit that I struggle with it occasionally. Do I like that it’s something I feel - no. But, I notice the thought, and then decide what I’m going to do to change it.
Here are some tips that I’ve learned and used over the year and a half I’ve had my account that can help when you’re feeling a bit down about your Instagram.
TAKE A BREAK
This is by far, my #1 tip for when you are start to get frustrated with your Instagram account. I used to be terrified of taking a break from Instagram. I’d fear that everyone would unfollow me, I’d miss out on everything going on and have such horrible FOMO (fear of missing out), and I’d come back and get no likes on my posts. And you know what? Those exact thoughts are the ones that pushed me to take a break the very first time I did it. I realized “I should not put this much pressure on myself to post, so I’m going to take the ability to post away and see how I feel.” I completely deleted the app from my phone (which I would personally recommend, it makes the break cleaner and easier) and took a few days off. No posting, no looking at anyone’s photos. I was on my phone way less those few days, and actually focusing on things happening in my life! The thoughts of FOMO and losing followers disappeared after an hour or two when I realized how much I needed the break. When I came back, I felt so much better. Sure I had lost some followers, but who cares?! I wasn’t getting discouraged with my engagement, and I was back to enjoying Instagram for the reason I originally joined - yoga and community. I take these breaks every once in a while and each time, they allow me to come back feeling refreshed and renewed.
TALK ABOUT IT
If you follow me on my page, you’ll know how much I value talking through things with people. Whether it’s a friend, a professional, whoever - I truly believe that talking about things is one of the best ways to move on from feelings or thoughts that are weighing you down. The first time I started feeling stressed about my numbers on Instagram, I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was completely embarrassed that I was letting something as minor as my follower count affect me so much. Sometime later I was having those same feelings again, and a close friend noticed that I wasn’t acting like myself, and asked what was wrong. Thinking I was the only one to ever feel like this, I told her what was going and to my surprise and relief, she told me she felt the EXACT same sometimes! I was relieved to know that someone else knew that weird mix of disappointment and shame in feeling like that. Being open and honest with a friend can help you feel not alone in your thoughts, and helps get rid of the original feeling.
REMEMBER YOUR “WHY”
We all have our own reasons for being on Instagram, but it can be easy to lose sight of what we are on there for when we get caught up in the numbers. Personally, I still use my Instagram as a place to track my yoga progress, but it’s become even more for me. I’ve found an incredible community. I’ve made some of the closest friends I’ve ever had through Instagram. I’ve rekindled my love for writing and reading through Instagram. I get to create art with the photos and poses I shoot. I get to connect with so many incredible people all over the world. I’ve become a yoga teacher and get to share my practice with my students each week. Whenever I get overwhelmed by the numbers that I see on my page, I write some of these things down, and remember how insanely lucky I am to live this life. The numbers don’t matter in the end. It’s the friends you’ve made, and the connections you’ve created.