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13 August 2018 4 comments

I've a love/hate relationship with Instagram.

Aside from it being a veritable goldmine for inspiration, eye-candy and things that bring me joy, I really enjoy using it as a space to curate my own collection of photographs, memories and moments. I mean, heck I'll say it, I like my feed right now!

But there's also so much about it I, well, hate? Hate seems a strong word, but they evoke pretty strong emotions so perhaps in this case, it's justified.

Firstly, there's the algorithm, building/losing followers, buying followers/likes etc. I spoke to a blogger a while ago who bought followers, grew from 1K to 10K overnight and no one batted an eyelid. Now they're at least four times that and are getting brand requests left, right and centre - I mean each to their own but that doesn't seem fair or.. 'proper conduct' to me? I don't think I'd be able to justify that to my conscience! But really, that's not what today's post is about because I'm sure none of you want to hear me moan and complain about the algorithm etc for a few paragraphs straight (although can we just mention how particularly bad it is at the moment? At least for me anyway!).

I'm falling into a different trap with Instagram - and at both ends of the spectrum.

It's really hard for me to perpetually remember that a lot of Instagram is somewhere between a 'highlight's reel', and just down right fakery. It's hard not to get sucked into people's picture perfect moment after picture perfect moment and not compare them to your everyday, comparatively very ordinary life.

I often check in on Instagram upon waking and seeing photograph upon photograph of countless expensive holidays, extravagant lifestyles and seemingly too-perfect-to-be-true female bodies can (and let's be frank, often does) leave me feeling utterly inadequate. And I can't imagine that I'm alone in this.

And the reason why I feel like I'm falling into the trap at both ends, is that I might be guilty of portraying a 'more perfect than normal' lifestyle too..

In life, not every perfect moment has to be a picture perfect moment.

Or more specifically, an Instagram-worthy moment. Contentment comes in many forms, and not all of them arrive when you've styled your hair and are dressed in your best clothing.

But a lot of the time on Instagram, the picture perfect moments are what we're driven to produce because they 'perform better'. And our eyes are glued to the numbers. My own feed is by no means how my life runs everyday (the latest shots show beautiful little cafes and me swanning around in a twirly skirt, whereas the reality of today is that I'm sat at my desk surrounded by partly opened boxes of PR, clothes, and general mess because I strained my lower back almost a week ago and can't bend to pick anything up. Not to mention my hair hasn't been washed for four days.), but the algorithm already hates me, so imagine how shocking my stats would be if I posted 'ugly' photos of my mismatched, untidy living quarters?

I also think that it's encouraging a life of materialism. Seeing what everyone else has and thinking you need it too. To me, life is more about moments than commodities - it's one of the reasons I started my 10 Things That've Made Me Happy series.

I love taking and editing photos so I'm not going to stop treating my feed like a bit of an 'art gallery' (ergh, so pretentious, but I hope you know what I mean!) and posting the photography I want to, but I am going to make an effort not to be so wary/hesitant of photos taken on my phone, to try and share a bit more of the 'mundane', and to try not to compare myself and my life with those on the internet..