Chances are, if I know you I follow you already. I am (thankfully) not one of those that lose sleep on their following / followers ratio. Infact here’s a bit of stat, the average number of followers for a personal Instagram account is 150.
‘Personal Instagram Account’ being the longtail keyword here. We are not talking about brands and influencers. The purpose of having a personal account is to connect with friends and family. Therefore, if you have a personal account, you already know that the other users follow you because they know you.
Now you might question – why this title? That’s because my Instagram usage is limited to it being a friends-only affair. I have categorically decided not to make my Instagram yet another avenue of consuming valueless content. I don’t follow any of those super talented trolls that churn out intelligent memes or any other flashy influencers and celebs. And this blog is my rationale on why I don’t follow them. If you see the point maybe you can ‘follow’ this mindset too 😉
For full disclosure, being a blogger and running this website (among others), I do have an inclination to use my Instagram account for social media marketing purposes so take this rant with a pinch of sugar. Also, if you fall short of breathe because you haven’t checked your feed for the last 30 minutes then this is a good time to leave this blog 😉
For the uninitiated (and those living under a rock), Instagram is a social network. It is every millennial’s favorite place to see ads, content from influencers and celebs, #foodporn photos, workout motivation photos, photos of pets, week old Reddit memes, rejected TikTok videos, how-everyone-is-having-a-great-time-except-you photos and occasionally some photos of your friends.
There’s something that you need to be aware of before we move further. The algorithm. If you and your friend follow the exact same accounts, both your feeds will still be differently arranged. Some posts would appear higher on your feed and may appear lower on your friend’s. The ads you two see will be totally different too. That’s the magic of the algorithm. Your Instagram feed is exclusively tailored to you.
And that’s precisely my problem with it. If you were to follow every other influencer out there, soon Instagram would serve you stuff that you didn’t really care about to begin with. Consider this, an artist who used to post his art while struggling to pay the bills, out of the blue, makes a heavily hashtagged post about his weekend outing to a lush 5-star resort. Apparently, that’s where he vacations for inspiration. You Google that resort and its ads start to show up on all your feeds. You followed the artist for the art but are now interested to spend a weekend at the resort. A classic case of the resort successfully using influencer marketing on you. In other words, you have been influenced!
And that’s just the first issue I have with following any influencer out there. Let’s dig more,
1.Instagram gives you goals
That resort is definitely a vacation goal. It doesn’t end there. The influencers, celebs and GQ models that you follow can give you several other goals thanks to their perfectly shot and professionally photoshopped photos. The extravagant locations can give you travel goals. Their intense workout and meal photos can give you health goals. Their romantic sashays can give you relationship goals. And while I am a big believer in goals, I don’t want any of them to exist because of some company’s Instagram marketing budget. I do understand that no Instagram using millennial can be 100% immune to this but I really want to give it a shot.
2. Instagram kills motivation
Going out for a run is one of the first few things I begin my day with. And as much as I like to avoid it, Instagram is often the first few apps I open in the morning. Get into my shoes for a second and imagine seeing this the first thing in the morning,
How’s that for some running motivation? Now I agree, I can follow running influencers that can help me stay motivated at all times. Let’s get on point number 3 to conclude this.
3. Instagram eats time
Let’s say you’re very hungry and there’s your favorite flavored ice-cream and oranges in the refrigerator. It’s easy to guess what you are going to have. But if ice-cream wasn’t there, you had no other option but to have oranges. Thereby avoiding the extra calories. That’s why some nutritionists advise that you must keep only healthy food in your kitchen and refrigerator. Now let’s say you’re not even hungry but walk by the refrigerator and casually open it up to have a look. You find oranges and your favorite ice-cream. Yes, your favorite ice-cream. The one that melts the moment its in your mouth, tastes so good you can have it all by yourself, sent on Earth from the Heavens above just for you. What would you do? A scoop or two doesn’t hurt. And remember, you were not even hungry! 😁
I am not saying Instagram is the ice-cream. Its the goddamn refrigerator! Memes and influencer posts are the ice-cream. A notification is all it takes and 10 minutes later you are still on the app going over useless content that you perceive to be the ice-cream. This aimless consumption of the feed is exactly what I want to avoid. Actually not just Instagram but on all other social networks, I am very careful about who I follow or like.
There’s another dimension to all this as well. I put it at the last because it might not be applicable to you. It’s about being more interested in ‘creating’ rather than ‘consuming’. As someone with blogs and websites, my aim is to create content on the internet and not just consume it. Obviously, you cannot just have proteins without the carbs 😉. So when I am consuming content, I am pretty selective about it. On Instagram, I prefer following friends and folks I care about and personally know. I am happy to be influenced by them. They are the good carbs 😊