Here's the blog post you ACTUALLY need to read about Instagram…
Let's chat about Instagram today. It's a powerful platform where most of us spend more hours than we'd probably like to admit in a given day. If you caught my Instagram post on Sunday, you know I decided to unfollow *almost* everyone on Instagram. My goal is to only be following 200-350 at most. Here's why…
My journey with Instagram:
I first joined back in 2012 and barely used it since very few people were actually on it. When I launched my business back in 2014 I started using it a little more, and then when launching this blog in 2016, I turned my personal account into theconfusedmillennial and started posting every day.
My first year officially using Instagram was intense. I worked my butt off (like spent six hours a day growing a following). While I was exhausted, I LOVED the platform! I literally met so many amazing people (both digitally and in person).
I made new friends, had new experiences, and learned new things. <— This is why so many of us fell in love with the platform. It completely opened up the world in a totally new way. We could see people living their dream lives, booking one way tickets, exploring their soul's desires, and just being their most vibrant selves! The curation honestly didn't and doesn't both me – it's alllll about elevation on the ‘gram into our highest selves…Using #Instagram is alllll about elevation into our highest selves, lifting the vibration, and growing together Click To Tweet
At least it *should* be.
Should isn't a word I like to use often, but I think it fits in this case since we are using it to elevate, not shame. Rather than elevating ourselves on the gram, many of us have developed a confusing relationship with the platform. I think SO many of us started off loving it… but then we started to feel a sense of *lack* when we looked other people's lives. Rather than drawing inspiration, people began either competing or comparing… and ultimately conformed.
You see, for me the comparison game wasn't what bogged me down on the gram this past year. But competition (who's growing faster? who's getting more engagement) and surrounding myself with others who experienced comparison and competition… now that fueled me into some low vibrational periods. I know all of these are very real challenges for people on Instagram so I want to acknowledge each… and REFRAME them since so many of us have started to conform with what we think others want to see on Instagram (notice I included myself).
Before I jump into the reframe, I want to acknowledge the millennial problem:
Conforming is particularly interesting for us millennials. You see we were all raised being told we are special and unique… only the “real world” hit us over the head like a ton of bricks and said, “no you aren't, here's a crappy paying job, a house you probably can't afford, and oh yeah make your life look like magic on social media!” So we began conforming to make our lives look like everyone else's and bought into the lie that we'd been lied to for so many years and aren't actually special. We gave into the idea that we are like everyone else and began forcing our lives to look cookie cutter like everyone else.
BUT GUESS WHAT… WE ARE SPECIAL AF.
YOU are a magical being! YES YOU!
You have magic inside of you. You were put here for a reason, to share a message, to fulfill a life path, to embrace more of who you are at your soul's core! It's time to celebrate that! Do NOT let anyone steal your magic. Do not let anyone tell you that you're not special. You are here for a reason and that needs to be celebrated (and spoiler alert: it's not by telling everyone to buy your new comfy AF outfit your boasting; but we will talk more about that shortly)
Reframing the relationship with Instagram:
Instagram is still a magical place to feel inspired, lift ourselves up, and grow. It's a place to meet new people, experience new ideas, and thrive.
In order to do that we must do a few things though:
– Post with intention:
Meaning that we must be aware of everything we are posting and the energetic effects it has. Is it in alignment with your soul's mission in life? Is it raising the vibration of the tribe? How would you feel scrolling by this piece of content; would you want to engage? does it connect with you? do you want to share it? (also great questions to ask yourself in all the content you are putting out into the world!). Drop the idea that you need to post everyday! Instead post when the energy is right!
– Create an inspiring space:
The beauty of Instagram, is that we are front and center as the ultimate creator of our experience! TRUTH: we are the ultimate creator of everything in our lives – but literally on the gram we are kicking it up a level in the physical realm. Meaning YOU create the photo and caption that you are posting. YOU are choosing who to follow and engage with. If something isn't inspiring you, lifting you up, or connecting with you just unfollow it! There is no need to hang around if you aren't into it anymore!
– Let go of fear.
I had two fears I was holding onto with Instagram:
1) Brands wouldn't want to work with me if I lost a crapton (it's a word) of followers.
Truth: Because my relationship to Instagram had become so bizarre this past year, my account had completely stopped growing, which isn't great for working with brands to begin with. Second, if I'm completely honest with myself, the brands who hire me to do Instagram only campaigns are usually my least favorite campaigns to work on. Yes, I may still love the product or believe in the brand, but it's a lot of time to get that one photo and one small payday!
I'd much rather build a rich campaign around a blog post and social media shares for a brand than just post 1 photo. PLUS the amount of time I spend turning down Instagram only campaign requests is insane. The truth is, any brand who wants to or doesn't want to work with me based on my Instagram alone doesn't actually get what I'm about and just isn't a good match right now. Which is okay!
2) People would be offended and not like me if I unfollowed them.
THIS! This was why I kept asking for permission to unfollow everyone. I kept asking my audience via polls on my account, I kept asking people who had done it if they regretted it. I kept asking the Universe for signs. When everything finally came together and I knew I had to listen to this urge and just do the damn thing.
Listen, I get this is a very REAL fear. We want to lift each other up and be supportive (especially in the blogging world)… but at what expense? You guys, I've written about this before and I'll say it again: it's OKAY to be selfish. It's okay to unfollow people who don't inspire you. More than that, what people post on Instagram is only a small portion of who they are. Just because you're not into seeing their stuff on your feed, doesn't mean you aren't friends and don't love the person. I have plenty of friends who only post pictures of their kids, and to be honest, I don't care. It's just noisy clutter in my consciousness that I don't want/need. I still love them though and I love their kid. I just don't need to expend energy looking at a picture of their kid to prove it.
In addition, sometimes people don't realize the content they are putting out. They think, “Oh I'm posting intentionally, I planned my feed out for weeks!” without pausing to think if they are sharing something because they think they *should* or if it's in alignment with raising the vibration of the tribe. They may not have the insight yet as to whether they are posting with intention or to keep up with the Kardashians. So while they may be agitated you annoyed them, you're helping them look at their stuff a little more and grow. They are choosing to be upset, you are choosing to be free. Their frustration is not your problem.
– Stop blaming the algorithm
Truth: it isn't Instagram's fault, it's your choice. If you never see people's photos in your feed that you WANT to see, then ENGAGE with them, follow less people, or manifest a better experience!!Truth: it isn't Instagram's fault, it's your choice to control your feed.Click To Tweet
Quick note on ads: obvi Instagram does have more say in the ads we see, but stop clicking on them! Stop pausing on them! Click the dots saying “I don't want to see this” and start telling Instagram they can't sell to you if you don't want to see them! My ads are literally just Netflix shows, which I'm cool with because I'm about that life.
So this idea of reframing my relationship with Instagram has been building for months like I mentioned. Earlier in this week the seed was growing inside of me, “change your relationship with the gram.” That day I began saying: “New followers easily find me on Instagram and feel inspired to engage with my feed.” I gained 50 new followers in the following 72 hours (typically I would gain 0-6 a day). After that I decided followers are lovely, but I want ENGAGEMENT, and began saying, “My followers can easily find and see my photos on Instagram. They engage from a place of unconditional love and free-will.” I went from 9 comments on a photo to over 40, and one of the commenters even said, “Your posts barely show up on my feed anymore.” … but hey! Guess what!? Clearly that one did! The manifestation is WORKING!
WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE ANYTHING.
Instagram is clearly waiting to support me based on my manifestations, and I need to make it a high vibrational space that can easily support me. Where I only have to put what feels like an iota of effort and I flourish… queue the unfollowing.
Why I'm unfollowing:
Well for all the reasons I mentioned above. And guess what, I'll be unfollowing some friends in the blogging world. It's not because they make me feel “less than,” it's not because I feel insecure or bad when I look at their feeds… (which are all great reasons to unfollow by the way) – but it's actually because it doesn't match my interests!
If you know me, you know I'm not a fashionista, I'm not into make up, and I sure as hell don't buy into consumerism. Too many of the bloggers I follow, and consider friends, are selling in every post. And I don't mean captions like, “outfit by @urbanoutfitters,” I mean, “you have to buy this!” I just don't want to be told what to buy anymore! I still love you. But I love my decluttered mind even more. I had no idea how much information I was processing on a daily basis until I deleted Instagram off my phone last Friday.
In the span of 3 hours I went to check it 6 times. When I re-downloaded it on my phone I realized I had been spending 30 minute chunks of my day (At least three time a day) scrolling my feed. Not engaging, not interacting, not getting inspiration, but straight up scrolling and flooding my mind with cluttered chaos. No thank you.
—> UPDATE: As i just typed that bit on consumerism, I literally JUST got a notification that some boutique on Instagram stole my photo and reposted it on their account!
LET ME SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK: WE do NOT need to buy ANYTHING in life to fill our souls up. We do not need to own things to feel fulfilled, successful, or worthy. We don't need to sell a damn thing to succeed! We DO need to lift each other up, ask permission, and raise the vibration. We do need to be intentional in spreading light & love.WE do NOT need to buy ANYTHING in life to fill our souls up. We do not need to own things to feel fulfilled, successful, or worthy. We DO need to lift each other up, ask permission, and raise the vibration.Click To Tweet
Why I still do sponsored posts:
Let me be clear, I'm not shitting on sponsorships. There are products I love and will share on the ‘gram. I also typically only share products I've been sponsored to share because I like to remain fair to my other brand partners and ensure I'm not saturating my feed with suggestions for you guys (and I might as well get paid by the brand for my suggestion, amiright?!). I follow tons of people who do promote products they truly love and use in their life, but every post is not an ad for a brand.
LBH, we should ALL be building our dreams, not another brands!
Which is why you guys will notice the majority of my brand partnerships are actually me educating you guys about concepts, I primarily work with non-profits as my sponsors, or service providers! Yes, I am legit obsessed with FabFitFun and do work with other product based sponsors, but they are few and far between!
Oh and one last side note: If every post you're doing on Instagram is an ad, you need to raise your prices!! Stop selling yourself short!If every post you're doing on Instagram is an ad, you need to raise your prices. Click To Tweet
Drop me a comment belowwwww on your thoughts! I'd love to hear if you've struggled with this before? What realizations you've had? How you changed your relationship with Instagram? Or how you're planning to change your relationship with it going forward!