Oh, Instagram. Remember when it was a place where we shared grainy, over-filtered images of coffee, our latest manicure, and friends in the high school highways? We all laughed over The Chainsmoker’s first big hit #Selfie (hard to think of them producing that song after everything else they’ve done!), debated over X Pro II and Valencia, and added those very awkward radial blurs overtop our photos. I remember getting so excited because one of my posts finally got 11 likes so the number showed instead of listing everyone out. Those were the days.
Ever since then, Instagram has become less about sharing those old memories and more about being bigger, better, and more popular. It’s a total numbers game, and with that, people are doing crazy things to try and grow their followings. I haven’t had the best luck lately with Instagram (helloooo, algorithm!), but I have noticed some things that other people are doing, and I can’t quite say I approve of them.
A quick disclaimer before I get into these: they’re my own personal preference and I do not mean to push them onto you. You may not agree with me, and that’s totally okay!
Also, I don’t love being a negative Nancy, and I honestly don’t mean to be. I just get irritated when I see people doing things that are, for lack of a better word, fake and then seeing them succeed from it.
Look, I use VSCO as much as the next blogger, so that’s not the kind of editing I’m talking about. I don’t see anything wrong with adjusting colors to fit your aesthetic, blurring out trash cans or an awkward stranger in the background, and other really small surface details like that. What bothers me is when people completely change the photos.
You know the kind I’m talking about: photoshopping in a cityscape outside your window to replace your backyard and things like that. I get it, you want your life to seem more exciting. Hell, I want my life to be more exciting too. But giving the impression that your balcony looks over New York City rather than some parking lot in a small suburb is a straight up lie. Wouldn’t you rather be transparent with your followers and establish mutual trust with them instead of altering the truth?
The follow/unfollow method is probably one of the most annoying social media practices EVER! Nothing is worse than falling asleep with X number of followers, and waking up finding out that like 12 of them deserted you over night. This isn’t because you weren’t active for 8 hours, it’s because some people believe that the best way to gain followers is to follow a ton of accounts, only to unfollow them a couple days later. Statistically, quite a few of those accounts will probably follow back, which in turn “profits” the f/uf-er.
To make it even worse, a lot of people use automation to do this. Someone who follows you might not even know they do because a computer program is making the decisions for them.
Summer from Coffee With Summer, posted about this awhile back and it is still SUPER relevant! Check her post out here!
Another practice that people do to make their numbers better is to buy them. This isn’t good for two reasons: you’re wasting your money, and it does nothing for your engagement. If you’re looking to collaborate with more brands or become the biggest influencer of all time, people are going to be pretty suspicious if you have 15k followers with only 75 likes per photo. That ratio is seriously off, my friends, and will do you no good.
Instead of buying followers, stay engaged with the ones you already have. Reply to your comments, like and comment on other people’s photos, and follow accounts you actually like. That will get you the engagement you’re looking for.
I’m sure we all get our fair share of those random emoji comments on our photos. Some person we’ve never heard of before dropped a fire emoji and 3 “100”‘s in your comments, and you’re just like “what. what does this mean?”
Chances are this could just be a computer-managed bot, but there’s also a chance that this is a real person’s account. I’m not quite sure how popular this is anymore, but there was a time where some people used automated services to do the work for them. They wanted to grow their following, but they didn’t want to put their own time into it.
From my understanding, they use a 3rd party app to insert generic comments (emojis, “nice!”, etc.) and the type of photos they want to comment on. The only problem is, sometimes people post a picture of a nice sunset, but the caption says they’ve had a crap day and they’re totally discouraged. By auto-commenting “nice!” it gives the impression that you don’t really care about their personal life at all.
PIN ME FOR LATER
What are some things people do on Instagram that bother you? Now is a time to tell all in the comments! Also, is there another social media platform you’d like me to do this for next? Let me know!
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