I’ve moaned about it plenty myself, but I sometimes feel a little bad for Instagram. I know, I know, the ALGORITHM, but hear me out. For all its flaws, the positive implications it has on our lives is largely overshadowed by, well, everything else. From the comparison game to rude comments or poor engagement, it takes the brunt of our irritation even though it’s certainly not solely responsible.
Heres the thing. No matter how much we take to Twitter to moan about Instagram and swear that we don’t even CARE anymore, we’re still checking in. As much as I believed the time would come when we all just somehow, in unison, shut it down for the last time (RIP MSN), that time doesn’t look like it’s fast approaching. We’re still spending our time, efforts and resources there and striving to make a success of our accounts. Not only that, but we really enjoy it (and if you genuinely don’t, then what are you still doing there?).
It has its flaws, and I realise that people are affected by these to different extents. But when I bitch about Instagram, it’s often in the same tone I use to bitch about J leaving his dirty socks on the floor (again) to my friend over coffee. In an exasperated ‘but I love him, what can you do?‘ kind of way. So here are all of the positive implications, the reasons I enjoy Instagram and how I justify spending so much time on it (for Gods sake don’t look at my screen-time report).
I’ve always thought of myself as a creative person, but boy, some Instagram accounts are in another league. I head to the explore page to gain inspiration and often, I also come across new accounts worth following.
Not only does it inspire me to create more and better, but also to do more and better. I’ve gained travel as well as makeup and style inspiration. Sometimes it’s as subtle as seeing an aesthetically pleasing coffee on my feed and fancying one myself.
Instagram (or more accurately, the people on it) provides glossy magazine quality content for absolutely free.
IT HOSTS A WHOLE LOAD OF RECOMMENDATIONS
I don’t identify as an influencer. My dislike for the word is a whole separate post, but namely, it’s because I’ve not once set out to influence anyone. Despite that, I have influenced and I’ve also been influenced in return. I enjoy making recommendations and having conversations about things I like, so any influence I do have has always been in a subtle, ‘wow I love this, you should totally check it out’ kind of way. I’m not special enough for people to copy or to look to as influential, I’m simply honest in my opinions about things, in the hope that others might (hopefully) find them helpful.
I love checking out the recommendations of the people I follow too. From books to beauty products, to where to shop or eat, my horizons have been broadened by having access to so many recommendations. We’re all aware of the negative connotations surrounding recommendations led by ads, gifted product and affiliate links (did I mention them all!?) but not once has it ever negatively effected me. I love every account I follow, be it an ordinary, business or fellow creator account. I see everyone I follow as a friendly face, and I rate integrity. For that reason, I don’t care whether a post has been influenced by a brand, because I know that it’s a genuine recommendation regardless.
IT CONNECTS ME TO LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
Instagram has introduced me to some fantastic people with shared interests. I raised a similar point when I discussed why I share some of my life online, but it’s even more poignant here. I’ve connected to so many girls who would otherwise be complete strangers to me.
Not only have I been introduced to friends, but also to business contacts. When I first started creating, it was my blog that I really wanted to focus on. In honesty, working to improve my Instagram was very much a second thought. Fast forward to now, and, although I love having and working on this blog, it’s Instagram that generates the majority of brand work.
I’m very much of the opinion that my blog is worth investing time into. Although it reaches fewer people, it’s something that I own and therefore have more control over. Although many people now seem to prefer bitesized content that they can ingest in a matter of seconds, I’ll always have a fondness for the more lengthy babblings that blogs allow. I appreciate that some of this is pure sentimentality.
ITS HELPED ME GROW
Here I am with the over-dramatics, but it’s true. It’s no secret that I’ve followed Instagram Trends and done things for the gram’. I feel as though there are a lot of other positive implications that aren’t spoken about as openly.
Being myself on Instagram has increased my confidence tenfold. I’ve never been someone who enjoys being the centre of attention, and I rarely post to my personal Facebook. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s something to do with the many ‘friends’ who I haven’t seen in years and no longer even know. It certainly has something to do with the fact that my Facebook posts barely make it to ten likes while my Instagram posts all climb to the hundreds. There’s a sense of security in knowing that the people following my Instagram actually want to see my content. Even on my worst-preforming posts, I’ll often have a few friendly and supportive faces engaging.
Instagram has also left me open to some amazing opportunities. I’ve realised that I’m capable of working with incredible brands which was only ever a dream. I’ve polished various skillsets through practise and have made an additional income doing something I love.
It’s introduced me, both directly and indirectly, to a host of new things. You can say it’s ‘just Instagram’, but to me it’s more.