Insta-Approval

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Guys, I have thoughts today and I’m gonna share. There’s this thing that’s been happening to me lately (or a thing I’ve been doing to myself?) where I get weirdly obsessed when I think about posting an Instagram photo.

It’s starting to weigh on my mind. While I’m out taking photos, I almost get too caught up in taking the perfect photo for Instagram. And then when I edit the photo I think too hard about it. And then when I post the photo I start feeling terrible if I think not enough people are liking it. What?! It’s madness! I’ve descended into a social media-induced search for approval. And I don’t like it.

Mine is Instagram. Maybe yours is Facebook or Twitter or whatever else. But do you ever find yourself feeling the same way? Putting way too much energy into finding the perfect 140 characters, so people will like or follow or pin or retweet or whatever the heck they’re supposed to do? I don’t like it. But the thing is, I love social media. I don’t want to abandon it. I think that it is so incredible to be able to keep in touch and reach people, and particularly with Instagram I find that it’s a really fun, exciting creative outlet.

So how do you do it? How do you not obsess over your number of followers and likes but still participate in the social world? Particularly as a blogger, where we value and love our social followers so much because we enjoy sharing things with them, I think it’s a slippery slope. It’s easy to forget that it’s about sharing thoughts and discoveries, and that it’s not about who has the most followers or which photo got the most likes. And for that matter, is that really approval? Somebody clicking a little follow button shouldn’t have any bearing on my self-worth as a creative, and yet sometimes it comes dangerously close to feeling that way.

Hit me with your words of wisdom, guys. Do you ever feel this way? Do you think that we place too much importance on liking/tweeting/following/blah blah blah? Maybe it weighs on your mind and maybe not, but I’d love to know where you stand on the whole thing.

That, and have a great weekend. xoxo

19 thoughts on “Insta-Approval”

  1. haha – i don’t. no words of wisdom, here. i don’t understand the need to be perfect on social media. just be yourself. at home, online, everywhere. NOTHING is perfect. embrace it.

    1. haha actually wishing i could erase ^^^^ this comment, thats how little i like this subject. social media has become like high school all over again. EVERYONE LIKE MEEEE. ughhhhh. you’re perfect, merms. it is what it is. its just online. live your life <3

  2. It can be such a hectic little dance and it’s one I do my best to avoid by reminding myself that I am just doing and being “ME” and so long as I am happy and enjoying myself, then whatever I decided to share is great – even if nobody else likes it. Sure, it can get a bit trippy when likes pour in or whatnot, but ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s all about your life, what your experiencing and the joy you have and I think that’s worth more than a few extra likes. 🙂

  3. Oh yes! All the time. I’m particularly bad about posting “#latergrams.” I’ll take tons of photos, won’t edit them right away and then space them out over a few days. Sometimes I wish my photos were a little more “insta” but it also helps me to think mindfully about every photo I post.

    I also say: ignore likes and follows! It’s just a number and people will like and follow you in good time. You just have to be confident and patient! 😉

  4. Well…I think I only “stress” about Social Meds when I feel like I am being inconsistent with “my brand”. Like when I post something about CrossFit and some knuckledragger follows me and I’m like “Ohhh honey you are going to get a whole lot of paper in your IG feed!” But really…I don’t think about it. You shouldn’t either. Because you are fabulous.

  5. I agree with what everyone else has said. You are doing what you want and what makes you happy, that’s all that matters! Enjoy it and who cares if it’s not perfect, if you like it that’s all you can ask for.

  6. A few months ago there were posts floating around about staging IG shots that had me cackling and blushing because I think no matter who you are, you stage them. It’s TOTALLY NORMAL!
    Here are a few of the articles I loved:
    http://www.coveringbases.com/2014/07/instagram-vs-real-life.html#disqus_thread
    http://www.bustle.com/articles/32177-what-i-instagrammed-vs-what-was-really-happening-or-my-entire-life-is-a-lie
    I won’t pretend to be an advice guru here, but just to show that you are in no way alone! I totally do it, too. What I love about IG and what I try to remember is that it is SO FUN to go back and look at pictures and see what I made/did/what inspired me/whatever and see how I’ve changed it/myself since. And obviously, if I felt it was *important* enough to post, it means something to me. (it also reminds me of the projects I’ve started but haven’t yet finished…. :P)

  7. We definitely run into that problem! As website owners, our social media numbers/likes/RTs/etc matter to our business. We know that we need to use social media well to promote our site and our brand. But there is a balance, and we definitely struggle to find the right one. No words of wisdom here…but if we figure it out (ever), we’ll let you know!!! 🙂

  8. I think you are 100 percent justified in feeling this way. My social media blues come from FOMO and thinking that everyone is prettier, funnier, having more fun than I am but then I remember this quote, “I wish I was as happy as my Facebook profile says I am.” While social media is an amazing and interesting way to connect with people and express ourselves, it can also be dangerous in many ways. It can make us think that our lives aren’t as special/memorable/picture-worthy as they should be. When in reality, no one’s life is like that all the time but that is what we want to portray on social media. No one wants to see or share the ugly parts all the time. I think it’s also dangerous in that it takes away from enjoying the present. Instead of looking with one’s eyeballs as what is happening right in front of you, people are more concerned with capturing the perfect picture to make other people jealous. It’s so hard for people to show up for life when we are more interested in putting on a show.
    Sorry this got a little preachy but in the end my point is that all of our lives are picture-worthy but some of those pictures are meant to be “mental” pictures that have special meaning to us and that we hold deep in our hearts even though they may not get over 100 likes on Instagram.

  9. i think there are some really good points in what you’re saying, and I totally understand! I’m no expert (of course), but I would agree and suggest that you just keep posting what you like. After all, that’s most likely why people follow/like/etc your photos; they love your style!

  10. I love that you talk about this. it is something that bugs me and I haven’t figured out a way around it! i’ve noticed when i get those thoughts I back off posting on IG for a day or two. Then my mind seems to calm down. Success is a good thing but social media is a mix of personal with business and that is always confusing!

  11. I feel you, girl.

    I had the same issue about a year ago with Facebook – I constantly was second guessing whether my post was funny or dumb, whether people were going to get offended, etc. And then I ended up deleting some if they weren’t liked! How silly is that??

    I finally had to take a facebook hiatus. I took one month off and found other things to do on my phone when I was bored, and actually picked up the phone and TALKED to the 5-6 people I really wanted FB to stay in touch with. It was a nice breath of fresh air and when I went back to FB, I felt like “you know what? I’m awesome.”

    A break worked wonders for me 🙂

  12. I often take social media breaks.

    I also remember that too me it’s no big deal when I CHOOSE to follow someone, so why would I obsess over those who follow me? They don’t care! So I choose to post what makes me happy remembering that the approval of others doesn’t make what I post/write/tweet about any less.

    🙂

  13. It’s so hard not to get wrapped up in the numbers. My previous blog was doing really well with stats/followers, and then I decided to start a new blog and I’ve had to start all over again! It’s killing me that there’s only 200+ followers on fb so far.

    Can I just say…your instagram feed is gorgeous, as are the photos you present on your blog. Do you have white walls at home, or do you use a backdrop?

  14. This is one of the reasons you are my favorite blogger. the lovely things you focus on and the honest ones too. I love your instagram and honestly when I hear that someone with such beautiful feed can feel self conscious about likes, then it really can happen to anyone! A while back you said you get fewer likes for pictures of you and Mr Lovely, and those are some of my favorites. So keep being your lovely selves and post away!

    P.S. You are going to make an absolutely wonderful mother.

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