13 September 2017

We Need to Talk about Instagram

It's mid-morning on a Wednesday and I'm writing from the comfort of my bed, laptop on lap, boyfriend beside me and my phone out of reach. It's a safe and happy place. I've just read a piece by Cocoa Chelsea about a breakdown she had because of Instagram last night and so much of it resonated, making me want to share my thoughts and feelings on the matter too. So, here we go.

Not to brag but I've just had one of the most incredible weeks; I worked on a project with Corona at The Shard, I went to Bestival with River Island to shoot their new Ashish campaign and last night I rushed from a stay at Babington House with BMW back to London to watch Blondie c/o Amazon.

I've just lived my dream week but the reality is that, deep down, I'm feeling pretty fucking miserable.

Why? Instagram, of course.

I've wanted to write this post for a while but now seems like the right time because there is no other reason for feeling the way that I feel, and I know so many others are feeling it too.

I'm so incredibly lucky. I work for myself, with brands I could have never imagined working with. I have an incredible boyfriend who I couldn't ask more from; a wonderful family; good friends; a roof over my head, etc.

Yet, even with all of this, and no matter how much I throw myself into content creating and writing, I can't shake the anxiety of Instagram posts reaching so few people ( - I can't actually see my reach now because that made the anxiety even worse) and the lack of engagement that comes with it. It feels as if years of hard work have been ripped from beneath my feet.

When your follower count and your engagement dictate a large percentage of your income, it's hard to not to and/or feel crippling anxiety that it's all going to come to a halt because perhaps your photos aren't reaching people (CHEERS INSTAGRAM) or maybe people have become bored of what you're doing.

And to be honest, I'm bored of it. I'm bored of worrying about the number of likes I'm getting on photos on an app and feeling on edge/embarrassed/nervous every time I post a photo. Not only that, I'm certain my boyfriend and my mates are beyond bored of me worrying and complaining about it to them.

Things have to change.

I don't want to go too deep on the matter because Sophie and I will be discussing Instagram anxiety stories and how we tackle those feelings on our next episode of Keeping It Candid, our fortnightly pop-culture podcast - tune into that in a few days for more.
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