Instagram is hands down my favourite social platform.
Despite the last year and the nonsense algorithm, it still tops my list of apps – for me, the combination of visual and words is so spot on, and if you follow me on Twitter too, you’ll see I tend to include a photo in almost every tweet. I can’t not! Instagram is fun – I try not to take it too seriously (and if you do, have a chat with yo’self and read this post), and enjoy the ‘instant’ side of it. I post outfits when I can, alternating with other snapshots of life. I have no theme, and I don’t think I could if I tried. I’ve always been one for snapping photos of anything and everything, and I appreciate so many different types of imagery, there isn’t one style I’m drawn to.
Today, I wanted to talk about Instagram positively, and how you can use it to bring joy into your life. I heard on the news recently that Instagram was (statistically) damaging teenagers mental wellbeing. The constant comparison trap – and how younger people struggle to appreciate that what they see is someones highlights reel and not a true reflection of life. My blog readership is 25-34 years old – the age I am, and a cross section of likeminded people who I hope are able to take Instagram for what it is – it should be fun and enjoyable and I wanted to share some tips today on how I carefully curated my feed to ensure I was getting positive vibes only!
Educate yourself in the art of editing
This is something I harp on about all the time – as someone who studied photography and the media, I am hyper aware of the magic that can be done in post production. Knowing what can be achieved via Photoshop or even via apps these days is key to understanding what it is you’re seeing on your Insta feed. Photo editing is part of it these days – snapping the photo is only the start. I liken it to developing film before digital, that was the second part of being a photographer. Now, it’s editing – colours, contrast, light, dark, height, weight… As much as it pains me, it happens. Knowing that someone has smoothed their skin, removed their spot or cellulite or lengthened their legs helps me keep it real. If I know what I’m seeing is modified, I can take it as just that – nice to look at, but false. I won’t try to obtain it myself, I won’t try to be like that. Having a play around with apps like Facetune will show you just how easy it is to blur skin or cinch in your waist – and it really does open your eyes!
Remove the ‘curiosity follows’
It took me some time to realise I did this, and since I’ve removed them I’ve felt so much more positive about my Instagram feed. I followed a few people who, now I can see, I followed out of curiosity. I didn’t aspire to them nor was I particularly inspired by their photos – I was just ‘keeping tabs’, and inevitably comparing myself. This counts for bloggers as well as non-bloggers – anyone who you find you’re just being nosy about. Whether that’s someone from school or a blogger you once met, be honest with yourself – do you look at their photos and feel positivity, inspiration, happiness? Do their photos bring your joy? I did this with my feed and boy has it made a difference. I no longer see anything I’m not interested by – I double tap almost every photo! It’s so refreshing to just see photo after photo of positivity. Try it!
Mix it up
And finally – be true to what you like. Be honest with yourself and follow who you find interesting and inspirational. No one’s looking at who you follow anyway. As my own grid shows, I don’t have one taste – one theme, or type of photography I stick to. I like everything from style posts – both high and low end, from all over the world (right now I am loving West Coast USA bloggers), I love to follow travel accounts and am forever in awe of the amazing landscape pictures I see. I follow less make up accounts these days, as my tastes have evolved but that doesn’t mean to say I won’t come back to those – and more recently, I’ve upped the amount of fitness accounts I’m into. Mixing up your feed is the key to keeping things fresh – whether you follow 50 accounts of 5,000, I find having a variety helps to inspire me.
Phone case – Case Company*
(with awesome new City Marble where you can pick whichever city in the world to add to your case!)
Sunglasses – New Look (not online but similar)
So, who are some of my favourite accounts to follow?
Jason Charles Hill – Jason posts the most insane travel lancscapes and drone images. They blow my mind everytime I see them!
Boop My Nose – For the animal lovers, this account is the one.
Carrie Bradshaw Lied – One of many of my fave USA bloggers, Kat lives in Orange County and is a real style inspiration for me. Fun and colourful.
Sophia Rosemary – And for some Brit fashion (and pieces I can get my hands on), lately I’ve been loving Sophia’s account.
Livvyland – To finish, another USA blogger – Olivia’s casual style is so effortless and she does the best outfit flatlays. One to check out!