December 27, 2015

In Defence Of Having A Messy Instagram Feed

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I am mourning for the Stylised Instagram Life I will never have.

Over Christmas, I saw so many Pinterest-worthy pics and as I looked down at a limp-but-tasty-looking sandwich, I felt a pang of disappointment:

1) that I was feeling alienated by people who had gone too far into their Glossy Curated Brand; and

2) in comparison it made my Instagram feed looked like a toddler ran it. But mainly it’s because I like words, and not so much food-styling.

My Instagram feed has feelings, and it feels like the loser at High School. There’s no art-direction here. Or “flat-lays”. Or bits of blossom. Or professional photography. I’m still using it in the way I did back in 2010.

Here’s why I totally fail at having a beautiful Instagram feed (and why I think it’s OK:)

  • I take photos of things to capture a moment in time that makes me feel happy but to anyone following it probably means nothing. (Like my ill-snotty-little-sister in a pug mask or a friend’s makeshift DJ booth.)

*Loses followers*

  • My photos aren’t very ~high quality~ you see. I have a good camera (somewhere), but I still like to think that Instagram is for instant moments and I’m still quite impressed with what an iPhone 6 can churn out. My brain says “for god’s same Emma, you are WAY BEHIND the times – get yourself a Digital-Camera-with-a-Wifi-Connection. But I still prefer to just “slap it up on there”. Maybe next year. Or maybe never.
  • I’m not very good at “composition”. My boyfriend tells me this. Unfortunately if I am the one taking it, it’s always going to be a wonky photo of the Eiffel Tower, or someone’s feet will be cut off at the bottom of a photo. “It adds character to the photo!” I say, unconvincingly.
  • I tried some editing tools out and then felt a bit icky. Back to the blurry selfies it is.

*Loses followers*

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  • I post things I can later print out using Origrami (heard of it? It’s really cool but a bit pricey so I only select my favourites – it’s a great way to put IRL snaps around the house.)
  • I don’t ever think “what will get me the most likes?” on my personal feed even though I KNOW what probably could. But unfortunately I don’t own a puppy and I think cats can be quite mean. I know how to work my way around Instagram analytics. I know what “my top nine” photos were and could make some adjustments next year.
  • I could devise a ~strategy~, but that would be #very #forced, wouldn’t it. I’ve written before about how I prefer following people who act like an actual Human Being on Social Media.

*Loses followers, then gains 2*

  • I still operate under the main thought of a) “my mates definitely need to see this!” or b) “I interviewed a celeb, lol look mum!” when I decide what to post, which is not the coolest Instagram etiquette.
  • (But hey. I agree with this tweet below, but hey: it’s an extreme example!)
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  • As much as I used to bitch and whine about some awful Inspiration Quotes (mainly the ones written in Comic Sans) I do love posting a good motivating quote, however cheesy some may think it is. Like this one. I won’t be stopped.

*gains a few followers who like quotes about writing*

  • My food always looks a bit shit even if it looks tasty in real life. I attempted taking one of my salmon and cream cheese sandwich yesterday and gave up straight away.Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 21.37.02
  • I post quotes from books I’m reading that most probably only mean something to me.
  • It’s a visual diary of random odd thoughts and bits and bobs.
  • I love looking back through my feed to remember the fun yet imperfect things that have happened that week/month.
  • And I really like it that way.
  • Each to their own.
  • Just another online diary. Minus the Pritstick.

 

  • Y’know, it’s OK to have a “messy” Instagram but it’s OK to have a curated one too. They are two separate beasts and both important in their own ways. I see a lot of people putting down curated Instagram feeds (rarely do I see people bad mouthing “messy” feeds, hmm..) and I don’t really understand why it has to be this way; we don’t all have to like the same thing and we just because we don’t like something, doesn’t mean the opposite is “the best” or “right way” of doing something. It’s just different.

    Personally I don’t like badly taken photographs, out of focus posts, sloppy editing, or TMI although I think it’s awesome there is a whole group of people out there who LOVE that content. On the other hand, I see a lot of curated feeds and get bored of them. When every photograph looks the same it gets incredibly tedious, I want something new thrown into the mix now and again, y’know?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, “you do you.” :))

  • Oh, I always love your Instagrams!! I ended up making two: one for my blog where I can *try* to be a little bit #personalbrand-y (even though I still take them all on my phone, don’t edit them, and am not entirely sure what a flatlay even IS), and then my own one which is just for in-the-moment snaps! But that turned out to be a little exhausting, so maybe I’ll just stick to my good ole drunken selfies.

    Do you use Snapchat ever? I have ONLY JUST (late to the game, Emma) discovered it and I LOVE it—all the pressure of having the perfect feed is gone!

    http://eggplantemoji.com

  • Haha oh lord. My instagram is a mess – I declare in my description that I cannot stick to one aesthetic and I mean it. I think each photo I post on there is decent but the vast majority of them do not match.

    Erin | http://www.beingerin.com/

  • I really enjoyed reading through this post! Curated Instagram pages are pretty, but can also look painfully staged and therefore disingenuous. Your point about having a feed of “fun yet imperfect things” hit the nail on the head for me. To each his own, of course, but I’m team messy feed. 😉

  • Susan

    Yeah the curated feeds get boring. My IG is just me. Some pretty stuff, some goofy kid stuff, never TMI (because I hate that) and lots of random bits that I find interesting. Some photos are good and some not. Some are staged (I’m not impervious to all the aspirational stuff out there) but most are not. It’s all good. (Madtown_mama)

  • Enjoyed reading this. Honestly, I like to have both. I enjoy creating pretty grams, the type people ‘like’ loads, but if I’ve baked a chocolate yule log which I can’t seem to get edited or framed right, I’m still damn well going to post it anyway! x

  • Hell yes! I love taking photos, have a great camera and one by one they are fairly decent….but I never have a theme, I never have a style. They often look like a mishmash and I often berate myself for that…..but you’re right! That’s silly! It’s because I like to just follow what’s in my heart that moment…I can’t be arsed making everything look the same. In the same way I will never be tidy.

    I feel better now xx

    http://www.digital-diva.co.uk

  • Thank you! I absolutely agree and have been looking for a justification like this for sometime. In trying to make it look consistent I would lose all the inconsistent lovely moments of life. Visual diary – storing that away!

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