The Instagram Struggle and Starting Over

The Instagram Struggle and Starting Over on Natalie Catalina

If you haven't already noticed, I cleared my ENTIRE Instagram over the weekend and I feel marvelous about it. For quite some time now, I've felt all too uninspired to publish to what used to be my absolute favorite platform. Instagram used to be a place of endless creative flow and inspiration. I often didn't go more than a few days without publishing something. I hate to say that it had anything to do with the whole algorithm update, but I think it may have. I've seen less and less of the amazing creatives I usually do on Instagram and instead have to manually search my favorites and "subscribe" to them so I get notifications when they publish...which, to be honest, is super annoying. 

Not only have I lost touch with hundreds of accounts that made my heart swoon, but I also realized that there were so many photos that simply didn't bring me joy. Or rather, didn't make me feel anything. For me, platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram are sources of pure inspiration and creativity. And I've lost a lot of that in the past several months. While interaction with my favorite accounts dwindled away, my own grid suffered as well. I was starting to publish things for no reason, simply because it had been too long since I had last posted or I felt like I was falling behind. Of all the platforms I use as a blogger, Instagram seems to be the one that feels like more of a competition than a place to share beautiful photography and discover other artists, creators, designers, and photographers. I've put Instagram on the backburner. Publishing maybe once or twice a month. To be completely real with you. It's been so good for me. Not constantly taking photos because I feel the need to publish gave me a breathe of fresh air. 

I'm a little embarrassed to have so many thoughts and struggles over a social media platform...but hopefully some of you get what I'm saying? Right? Anyone? Looking at my grid, I realized I disliked most of it. At the time of course I must of felt something about the photos, but looking back, they don't suit me anymore. My aesthetic and style have changed over the years, and with them, so must my public profiles and this space (obviously). Nothing about my Instagram felt like "me" anymore. It seemed dull, boring, pointless. It's ironic that my following has grown this past year, even though I've published less than ever before. I'm so thankful for the new followers and engagement, but I want to do better.

After a couple weeks of mulling it over and some persuading from others who did it too, I made the bold move to delete my entire history of photos. Don't worry, they're all saved 👍🏼. I have a new perspective and feel totally revived. I've done several things to recreate my Instagram and stay motivated to use the app and publish to my account more often. If you're feeling the Instagram rut as well and looking to do the same, take note!

How to fall in love with your Instagram all over again...

take a look at who you're following

This made a huge difference for my account. I removed hundreds of people from the list I was following and made my feed so much prettier to look at. Celebrities were the first to go, I cleansed myself of basically all of them. There were also hundreds of people I had met in a past life, but am not friends with at all... people I followed for the sake of following. I was also following hundreds of brands... brands that I didn't even wear or necessarily even like. Gone!! Purging through the list made all the difference. Now I open up my app to photos that inspire me every day. I actually take the time to watch all the stories because they interest me. If it doesn't bring you joy, get rid of it. 


delete old photos if you don't like them

This one is simple. If you don't like photos you've posted, just remove them!! No harm done. Honestly, who cares? You'll thank yourself and probably like your photo grid way better when you're only seeing photos you actually enjoy.


start "saving" photos to create a moodboard

Instagram now has a cool feature that let's you save photos to reference later. I'm obsessed with this tool. I do it often with photos that I love or that fit my own style. Now when I go to my profile, I can click over to those photos and see an entire moodboard full of inspiration for my own photography. 


download planoly to make life easier

Planoly has changed my Instagram game 100%. I love building up my entire grid there before it ever goes live to my account. You can upload photos, move them around to see what looks best next to each other, and schedule all your photos. It's so nice and definitely helps to plan out everything and develop a consistent feed that works well for you.


figure out your brand and stick to it

While my "brand" has been developed everywhere else... Instagram has been the last place to follow suit. Now that I know where I want my personal brand and style to stand, I know what I want that space to look like. Only add photos to represent YOU and make you feel good. Do not simply publish because you feel you have to. Don't publish to gain followers. Publish to inspire yourself and others.


use filters and like colors

This is exactly what I'm working on now... having a cohesive theme and style to my grid. Something that reflects me and my brand and my blog. Using colors that are similar, filters that work well together, etc. etc. I love stumbling upon accounts with consistent photographs and coloring, they're so much more attractive! Have you downloaded the new Glitter Guide filters from A Color Story? DO IT. I'm planning to use them nonstop. I highly suggest A Color Story for photo editing and stick to similar filters.


remind yourself why you use instagram

People use Instagram for so many different reasons. Some use it simply to share photos of their family and every day life, others use it to sell products, many use it to make commission, and of course, we use it as a form of art. Ask yourself what the point of your Instagram is and why you use it. For me, it's an extension of my blog, a place to share "pretty" things or styled moments. Basically, my life through rose-colored glasses. 


instagram is not a big deal

Don't forget that Instagram is just an app. It's not the end of the world if you aren't gaining the amount of engagement you had hoped for. It's not the end of the world if you go a few days or (god forbid) a few weeks without publishing any photos! Once you let go of such things, it makes the app much more enjoyable to use. Just be authentic and be inspired by it.


OK. End rant. Are you feeing the rut too? What have you done to refresh your feels about Instagram?

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