Instagram Rant: Forget About The Likes

This blog post is about my thoughts and opinions on Instagram. 

Over the past year, I've seen a lot of young women (including myself at some points) obsess over the use of social media and getting the perfect picture for the "gram." 

If you've ever cared or been upset about not getting enough likes or having a lot of followers, or have deleted pictures after posting them because they aren't getting a lot of attention, or don't match your feed, then this blog post is for you. 

It's one thing to post pictures on social media, but it's another to obsess over it and to let it alter your mood, how you feel, and even control your life. 

Here are a few things to remember when you're on Instagram. 

Alex and Ashley, Nora Swimwear

#1. An Instagram feed doesn't show you the full picture of someone's life 

Sometime's you'll look at a feed and assume someone's life is amazing. Amazing body, amazing house, amazing boyfriend, amazing parties. What's hard to understand is that you are only seeing a tiny fraction of that person's life. What you are seeing on Instagram is not the full truth, and in SOME instances, the things you are seeing can be a complete lie. 

In the picture above, I look really happy. I'm in Miami with Ashley and about to attend a fashion show at Swim Week. You would never guess that hours before this picture was taken, I had been crying and felt super insecure because I was surrounded by beautiful models and celebs... and also because, I went to a party at the W hotel the night before where Wale was performing, and not many people clapped after his performance... but that's a whole other story. 

Don't obsess or compare your life to someone's life on Instagram. Just because they're smiling in a photo doesn't mean their life is perfect. Just because they took a cute photo with their boyfriend doesn't mean they have a perfect relationship. Just keep this in mind. Always be proud of who you are, be grateful for what you have and the people who support and love you. And something else to remember, your Instagram account and the number of followers you have should not define you. 

#2. People will take 100 pictures to get one good one 

Sometimes you look at someone's feed and say "wow, they take amazing photos every single time." The truth is that that person probably took anywhere from 10-100 photos to get one good one. Think about it. How many selfies do you take before you post one? Probably at least five. People whose careers are based on Instagram are taking even more pictures because THAT'S their job! 

The first photo in the slide show is the one I posted on Instagram. The ones after it are among the dozen that were taken that day that NEVER made the feed (and I had absolutely no plans to show anyone either)! 

ALSO... people edit their pictures. A lot. Not everyone, but a lot of people do/have. Including me. I've altered my own pictures before, but I've stopped. I'm embarrassed to admit it but there have been times where I just felt I wasn't good enough and my picture had to be edited. 

Fake likes

#3. People can easily buy likes, followers, and comments

There are a lot of companies out there that will send likes to your accounts, give you followers, and even make comments. Some of your favourite brands, companies, and influencers have been known to use these tools. Don't be fooled, just be aware. 

Once, a random account contacted me and asked If I wanted to buy likes or followers. I said I was interested. 
She ended up sending hundreds of likes to the photo above. I didn't end up buying any, but it goes to show that it does work and it is possible. 

I love Instagram but I also hate it because I've wasted a lot of time on it, obsessing over what picture to post or mindlessly creeping random accounts. Now, I try to only go on it for the companies I work for, or if someone is contacting me through a direct message. I know my time could be better spent reading, stretching, catching up with family/friends, writing a blog, or practicing a monologue. 

 

To conclude: 

Instagram can be great, but it can also be dangerous.

Next time you're on the app, ask yourself these questions: 

Why am I on here? 

Is this having a positive effect on me? 

If the answer is no, close it. 

If the answer is yes, ask yourself why it's making you happy and make sure it's a good reason. 

The Intro: Why I'm Changing My Blog

I haven't posted anything since May because I have been feeling super uninspired and almost disappointed in myself and in parts of the Instagram/blogging world. 

The truth is, for the past few months I've been writing articles on my blog that I thought would get me a lot of attention. And when that attention didn't come, or didn't come fast enough, I would get upset or my mood would change in a negative way. I spent a lot of time writing things that I think other people would like and totally neglected my love for proper story telling and honesty. I started feeling fake and as if I wasn't contributing anything to the world. I was writing in a tone that sounded like everyone else. 

The problem is, I don't want to be like everyone else, I want to be like me. 

I write for a variety of blogs that are all pretty similar to mine and focus on fashion, health, and lifestyle. When it came time to create content for my myself, I found it very challenging to be creative and compete with the other things I was writing. Sometime I would come up with blog ideas for my own blog but end up writing them for another one just so I could get paid or have more exposure. 

Because of that, my own content started getting sloppy and the quality of my writing went down. I was spreading myself too thin. 

I took a looooooong break and decided to change the entire vibe of my website. 

From now on, I'll be posting more things about my life. 

Sometimes you'll read about my thoughts or opinions (which I don't share often because I'm a people pleaser) and sometimes you'll read about my experiences. 

From the outside, I have a very interesting and exciting life but the struggles I face everyday ARE SO REAL. Only people who are close to me know about them, but I'm prepared to share some of them with you guys, too. The more we share with each other, and the more honest we can be, the better we'll get? 

That didn't make much sense, but please just know that my life is super far from perfect. 

Fashion, lifestyle, and health blogs will also make appearances again, but on my own terms. Interviews, Q&A's and profiles will also be available eventually too. 

I don't have a specific schedule for my blog, but I'm going to try to write as much as possible. Writing has always been therapeutic to me up until a few months ago. I want to get back to that. 

However, whatever I write about, I promise it will always be the full truth. I don't want to just talk about the good, I want to talk about the bad too. 

ALSO, I feel like we should know each other better. I never really talk about myself or my experiences online, so before I go, here are some things you should know about me. 

1. I LOVE spicy food

2. I have two younger sisters (15 & 19) and a half brother (24) 

3. Drake is my favourite rapper, forever

4. At the moment, Rhianna is my biggest fashion inspiration (but this changes periodically!) 

5. BBQ nachos, pad tai, and smoked salmon are favourite things to eat 

6. My favourite stores are Forever 21 and Zara

7. I've applied to Big Brother Canada four times and made it to the semi-final round of auditions three times

8. I don't like sad songs and I never listen to them 

9. One of my favourite movies is Selena  

10. I'm an introvert but I can also be extremely social 

11. I'm an optimist and try to stay as positive as possible in every situation 

12. I brush my teeth about five times a day 

13. I wash my face every night NO MATTER WHAT 

14. If I don't drink a ton of water every day throughout the day I feel weak and dizzy 

15. My mom is the best motivator I know 

16. My dad is the hardest worker I know 

17. I live in Toronto, and I love it

18. Travelling is essential to my health 

19. I'm very sensitive 

20. I'm a Christian

Thanks for reading, 

- Alex