INSTAGRAM CHATS | why i stopped using my account (+ my new account)

Hey everyone!

Today it is a slightly different post from me as I just wanted to talk about Instagram. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Well in this post, I overthink it. Then I (internally) try to overthink how to underthink my new account. Feel free to judge me, I know I do.

[moving on]

my INACTIVE blogging Instagram account: @meandink

why I am no longer using this account?

YARN | Keep your eyes on me, boys 'cause I'm about to ...
NUMBERS MENTALITY

The classic measure of success on Instagram is numbers. Are you growing? Have you got over 1K followers? To an extent, I like focusing on numbers. It can be satisfying. You can meet more people and get to establish yourself in the community.

But, I find it a bit intoxicating. You get consumed by it, and to grow on Instagram, you have to dedicate a lot of time to it. More time than I want to devote to it. It is a lot between the posts, stories, comments, and reels. I admire people who do it all. The typical Instagrammer really doesn’t get a lot back from it for all that work either.

Pin on Gifs

I couldn’t find that healthy relationship with the numbers. I never felt like I was enough, so it was no surprise I stopped enjoying it. Plus, I couldn’t keep up with all the people I was following, which again was overwhelming. It really shouldn’t have been playing on my mind as much as it was. I need my sleep, not overthinking in the middle of the night. (slight exaggeration, I just love this gif. Shrek 2, man)

shrek 2 on Tumblr
CONSUMERISM

Everyone can agree that Instagram promotes consumerism in direct and indirect ways. From a dominance of merch and vast collections of books themselves.

I always said I was fine with this, and to an extent, I am. I can see plenty of items and know I don’t want them. But it constantly tempts you with everything and invites comparison to what you don’t have. As it always focused on what to buy next, it frankly became a bit exhausting and disheartening.

Aawww shrek gif | Awesomely Luvvie

Consumerism is worthy of a far greater discussion, covering all the ins and outs. For now, I can simply say I don’t want the oversaturation of goods.

related post: Consumerism In The Book Community | a pound for your love
FAST MEDIA

Instagram is fast-moving, and I am slow. Fast media has its advantage. You can put out loads of content, and there’s always something new for you. It is current, and sometimes it has a more personal and intimate feel (to an extent) seeing as it is real-time and provides insight into people’s lives. But… I can’t always keep up with it. I sound like a grandma.

Instagram doesn’t necessarily suit the way I want to produce content. Saying that Instagram is a lot more flexible than I am making it sound, you can do what you want and how much you want with it. It’s just I never felt like I kept up with a lot of other Instagrammers, so I kept apologising for being behind on my made-up schedule.

BEST LIFE LOCATED HERE

Instagram is well known for promoting perfection and endless happiness. Whilst the book community doesn’t compete to the extremest of levels. It is still rose-tinted. From the majestic shelves, constant arc approval and once again happy lives. It definitely paints a picture that isn’t the whole of reality. It is a ‘show off’ mindset. I’m guilty of it too. No one wants to show the worse bits of their life. I think Instagram is just an extreme version of it.

This isn’t a new point against Instagram. Showcasing life as perfect can be damaging to mental health in various ways. It is a step away from reality, and it can make you feel bad. Why aren’t you as productive or happy as everyone else?

i think i need a hug - Google Search | Hug gif, Shrek, The ...
STAGED VS CASUAL

In the context of Bookstagram, staged would be your flatlays & props, and casual the unchanged background with little editing. I actually love both styles. I appreciate the ease and beauty of casual photos and love the artistic effort of staged ones.

The only problem with this is staged can be very ‘perfect’ and prop-heavy. It can lead to comparison. It can make Instagram feel like a community where you need specific ‘requirements’ to get involved or succeed. Particularly with the dominance of aesthetics.

I actually find staged photos quite hard to do. The use of space, the need for props and everything. Looking back at the pictures I’ve taken can be a painful experience.

Enattendantleprincecharmant GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY
divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

Now we have finished stepping into my overthinking mind, I REALLY want to highlight KAYA’S (@ A FICTIONAL BOOKWORM) POST:Β are bookstagram and booktok accessible??. It is such an important read and everyone should be aware and conscious of it. So PLEASE, PLEASE read it! It just goes to show how imperfect Instagram can be.

This has been a negative post on Instagram, and I would like to mention this is a generalisation. There is plenty of joy to get out of Instagram and the whole community. Plus, there are areas where the issues I have raised aren’t as present. Therefore you can take each point with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, safe to say, after an accumulation of various factors, Instagram lost its enjoyment for me and became stressful. So I stopped…

…and created a new one.

Shrek - Welcome To Duloc (Blu-Ray 1080p) English GIF | Gfycat

Sadly all the factors I have mentioned still exist. I have not found the cure, but… before, I set up a new Instagram to start “bookstagram” again. I planned to be so professional with it, but then I realised it was not for me.Β Or so I thought…

why have I gotten another Instagram after all that?

Simply put, when playing around with an account only I could see, I began to enjoy it. I genuinely like the photography (whether artsy or simple) aspect and watching other people on it (cover reveals, recs, news). Apparently, taking pressure off yourself makes things more enjoyable… who’d have thought?

i like photography

I like the creativity you can put into the photos, from the different photo styles, imaginative editing (one day) and colour decisions (new mood=the brighter, the better). Enjoying it is the best reason to carry on with anything.

On the new account, there will be book photos AND others photos. You know I love a good nature shot.

shrek funny lol donkey | Tumblr

Hence, my new account isn’t a Bookstagram or professional blogging Instagram (yes, I have entered the realm of no social media promo for my blog). It is almost a personal account, but not really because I actually suck at personal.

Shrek I Like My Privacy GIF - Shrek I Like My Privacy Privacy - Discover &  Share GIFs

It is more of a book and life dump, but hopefully aesthetically. It will be very inconsistent and lowkey. I will post when I have something and won’t think of it much more than that. It won’t be a fast-growing account by any means, but it isn’t why I am doing it.

I like watching the fast content at times; it’s perfect for recs and staying up-to-date on book news

Instagram is a great way to stay up to date with your favourite authors and others. It is convenient and I like it. I have tried to follow less consumeristic accounts in the hope it will minimalise that issue, obviously it won’t be completely eradicated but hopefully I will feel better. Plus, I love the whole community and talking with people on Instagram.

It is fun and active. Plus, the way Instagram works means you can digest a lot of recommendations quickly. Through the love of buzzwords, you can hear about 10 books in a minute. This increases your knowledge and awareness of books (not perfectly, I will say.)

However, I am not following loads of people yet. Hopefully, it will all be sorted out soon.

If you want to see the new account, here it is…

MY NEW INSTAGRAM: @dragonsweetheart

divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

Ok, I think I have rambled enough now. Please let me know your Instagram account down below and tell me your thoughts on all things Instagram. I admit I am a bit of an overthinker, so I would love to hear if you’ve ever felt the same towards the app.

Do you like using Instagram? What do you enjoy most about it? What are the main problems you’ve experienced with Instagram?


26 thoughts on “INSTAGRAM CHATS | why i stopped using my account (+ my new account)

    1. Aw.. Thank youuu!! Bookstagram can certainly be intense. I agree, you just need to free yourself from its mindset and it is much more enjoyable! Thank you for reading and your kind words πŸ₯°

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  1. I have a fairly small bookstagram account (I just crossed 500 followers a while back which was super exciting!) and I sometimes notice myself being a little frustrated that my account doesn’t seem to be growing at the rate that newer accounts do. But then I have to remind myself that a) a lot of social media success is luck and layers of privilege and b) that I don’t actually care enough about those numbers to put in all the work I’d probably have to do to be a more successful bookstagrammer! I love experimenting with my photos and recently started using a new setup and a coherent editing style and it’s been so much fun! Whenever I find myself being too stressed about Instagram I either look at cute cats or simply log off. It’s not worth the mental energy it demands and if it stops being a fun place for me, I am ready to leave!

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    1. Congrats on reaching 500 followers, that’s amazing 🀩 I was so happy when I reached 100 followers on my first account!!
      I agree, there is often a burst of support but then really stagnant times where you barely gain any followers! Very true, social media success is a whole rollarcoaster! I certainly have always struggled with using stories on insta, which I know are important for success now!
      I’m glad you have been enoying experimenting with photos and editing… It is was lured me back in! 😍
      That is brilliant advice… You don’t need to stay online when it all gets too much. And of course cats! So many cute videos on there 😍😍 the best benefit to social media! πŸ˜‚
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it is comforting to know other people go through the same emotions. And best of luck with your account ❀️

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  2. you always take such beautiful photos, so obviously i’ll 100% be following your new account!!
    anyways sophie…I LOVE THIS POST!!! you seriously hit the nail right on the head as far as instagram goes! it’s so, so easy to be consumed by the numbers and the algorithm and the staged photos and “why didn’t this photo get as many likes as this one” etc…it takes up so much time and energy and it makes something fun and beautiful feel like such a chore! but just posting whatever you want WHENEVER you want is such a great way to still enjoy instagram without getting caught up in the more intense parts of it. wonderful post sophie (and thank you for sharing mine!)πŸ’œ

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    1. Aww… Thank youuu so much Kaya πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯ΊπŸ₯°β€οΈ
      Yay, so happy you liked this post and could relate to aspects!!
      Instagram can certainly occupy more brain space than it needs to… Like why I am comparing a professional photographer to my photos πŸ˜… and the numbers!! πŸ˜‘ EXACTLY… It makes it feel like a chore when it should be fun!!! That is how it feels!
      I am definitely hoping to just take it chill and focus on enjoying it! I hope you get to enjoy Instagram this way too!
      Ahh.. Thank you so much again and for your lovely comment πŸ₯°πŸ’ž of course, your post was amazing and should be read by everyone!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post was kind of really comforting (and funny! I love those gifs you added 🀭) to me? I made an Instagram account back in January simply because it gave me a reason to be creative or at least try to be creative with taking pictures and editing them. I’m still a very small account but it’s like you said, as long as you’re doing it because you enjoy it, that should be more than enough. I admit sometimes the numbers do make you feel like- okay am I doing something wrong? So I completely relate to everything you talked about! Overthinking it can really make you feel kind of low but why let Instagram have that kind of power over our emotions? Right now, I’m in a good place with it and I love seeing how creative and inspiring people can be! I think you’re one of those people too because your posts on here are always so lovely! I have no doubt your new account is too πŸ’—πŸ’ž

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    1. So glad this post could be comforting to you πŸ₯° and I’m glad you liked the gifs too… The gifs were my highlight of writing it! πŸ˜‚
      I really love your Instagram account, I love the vibe and tone of it. I definitely think Instagram being a creative outlet is where to find the joy of it! 😍
      As soon as I think of the numbers it can cause my thoughts to spiral in a way, just need to remind myself that it isn’t what it is about.
      It is so nice to hear you can relate to these thoughts and thank you for sharing yours! ✨Exactly, why let Instagram control your emotions like that!!!
      Hope you continue to enjoy Instagram and best of luck with your account. It is great to see people try different things out for sure!
      Aww… Thank you soooo much. πŸ₯Ίβ€οΈβ€οΈ That’s so kind, thank youuu πŸ’ž I loved reading your comment 😍

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  4. I’m totally with you on all these points! I actually tried writing a similar post a few weeks ago but I got frustrated with it and gave up, lol. I joined bookstagram last year thinking it would be all fun and pretty pictures and quickly got disillusioned with it. I eventually ended up deleting the app and even taking a hiatus from my blog because I just needed a break from being bombarded with other people’s opinions. There was so much of people getting “cancelled” and everyone trying to tell people what they should and shouldn’t be reading. I don’t read to make a political statement, I just like books πŸ™ˆ

    I did like taking the pictures though, and I sometimes wonder about just making an image gallery on my blog or something. I hope you enjoy your new account! Hopefully if you’re just posting as and when you want to you can enjoy it without any pressure ❀️ Good luck with it! (and I love your pictures) πŸ’–πŸ₯°

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    1. I am glad you could relate Abi, always nice to know I’m not alone in feeling this way. Instagram can be sooo much more stressful than it needs to be! πŸ˜… Haha it took be far too long to write this post tbh! πŸ™ˆ
      I totally get that, it can feel like a toxic mindset that sucks you in. When you leave it, it can frankly feel like relief. It is why I am hoping to take a “drop it and leave it mindset”. I’m glad you got a break from it, but sorry it pushed you to that extreme to begin with! It is certainly a lot at times and people can be very snappy unnecessarily!

      Same, taking pictures is enjoyable and I personally like having a visual record of what you have been reading. A blog gallery sounds like a great way to maintain that aspect. Plus I think it is appealing on blogs too. Whenever I click on a blog, I like seeing pictures 😍 love it!
      Thank youuuu ❀️ I am hopeful I can maintain the no pressure approach! Thank youuuu so much Abi and for your thoughtful comment too! πŸ’žπŸ’ž

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  5. Yep, yep, yep! So much about this post is incredibly relatable and I found myself nodding so much to the points you made. So many of these are reasons why I stopped posting on my bookstagram (@dinipandareads). I did start off in the book community over there and while I made so many friends and I really enjoyed posting pictures it just became too overwhelming trying to keep up with everyone’s gorgeous shots and putting so much effort into something and not getting the expected reactions. I found it especially hard as an international bookstagrammer whose main audience I realised was in the UK/US and so in trying to keep up with the algorithm and get the views I wanted I’d end up posting at the most ridiculous times. I look back now and kind of cringe at the lengths I went to in being part of that community… πŸ™ˆ It really became so toxic for me and I didn’t realise how little I was enjoying being in that space until I took an unexpected break and felt like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. I can’t lie, I do miss the community and creating pretty shots at times, but it moved so much faster than I like, so I’m glad that I found my people through blogging 😊 Your photos, on both your accounts, are stunning though! All that nature with your books is gorgeous and such a pretty aesthetic. Great post, Sophie!

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    1. Yay, I’m glad you could relate. Before posting I was slightly worried I was going to be “billy no mates” 🀣 so thank you! But sorry to hear how frustrating insta has been for you. I can totally understand why you stopped, with my previous account I became compulsive. Like if I didn’t comment or post everyday I had failed… πŸ˜…πŸ˜­ It was not healthy!
      I am definitely happy to hear bookstagram got you into the book community as I love your content, and bookstagram is great for making friends too. But there are definitely times (aka always) when you put more in than you get out, it becomes so exhausting!
      Of course being an international bookstagrammer has a whole bunch of other challenges. I’m sorry you had to put up with that. The algorithm sucks! It sounds like hard work. Sometimes it is that break that makes you realise so many things! I’m glad you have gotten away from the toxicity and that blogging could become your new space. Whilst I have kept an IG account, blogging is definitely still the one for me πŸ₯°
      Thank youuuu so much! I really enjoy nature shots, even if I feel slightly conscious taking photos out in public!! πŸ˜…
      Thank you and thank youuu for your lovely comment. I really loved hearing all your thoughts β€οΈπŸ’žβ€οΈ

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  6. This is such an interesting post, thank you for writing it. I’m so glad you found your pacing and something that makes you happy on instagram, that’s so wonderful!
    I can relate to so many of your points, here. The constant comparison, the numbers right here in your face, the picture-perfect, the consumerism and feelings of being inadequate because you don’t have these gigantic bookshelves to show off. I’m not too active on bookstagram because of that: sometimes I enjoy it and some other times, I’m just… having a hard time with it.
    Anyway, I wish you all the best with your new account!! ❀

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    1. Aw.. Thank you Marie πŸ₯ΊπŸ’ž
      I am glad I have been able to balance Instagram better now. I know it will remain a very small account due to it, but I will enjoy it. Thank you for your kind words πŸ₯°
      It is nice to hear you can relate to these points, but sorry you have to go through the pain as well. Comparison is a constant battle and instagram brings out the worst of it in many ways. I know, the people who have rooms of shelves, wow 😱
      I totally understand not being too active on bookstagram. It becomes too much for me otherwise. I hope you are able to find and maintain a healthy balance with it!! πŸ’ž
      Thank youuu so much and thank you for your comment too! It was great to hear! ❀️❀️

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  7. i relate sooo much to your feelings around bookstagram! comparison and pressure on aesthetics were huge factors for me to stop doing it. i also find interacting through social media much more draining because of how fast paced things are. like i can sit here and comment on this post even though you published it a few days ago, but on instagram, if you miss one or two days, you miss everything! it’s very very hard to keep up.
    i hope you feel more at ease with your new account and that the change helps you feeling better about instagram! (also loved the use of shrek gifs in this post heheh).

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    1. It is definitely nice to hear you can relate!! The comparison and pressure on IG can be far too much! The aesthetics are a lot too, I like looking at dark academia but I could never do it!
      The fast pace is intense for sure, I feel like I will adopt a silent observer approach now, because draining is a very good word to describe trying to handle social media. Blogging just has a magic the rest don’t really!!
      Thank youuu, I am hopeful I will be more relaxed. I doubt the account will grow much but I will enjoy it 🀞🏻 haha thank you, shrek gifs were my highlight of this post πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Thank you for your lovely comment Lais πŸ’ž

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  8. The Shrek gifs!! I love 😍 I have two Instagram accounts (one personal and one bookish) and I haven’t posted on my bookish one in months because I just don’t have the motivation to keep up with everyone else. For me, there feels like this kind of pressure to post a photo every single day and there are days when I don’t have the energy for even a casual shot. Maybe I’ll get back into Instagram but I’d have to rustle up a lot of inspiration for it.

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    1. Yayyy, Shrek improves every scenario πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I totally relate to feeling the pressure to keep up… It is soooo fast and you feel like you are supposed to have some crazy schedule. I was always apologising for not going on the app everyday and it was ridiculous πŸ˜… it isn’t something I want to do to that intensity at all! Thank you for sharing you thoughts, it is nice to know I am not alone in feeling this way. If you do go back to bookstagram I hope you find a good balance for it ❀️

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  9. Such a great, insightful post! πŸ’• I don’t have an Instagram account myself, because I know that it wouldn’t really work for me. What kept me from it was the algorithm, the showcase of so many physical books/pretty props and the fact that it’s very fast-paced πŸ˜… I hope you find fulfillment and enjoyment with your new Instagram account! πŸ₯°

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    1. Thank you Caro πŸ₯° I totally get not having an insta account, all those reasons made me doubt having one for sure. It can be intense! Thank you, the new account will be very lowkey so hopefully! Thank you for reading ❀️❀️

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  10. I like instagram, but the more time I’ve spent away the platform doesn’t appeal to me as much anymore. I think the focus on aesthetics & reach influenced me feeling less attached to creating bookstagrams! πŸ˜… I’d love to start posting again though just because I’ve always enjoyed taking book photos! Such an insightful post ❀

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    1. Time away from Instagram does make you realise some things about it!! πŸ˜… If the app wasn’t made to be addictive, I don’t think it would be as popular!
      Instagram can be quite single minded at times, making it quite tiring.
      I agree, I love the taking photos. I feel like I just want to use my new account as a photo dump area. πŸ˜‚ I hope you may be able to find a balance for it that you enjoy in the future 😊
      Thank you sooo much ❀️❀️

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