What I Miss About My Small Instagram Account
The larger your Instagram account, the more work and pressure.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I have so many followers now and I am pleased that my Instagram account is growing so quickly and that everyone is engaged so much. However, there are a few things I sometimes miss and honestly, I can’t imagine how people with huge Instagram accounts cope.
The fact I could keep track and engage with everyone.
If you spammed my Instagram account with likes, followed me or sent me a message, chances are when my account was smaller I saw it and responded. The chances of me doing that now are slim to none. Consider that on some days I am getting 500+ followers, 8,000 likes and hundreds of comments. That love heart notification thing is moving so fast I don’t have time to keep up. I miss everything. I’m sure people think I’m rude or don’t care or that I’m in some Instagram elite world of my own. Not true. By the time I register something its come and gone and I have no way of finding it.
I could reply to every comment with something meaningful.
Now the love heart notification thing is moving so fast I do most of my engaging on comments and if you want me to notice you, perhaps even follow you then this is the best place to get my attention. But even then sometimes this is unmanageable as I need to sleep. I hate not replying to comments, it feels mean and I always try my best but sometimes it is just so difficult. I do read them all though, often meaning to respond later, sometimes later never comes. When my account was smaller later always came.
DM messages were always guaranteed to get my attention.
I use to have some amazing conversations with people in DMS and I meet some amazing fellow Bookstagrammers through DMS. I still have some great conversations, meet some great people but I lose messages all the time. I try and respond to them all but it isn’t always possible when you have 50 a day in your unread and maybe double that in your inbox. Some are shout-outs, others from brands, wanting to work with you, some from people telling me how I should be editing my pictures and a lot asking me questions, some even want me to look through their feeds and give them feedback. Before, I would have answered them all, talked to everyone and given anyone the help they needed. Now it is almost impossible to even though I do try, messages go missing, get forgotten and some never get seen. It makes me sad to think someone took all that time to send me a message and now they feel dissed. It’s not true; I just have a degree, a life and a few friends I still need to see.
The number of unfollows.
With quick growth comes bots, bots and more bots, and the follow-unfollow brigade, which I have nothing but swear words for. If people really knew Instagram they would know that for someone with an engaged account like mine it’s hard to keep to track with who has followed you, really hard. If I don’t follow you back, please don’t take it personally, but make friends with me, get to know me, comment on my pictures, message me but don’t follow me just for a follow back; it’s not going to happen.
In part, I would say this is a good thing but the pressure to post great content can sometimes get to you. Pictures that were OK for 7,000 followers aren’t so great when they are going out to 34,000. You have to up your game. In upping my game after my Instagram feature annoyed some Bookstagrammers, alienated others and gained lots more in the process. I can’t post a just-good-enough picture anymore; my followers deserve more now and yes, this adds pressure but most of the time it is a pressure I thrive on.
I am never going to watermark my pictures – it looks crap in my opinion and in any case can easily be removed. But there is something odd about seeing an image of yourself as someone else’s profile picture and seeing an account with several of your pictures, claiming they have taken them themselves. Then there are the blatant copies of your images. I’m not talking about the ones that take inspiration from you, I’m talking about the ones that are identical – yes it does happen and yes, it does get to you, we are all human after all. I guess that is all part of the Instagram game, but why did nobody steal my pictures when my account was smaller?
I think for me it all boils down to the fact that often I feel like I am being rude by not responding to everyone and when I see people I used to communicate with all the time unfollow me, presumably because I haven’t responded to something or liked their recent pictures, it does hurt. So enjoy your smaller community, please don’t wish it away. Talk to them, engage with them and revel in it, because one day a picture might go viral, you might get featured by Instagram or a huge account might shout you out – yes all three have happened to me and before you know your account has become a beast and you’re not sure what to do with yourself.