Why I am not a fan of instagram

Just before Christmas, I posted that I was withdrawing from social media.

I was fed up and was unsure of the role I wanted it to play in my life.

I’m a person who is focused on experiencing life as it is right NOW! If I am out with friends or in a social setting, I like to be there in the discussion, not half in half out on my phone.

I’m hopeless if I am at a work or blogging event. My phone gets lost amongst real conversations and laughter. I would much rather interact with people in person then be sending out tweets or photos hoping to connect.

I generally get halfway through an event and think “Shit I should be tweeting this,” without really wanting to because it steals away my presence. It’s a task I willingly hand over to Craig if it’s y travel blog related.

If it’s on Mojito Mother turf,  I find a way to balance it, only doing the updates in a spare moment and only doing a few.

That was until instagram came to android phones.

At last. I could join the cult.

why I don't like instagram
upload.wikimedia.org via Taylor on Pinterest

At first I loved it. I thought it was so cool how you could capture any sort of random image, emotion, or snapshot of your day. You could even follow instagram parties and themes and get oh so creative.

Not long after, I started to discover my unease and disgruntlement with it. It was about the same time my sister told me how stupid she thought it was. “It changes people. I know so many people now who do stupid things just so they can put the photo on instagram and be a hero. It’s a look at me platform. My friends are on it all the time, they hardly even speak to you anymore, they’re too busy trying to snapshot everything.”

I knew exactly what she meant.

Photo by photo, instagram was eroding away the real motion pictures of my life and replacing it with a framed lifeless snapshot. The filters making it even more un-real.

Moments of my life stolen by a phone camera and a filter.

I battled between the need to do this for business and not giving a fuck because of the imposition.

The imposition won out.

Why am I doing this for? What value is it adding to my life? What value is it taking away?

I decided to withdraw to figure it out.

I’ve barely been on instagram since that decision and I have loved it. Craig still runs y travel blog instagram, but Mojito Mother I gave up on.

It was amazing how much of my life I got back. Social media can drain you and place far too many pressures on you to “do” because you feel you have to.

When it comes to Facebook and Twitter, I can shut off  easily. I love them both as effective tools for engaging with my community and being helpful. I can schedule facebook and twitter into my work schedule. They have been vital for forming relationships, getting to know people within my community, and connecting with brands and companies I wish to work with. REAL value.

I love these two tools and taking my break made me realize they are both very important to my business and I love hanging out on them. I am pretty strong and can control my usage of them and not allow it to take away my personal time and the experience of now.

Unlike instagram.

I dislike it immensely.

For one, the connecting to community part is limited, although available. It is a total invasion of privacy and the ability for someone to appreciate the moment of now.

How can they?

They are too busy getting the perfect snap: the meal, the candelabra, the neck tie, the hairstyle, the new shoes, the street sign and it goes on.

But wait, once the perfect photo is taken, you then have to edit it in your photo editor app and choose the correct filter, which can take up to 20 minutes (well for me anyway)

Then you have to battle with instagram slow app speeds to upload the photo, location tag it, write your caption, hash tag it and then hope people will like it. Because if they don’t then what is the point? What else are you going? It’s not like they are coming to your blog.

I can pin an image from a post onto Pinterest, which takes me five minutes and then have 1,000 people visit my blog and get to know the value I provide. They can look around; see who I am, what I do, what I am expert in and how I can help them.

In instagram? I might get thumbs up, if I took the best photo and filtered it right.

With other platforms I can work it around my schedule. Instagram bursts in announced.

I found that taking the photo and filtering it became more important than building a sandcastle with Kalyra or playing cheeky monkey with Savannah.

Why do I need the world to see this? Especially when it takes 30 minutes to show–30 minutes I could spend cuddling and laughing with my girls.

No thanks. I love the present far too much to allow any phone app to distract me from it.

Taking 20 minutes to capture a moment that could otherwise just be adored for what it is, is ridiculous.

I don’t think I can offer much more on instagram then a hey look at me. In regards to the travel blog, it works better as we can showcase destinations and cool things to do.

I’m out with Instagram. I think I have posted 5 photos since before Christmas. I’ve decided at most I will post one photo a day if it moves me and does not distract me from living. If I did not have children and a busy business, I might think of it in a different way.

My life, my children, my moments are too precious to give away to this invasion.

I get the allure. I understand how much fun it can be and how your creative side can be let loose, but for me, it is not worth it.

I like taking the time to sit and watch the sun flicker on the ocean, feel the breeze settle the sweat beads, and have my children run gaily into my arms.

Instagram steals these moments from you and for what?

Your Turn to Share Tips:

Are you a fan of instagram? Maybe it is another social channel that drains you? Share your thoughts...

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  • Jeremy Branham

    I just joined Instagram a few weeks ago. I’ve used it a lot recently, especially for my trip to Yosemite. However, I feel like you do many times – social media becomes an obligation that takes away from the moment. I feel the pressure to do it but don’t always like it.

    With Instagram, it has been fun because it’s new. I’ve seen no traffic from it at all. I don’t know that I will keep it up either. I totally get you on this. I feel that way about social media sometimes when I am burned out, tired, and lost my focus.

    It’s a wake up call to do things differently. It’s exactly how I feel right now.


    • Caz Makepeace

      I don’t think instagram is great for traffic at all. I have never followed anyone over to their website. It’s good if you already know the people you are following because you get a deeper insight into their life, but really why do you need to?

      I think for travel it works better because you can inspire with destinations etc. We’ll keep y travel instagram going and Craig will mostly run it.


  • Hannah

    Hmmm, I personally love Instagram. Especially since I became an expat wife, it’s a wonderful way to keep in touch. For me, I use it like a visual journal of sorts. It doesn’t detract from the moment…it helps me remember them.

    I snap and upload in 3o seconds. I don’t fuss about with it, maybe that is why I feel it is different? I don’t do anything ‘for’ Instagram. I just capture the vicissitudes of everyday, real life with it. I have gotten little albums printed from the photos on it. It’s actually been terribly useful with my immigration process here in the US, I have endless examples of ‘real life’ with my husband and I.

    I don’t use Instagram to achieve an end, it’s just an outlet and a nice way to stay in touch with people *shrug*


    • Caz Makepeace

      Oh a 30 second upload is great. See if I just worried about snapping and uploading I’d probably be more inclined to use it. I actually started doing that and then I got a photo editing app so I’d start editing the photos, filter them and then upload them. And I have a crappy phone and phone service so it takes so long, I feel like I am missing far too much of living.

      I like hearing how it has enhanced your life. Thank you for sharing! Where are you living?


  • Vanessa

    I feel the same way – I have nothing against instagram butI just don’t understand the obsession with it.

    Plus I’m a bit of a photography snob – I learned to take photos on a SLR camera so anything ‘less’ than that feels more like a fluke than skill to me.

    Having said that, I think anyone using creative skills is a really good thing!


    • Caz Makepeace

      It can be an obsession for a lot of people, which I think is very dangerous. I’d rather be obsessed with the moment and then just jump on instagram every now and then. I much prefer taking photos on my SLR as well- so much more freedom and better quality. It feels more purposeful as well.


  • PlanningQueen

    I too was caught up with Instagram for a while last year. Then when I had time off over the summer holidays, I stopped all social media. It was great to have the time to get some perspective on what mediums I liked and wanted to spend time on.

    Instagram is not one of them. I understand its appeal too, but when I went to post something on Instagram, I felt like I was perhaps publishing it just for the reaction. It didn’t fit with the rest of what I do on social media – which is to share info, links and have conversations to help families organise the chaos of family life.


    • Caz Makepeace

      Exactly Nic! Well said. This is what I was feeling about it as well. I just didn’t feel like I was offering any value. More of a push than a pull. And in doing that I was pushing my own private time away. I didn’t like the heaviness or intrusion of it.


  • sofia

    Caz! I hear you! Finally, someone that I understand how I feel all these while about Instagram! I used to love it but not until it became like a plague. EVERYONE starts to Instagram everything and deep down suddenly I felt that I need to keep up with these people. I was glad I realized this and had no problem deleting my account. The same time Instagram decided to change their policy (and they changed it back) it’s like a sign shown to me that I made the right decision to not to be part of it.

    I have no problem with twitter because of the 140 characters limit. Not active in Facebook except for sharing travel tips and pictures from my “Likes” and “Pages”.

    Life is too short and I want to enjoy every moment of it, even though others might see me as anti-social just because I’m not part of the social network that encourage people to talk to the keyboard instead of human being. Hmm!


    • Caz Makepeace

      Perfectly said Sofia and I’m glad that I’m not alone in feeling this way about it. I’m glad I could recognize it as well. Every now and then I’ll see something I like, pick up the phone and think, “I should instagram that.” But then I open the phone and straight away, my soul just doesn’t feel it and says, “Nah, I don’t want to why?” I’d rather just enjoy it for what it is and then move onto the next enjoyable moment


  • Mara

    It’s funny, I think I use Instagram more as an extension of Facebook (which I really like both personally and professionally even if there are things that frustrate me about it) than as a stand-alone tool. I like the ease with which I can share snapshots on FB and Twitter using Instagram. And I don’t worry too much about editing – I just grab a quick filter and go usually. And that’s actually really nice when I’m on a sponsored trip – I can hashtag things and make the sponsor happy and it’s less intrusive to my family than other things I sometimes have to do.

    I don’t worry about using it to build community or traffic and I definitely don’t worry about how many likes I get so maybe that’s why it has stayed fun for me? I also don’t really look at other people’s stuff, except occasionally on my phone. Maybe that’s why it’s stayed fun. And I often put my phone away, so it doesn’t tend to feel like I’m doing it all the time.

    I understand how you feel though. I’ve completely given up on Pinterest beyond what I need to do for my business. I just don’t “get” it. But a lot of people love it. I think the reason there are so many platforms is that there are so many different types of people sharing content online.


    • Caz Makepeace

      Great points Mara! I think everyone does have a platform they are more suited to and they think works best. You have to work out what that is and then have a strategy around that. But, no matter what it is you have to be strong to not let it suffocate your life. These social platforms can do that so easily. I really hated how instagram took away social time for me. I’m very good at scheduling my moments, and social stuff for me just needs to be real life social with conversations and flow.

      Thank you for sharing your take on it! And I agree about how facebook can drive you nuts!!! I’ve thought of ditching that one a lot too lately


  • Annie

    With Instagram, I don’t understand the obsession to take a photo of everything you eat.

    And after a while, have you noticed how many Instagram photos all look the same? With the filters, many moments are not captured how they truly are, but all have some sort of haze or colour added to them, frequently distorting the beauty of the shot.

    FB and Twitter allow some social interaction and I have followed people based on these mediums. Never have I looked at an Instagram photo, and said “yep, I want to interact with these people again”.

    Photos are great, but in terms of connecting, I need a bit more.


  • Janet @ Redland City Living

    Yeah I’m not really sure I get it either … I joined at the end of last year. It’s ok but not addictive which in my case is a GOOD thing LOL


    • Caz Makepeace

      Yes! I am glad I am not addicted to it. I do know lots of people who are though


  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

    I’ll use Instagram if I want to modify pics I put in a post. And my Instagram is connected to my FB which is connected to twitter so 10 seconds on Instagram and I’ve posted in 3 places.
    That said, you don’t know how many times I’ve considered stopping it all. We should start a movement!


    • Caz Makepeace

      A movement sounds good Nat– back to basics, just enjoying the moment. Because we are on android, we’ve never really had the benefit of connecting to our fb page. I think they have only just allowed that to happen. Before you could only connect it to personal facebook, which was another irritating thing


  • Kek

    I think it depends how you use it. Photography has always been a hobby of mine, so I’m out taking photos anyway. Instagram lets me share them and connect with other photographers – most of them way more talented than me. I’ve found some amazing photographers from all over the world who inspire me to improve my skills and branch out to photograph things I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m an IG cheat because my smart phone doesn’t support the app. So I use my DSLR and then download to my iPad later when I’m home doing nothing much. Not really “instant”, but oh well…

    If you’re attempting to capture every event you attend, or every little random thing you or your family do, then it’s probably easy to take it too far and as you say, miss out on actually being part of the fun because you’re busy snapping & uploading instead of being involved. There are definitely a lot of show-offs on IG.


    • Caz Makepeace

      I get how it is a great tool for photographers and it certainly helps to give you a different perspective and way at looking at photography and creative shots. I have definitely learnt a bit in that regards. I think instagram is really good for certain niches and for others not so good, like all social media platforms really
      I just so enjoyed my break from instagram and now I see no purpose in it… for me. That could all change, though. I’m always open for that 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing your insight, it’s really great to hear so many different perspectives. i think it makes it easier to figure out how you want to use it yourself.


  • Talon

    What sometimes surprises me is that people think everyone wants to see endless photos of their drinks, meals, their hairdo, the fly on the wall, etc. And you hit the nail on the head about it being more important to interact with people. It drives me crazy when I’m in a group of people, and they’re busy on their phones. You can do that stuff LATER. You’re here, right now. Be HERE. Unless you’re waiting for an urgent call from your mother’s neurosurgeon, or the babysitter is calling while she’s with your kids, put the freakin’ phone away!

    I had barely done much with Instagram, but after they announced their new ToS, I did away with it completely. I knew they’d cave to pressure, but I decided I just really wanted nothing to do with it. I LOVE social media, and I LOVE connecting with people, both online and IRL, but for me Instagram isn’t the way to do it.


    • Caz Makepeace

      I agree. I really don’t think instagram is about connecting and interacting with people, it is more about showcasing, which has its purposes, but for me I’m more into put my energy into something that allows me to provide useful, valuable information and gives me the opportunity to communicate with others.
      And the whole documenting every aspect of my life is just too tiresome.

      If I was a professional photographer I might feel a little differently.


  • Johanna at ZigaZag

    Great post Caz, and I so get how some social media platforms totally erode the moments. I also have a love/hate relationship with Instagram and although I enjoy snapping the moment, and sending it out into the world I think it’s all a bit narcissistic – especially as I usually only get a limited reaction. Which means … oh hell … I’m doing it just for me, and what for? I would have been better spending that 5 or 10 minutes paying attention to the present!


    • Caz Makepeace

      I think narcissistic is a great way to describe it which is why I’m really negative towards it. I think for photographers it works well as they can showcase their craft. Those are the photos I like best, and if I was better at taking photos I might embrace it more!!!


  • Brooke vs. the World

    Totally understand this, but I still use Instagram occasionally — mainly because it’s my way to update photos to Twitter easily. Takes me literally no time to do. But social media overall is such a time suck. Another one I also don’t enjoy is FourSquare, but instead of using the app on its own, I also have that tied to my Instagram and it checks me in for me. That’s nice for when you’re traveling and want to give a company some extra love.


    • Caz Makepeace

      Oh Four Square is pointless in Australia. A complete waste. Instagram is good for quick uploads to twitter. We’ll keep the y travel one for business, but I’m going to cancel Mojito Mother.


  • Jacque

    I use to upload camera photo’s through another photo-filter-app, but once that program was bought by another company, I cease to upload nor do I find any urgent need to. You see, for me I NEED a good reason to take a picture and share it with the world via app. The only site I see worth investing in, when it comes to sharing phots, is flickr, but a good percent of the pictures on their are by people who point and click with an actual camera.

    Of course there are uses for instagram (eg photographer who wants to get more hits on his flickr page – kinda like a business using twitter for marketing); I bet a good percent of people who are using it are using it because A) it’s popular in their social group and/or B) to “remember” certain things/”capture” the moment.

    I also think it depends on who you hang around with. Most of the people in my social group only have facebook, mobile number (call or text) and email (and maybe house address … for you know, the rare hand written note or the more popular holiday card) as a means of communication. That works for us since most of us are working professionals with 9-5 “normal” jobs. We see no real pragmatic way for instagram – any reason brought it probably leaning on self-indulgence. I think I’m the only in my group that uses twitter (for actual business purposes) and tumblr (using a moniker; site is strictly personal).


    • Caz Makepeace

      I think it is very self-indulgent!! I think that’s why I only use it sparingly and now only for my travel blog, because it fits. I love to show beautiful pictures of the world around me rather than myself. I get sick of myself quite quickly and have no idea why anyone would care less what my selfie looked like for that hour. #bantheselfies


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