In the past two weeks I’ve noticed quite a few posts on accounts I follow about the rise and fall, rise and fall (you get my point) of Instagram followers and how much these figures seem to change continuously. This weekend I didn’t post anything for 48 hours and I lost maybe 20 followers. That’s not to mention on the daily basis the number of follow/unfollow changes I have. One account encouraging an educational app for children has actually followed and unfollowed me four times now. I’m not sure if it’s deliberate or if they’re worried about offending me (I’m unfollowed currently but who knows how long it will last). So I’m wondering what the rules on etiquette are here?
When I first set up my account I followed celebrities and exotic hotels which I’ll never get to stay in but keep an eye on just in case, you know, I suddenly get a window to jet off to the Maldives. As the years have gone on I’ve removed most of these from my ‘following’ list and chosen to follow people I can relate to. For example, whilst I’m sure Beyonce is excited about having twins I’m pretty sure (I’d go so far as to say 100% certain in fact) that she won’t miss me in her followers pile. Although if she needs any advice my account is always open and J.Lo might not be so readily available. The majority of people I follow tend to be twin mums and dads, twin sites and new parents as well as my friends and fashion bloggers.
Now I appreciate that not everyone can or will want to follow one another just because they have children and hair in common. Sometimes a photo is nice but you just want to like it. Sometimes you might like a few but not want to follow. Sometimes you think you can relate to that person so much that they become one of your favourite accounts. That’s all cool with me. I’m not for everyone and everyone isn’t for me either. What I don’t really understand though is following an account for 24 hours then unfollowing because they didn’t follow you back. What I also don’t get are the people who have maybe 31k followers and follow 200 people? I always thought Instagram was about interaction, not just creating reaction by posting some photos. Lately I’ve also noticed how many ghost accounts or “add follower” accounts seem to be popping up and leaving comments. Again, I’d like the person on the other end of the interaction to be real, not just a robot designed to push up my popularity. The block option is fast becoming a popular one on this handset.
One account that came up in my “others you might like” part had a statement photo saying if it didn’t make you feel good then unfollow and leave it behind. I’m all for that but do we really follow accounts that don’t make us feel good or are we just following anything for the sake of it?
The news over the weekend reported that people who spend large periods of time on social media can be at risk of isolation and loneliness. Now here’s the juxtaposition because I have an open account and encourage people to follow me using hashtags and tagging accounts, but I’ve already said in a previous blog that there are times I’ve felt lonely and isolated since becoming a mum. And yes, I write a blog so clearly I want “traffic” but I don’t want that “traffic” to just whizz past. I get a great deal of strength and virtual support from following other twin parents because the old adage of you don’t know what it’s like until you’ve been there is very true when it comes to raising multiples but sometimes it also feels like everyone else has it together whilst you’re just muddling through. I love following new parents but sometimes I wonder if they would do it differently with two? And then there are the times where I wonder why I’m over thinking and not taking Instagram at face value to just enjoy and then shut off at night?
It’s amazing how powerful the little window of snapshots on life has become since it began. Instagram is my favourite social media platform and I know I’m not alone in that feeling but a photo is all that it is sometimes- a snapshot. The 48 hours I took away from it taught me to remember that life goes on outside of those little windows too, and it’s important to remember that every now and then.
How many followers am I on?!