Instagram can be daunting. I get it. When I don’t get on there for a few days, or even sometimes a few hours, I get super overwhelmed about the time it will take me to catch up on everything and figure out what to post and when. But at the same time, it has been my favorite social media platform pretty much since it started, so I’m determined to keep it fun and keep falling in love with it.
My theory is this – if you see Instagram as a chore or just something you have to do as a blogger or business, you’re going to hate it. If you see it as a way to connect with other like-minded people, get inspired, and stay creative, you’ll not only enjoy it more, but you’ll get more out of it as well. So, here are my 5 ways to fall back in love with Instagram.
1. Engage, engage, engage
Instagram is all about community. Instead of opening it up and worrying about what you’re going to post next or how many likes your last photo got, focus on engaging with those in your network. Follow accounts that are similar to yours, that inspire you (but not that will make you play the comparison game), and that you can connect with, and start to build individual relationships with people.
I spend the majority of my time on IG commenting on cool photos and replying to stories, and because of that, I’ve made some awesome virtual friendships and some of them have even turned into real life friendships!
2. Use Instagram Stories daily
Over the past little while, I’ve set a goal to post something to IG Stories every day, and it has made all the difference! First of all, I love Instagram stories, which you should know from my post on why you should be using them. They allow me to connect with my audience in a totally different way that’s more personal and real, and so many people engage with them.
Besides all of that, Instagram stories are just fun and the more you use them, the more comfortable you will become and the more you will love them. Ask questions, talk about that cool product you’ve been loving, show off your friends’ rad accounts. You’ll be surprised by how you can connect so authentically over the Internet.
3. Collect inspiration
One of Instagram’s newest features is the ability to save photos to collections that you can reference anytime. I love this option because I can save pictures that inspire me, that teach me more about photography, showcase beautiful places I would like to visit, and so much more.
Once in a while, scroll through IG with the intent to just find and gather inspiration to your collections. You’ll realize that there’s so much more to this platform than the numbers game.
4. Turn off notifications
The best thing I have ever done for my sanity was to turn off notifications for likes on Instagram. I used to be obsessed with how many likes my photos would get and in what amount of time and if that was good or bad, to the point where it was unhealthy. I knew I needed to make a change so I tapped settings and turned those babies off. Now, when I post a photo, I can just close the app and forget about it. Instagram (or any other social media platform) shouldn’t be about the numbers. It’s about the people.
Personally, I keep notifications on for comments, messages, and tags, so I can respond in a timely manner, but stay in tune with yourself and do what you need to do for your mental health.
5. Set boundaries (and don’t take IG so seriously!)
Too much of a good thing, right? Make sure Instagram doesn’t take over your life. Even if you enjoy it, if you overload you’ll get burned out and then end up avoiding it for days on end.
Only you know what will work for you, but if you need to set specific times to be on the app throughout the day, do that. Once in a while, go experiment with your camera without the pressure of trying to take perfect photos for your feed. Post a goofy picture that you wouldn’t normally post. Be vulnerable, open, alive. Because it’s just an app filled with pictures. At the end of the day, it’s not that important, so let’s stop stressing and have fun.
What do you love about Instagram? Let me know! (And don’t forget to follow me @saltywanders!)