The Instagram connection

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Well, this graphic is a little dramatic but I liked how it sounded!

It’s Friday night, I have a toothache, a ton of stuff to do and really all I want to do it have someone cook me dinner and bring me a glass of wine.  Oh wait. Someone is cooking me dinner. My man really takes care of me, and in case you think I don’t know it, believe me, I do.

 

I love Instagram.   I’ve mentioned it before here.  But, I just have something I need to get off my chest.

My approach to following accounts on Instagram is this:  I proactively follow people I am genuinely interested in.  Yes, mostly they are other artists, but I also follow people who’s feed show me things I wouldn’t otherwise see – pictures of glaciers, cute puppies, the snow in Boston last year, the view from a hilltop in Cheshire, the mountains of Estonia.

I never start following someone unless I like what they are posting, for it’s own sake.  And I don’t expect a follow in return (okay, that’s a lie.  There’s an exception to this, which I’ll explain later).Of course some followers aren’t going to follow you back.  Like National Geographic.  Why would they? And I don’t take it personally.

However, I do generally follow back most people that follow me first, unless I really dislike their feed (spammy, porny or just… not awful, but not my cup of tea either). And I kind of like that – I don’t mind reciprocating the follow, and I’ve met some fabulous people that way that I otherwise may never have come across.  After all, we’re all there for the same purpose:  to promote ourselves and what we do.

So that’s my two pronged approach – a proactive follow and a reactive follow, both equally valued.

Then there is this:  those people who spend their energy following random accounts they have no interest in, other than to garner a potential follower in you.  They might even comment and like posts.  They follow you.  You like their feed and follow back….and then they promptly unfollow you. It’s like they don’t know there’s an app that tells you who unfollowed you.  What sort of networking is this?  It seems so misguided to me.  And shallow.  I imagine in real life these people either used to sell used cars or mobile phones and wore shiny suits.

I’ve no problem with people changing their minds: sometimes you follow someone and after a while you find their feed is not for you.

Then there are other folk, who you kind of think might follow you back:  they have a similar number of followers, they make art too, so you have something in common.  And if they’re local to my region – well that just makes me so happy!  So I follow them for two reasons – one because I like what I see in their feed, but also because they’re local.  And I hope they follow me back, because who knows, one day we might bump into one another at some event or other, eh?  And then they don’t.  There is silence.

And this, I realise is the problem.  Whilst I have no shame in saying yup, too right I’m on Instagram trying to promote my work ultimately and grow an interested audience, I’m also looking for meaningful connections.  And I have found them with some folk – you know who you are 🙂

It’s this game of Instagram I don’t like.  This is where, sometimes, the veneer slips, the disingenuous stands out and it all looks rather self serving and meaningless.

Besides, I really can’t quite believe folk would want a quantity of followers over quality of followers.

Christ my toothache really has put me in a bad mood!  Time to chill and stop brooding.  Cheers!

 

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8 thoughts on “The Instagram connection

  1. aviemeadows March 4, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    Yes to all of this and… There is an app for finding out who unfollows you??!!

    Like

    • vickihutchinsartist March 4, 2016 / 10:10 pm

      Hi Avie – yes, I think there are a few, I use InsTrack. And I cannot decide whether this makes me a doofus for caring….!

      Like

      • aviemeadows March 5, 2016 / 4:53 am

        Ha! You’re not a doofus for caring. I feel kind of jaded when I get de-followed also.

        Like

  2. debiriley March 20, 2016 / 4:13 am

    this was very interesting! I don’t do Instagram, so I’m not up on their ‘rules, but I’m still thinking it is a bit ‘rude’ & dodgy to follow/unfollow willy nilly.
    I’m terrible at knowing the right way to do things and am slower than molasses at finally ‘following’ someone. But, I like to be sure about it. I’m sure I get a lot of Unfollows for that reason! I do look at the Reader and like posts that seem interesting and make comments, when I feel like it.
    I had No idea you could figure out who unfollowed tho.
    I liked your article. cheers, Debi

    Liked by 1 person

    • vickihutchinsartist March 31, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Sorry Debi, somehow I missed you posted!
      Social media is a whole other set of etiquette I think! And I’m like you in real life, takes me a long time to get to know people. Social media can feel (for me anyway) like a bit of a game sometimes, but on the whole I feel so lucky to have met such support and encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • debiriley March 31, 2016 / 10:04 pm

        I agree…maybe I’m on the ‘older side’ LOL but I still prefer face to face, or real phone calls. Much to my family’s dismay I think. They text for everything 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tara Leaver March 31, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    Oh my god there are apps for seeing who unfollowed you?! Wish I hadn’t read that bit! I’m super fussy about who I follow, especially now that the feed’s changing; it’s really focused me on what I want to see more of {or not!}. And it’s never personal or a judgement or whatever. {Not to mention, it’s my feed!! lol} I guess I can’t stop people from making assumptions about why I unfollowed them, although it’s a shame if it’s really that important. Like you, I want to connect with people, and for me that’s where Instagram wins over pretty much anything else. Either way, glad to have found you and happy to keep seeing your lovely work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vickihutchinsartist March 31, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      Likewise Tara! It’s such a great way to “meet” such a variety of people I would never have otherwise met. And though I can be quite shy and private in real life, I really feel part of a community on IG. I really underestimated how much I would enjoy (and need!) the community aspect. Feel so lucky to have met such nice folk and connect with people like you too.

      Like

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