“I just do this for fun.”
“I came here to just make friends, the number of likes and followers doesn’t really matter.”
Everyone seems to say these things at one point or another in their bookstagram journey, so,then why are these statements always followed by some negative ones?:
“Why am I not getting as many likes on my pictures as usual?”
“I hate my feed at the moment.”
“I lost X number of followers yesterday.”
“Instagram’s new algorithm really sucks; so many people are missing my pictures.”
Why don’t we just take a step back and be honest here. Sure, making friends is amazing and wonderful, but we are all striving for bigger, better accounts….constantly. It’s the reason we hold ‘shoutout for shoutout’ contests, it’s the reason we agonize over the number of likes we have on our pictures. Yes, I think being popular is awesome , but maybe what we all really want and need is to be recognized for our creative work.
For those that follow me on Instagram, you know that I decided to take a step back last week and give myself a few days off of social media. I was starting to feel like posting was a chore, rather than a hobby. There was always something going on, and I HAD to keep responding to comments and catching up on liking my friends pictures and trying not to miss my post notifications and stressing about completing challenges… do you see where this is going?
I lost track of why I started my bookstagram in the first place: to be creative. And to talk to people who were as passionate about books as I was. (There are only so many times a girl can try to explain the plot of Throne of Glass to her boyfriend before she just has to give up.)
Instagram is just a creative outlet, and the bookstagram niche refines and hones that creativity to a particular topic. Sure, explaining to a stranger that “I take pictures solely of books for my Instagram” sounds batty, but then again, sky diving is pretty insane too. It was like I forgot that bookstagram is a hobby; I sure as shit am not getting paid for taking pretty pictures and stressing about my feed, SO WHY AM I STRESSING SO MUCH?!
There is so much pressure to deliver original, A+ content on a regular basis, that the pressure just compounded itself and felt overwhelming. Where did this standard come from? Why do I feel the need to post regularly? For me, regularly posting meant at least once a day, sometimes more, and I felt that when I didn’t stick to that schedule, I was socially punished. Either I was either losing followers, or, in my extremely skewed mind, I felt that people were just going to forget about me and my bookstagram existence.
But it is not just posting regularly that was stressing me out. It was my lack of a coherent ‘theme,’ so to speak. Many people on social media (not just bookstagrammers, mind you) stick to a certain type of picture that either reflects their aesthetic, or just all go well together. I was posting a picture, checking my overall feed, not looking at the picture individually, and hating it.
The whites were off-color.
The sun was too bright.
The shadows were too dark.
It was too nature-y.
Everything was too too too, and I was really struggling with being happy in my own creative outlet…. that I made for me to be happy. It is such a weird situation that I put myself in, and it is time to remove myself from.
Okay. So, we have addressed the problem. Most of us are aware that the problem exists. Most of us privately acknowledge the problem, maybe some of us have even admitted to it (i.e. me.) SO HOW DO WE FIX THE PROBLEM?
Everyone is different. I am not advertising that I have the know-all, end-all solution for your bookstagram blues. But, I know how I am going to combat mine.
- I deleted the apps that track who follows me and who unfollows me. Is it that important to my health? No. Honestly, it is a source of frustration and spite. So: bye, Crowdfire. Bye, Instatrack. You are no longer needed by little ol’ deertales.
- I am no longer going to be posting every day. Sure, there will be 7 days in a row that I come up with a creative picture, but posting just because I need to get in my challenge pic for the day? Nope, not happening anymore.
- No more rep searches. At least for a while. This is self-explanatory I think. Rejection sucks, no matter who you are. And I am working on being happy, so I don’t need any of that in my life, no thank you.
- No ‘shoutout for shoutouts’. I am trying not to focus on who follows me and who unfollows me remember?
- Off go the post notifications. Yes, I want to love and support my friends, but getting 40 push notifications throughout the day was driving me to near madness. I sincerely hope that everyone understands if I don’t like or comment on your picture, it is just because I have yet to see it.
And, that is it for now. I think starting small with a few main focuses for the next couple of months will help bring me back to the pureness of bookstagram. You know, the reading part? The part where you interact with people you have made friends with?
So, there it is. I have laid bare my social woes with you, and I hope you still love me. (Can’t shake all of the pressure to be liked now can I?) I am super curious to know how you all deal with the bookstagram blues, or if you even have them at all, so let me know in the comments! Or you could always contact me via Instagram, although don’t expect an immediate response, because you know, those post notifications…..