Post Inspired By: Jason Journals
Take a pic. Take more than one pic. Spend 5 minutes – 1 hour getting the right angle and chasing after the right lighting.
Use no filters. Use all filters. Spend even more time trying to get the picture perfect shot to present to your friends, family, followers, fellow bloggers and authors. Because you want to show your latest creation. And before you know it you´ve spent the better half of your afternoon for one pic.
Does this sound familiar? It probably does.
I´m talking about Instagram. The app that has brought me joy, and at the same time, has made my life miserable. For an unreasonable time I´ve been thinking about just throwing the towel and deleting Instagram. It wasn´t until I stumbled upon Jason´s @ Jason Journals own post about deleting his Instagram account that helped me make me next move. Because I was an unhappy Instagrammer / Bookstagrammer.
Those who follow me on Instagram already know I´ve used the app for blog purposes only. I think I posted a private pic or two, but that was it. Every pic of mine was dedicated to books, reading books and… promoting books. Because that´s what a book blogger does, right?
Yes, well… I´ve learned there are a few ways to utilize Instagram as a book blogger.
- Using The App As A Branch Blog
Many book bloggers will have their main blog and use other social media platforms as a way of promoting themselves / their main blog. A branch blog can also be seen as an extension blog. This will gain new followers who don´t necessarily want to visit a main blog.
- Using The App As Their Main Blog
There are quite a few book bloggers who´ve decided against the traditional way of blogging via blog and just picked a social media to get their thoughts / opinions across.
- Using The App Because It Belongs To Blogger Etiquette
Because what type of blogger are you if your face isn´t plastered all over the place?
- Using The App For The Fun Of It
These bloggers just want to share their latest reads and connect with others.
This is all great and dandy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with whatever a bookstagrammer does. Promote a book / an author… Show off your current read… Have fun and go wild with your creativity. Me? I think I´ve had enough.
I definitely used Instagram as a branch blog and because I thought I´d dabble in a little fun in between all the review writing and discussion posts. Don´t get me wrong, I did have fun. Sadly enough I spent the majority of my time being more frustrated and feeling let down than anything else. Why? I´m glad you asked.
#1 Being A Bookstagrammer Is Time Consuming
It is. A simple fact no one can deny. Time will never be on anyones side if they have smaller children, have a job and a social life. It´s about priorities and mine prevent me from spending loads of time editing pictures and coming up with decent captions. I just feel like I´m wasting my time.
#2 The Ads
This is something I truly don´t care for, yet 2/3 of my feed is littered with ads. I have to literally click the search box and type in a certain bookstagrammers name in order to see what they´ve posted. Everything else is about make-up, hair products, and hotel recommendations. I looked up make-up once in my life and Instagram thinks I need a shit load of war paint to brighten my day. No. I don´t want to see a make-up ad. I want to see what people posted.
#3 Creativity Drowns On Instagram
This is the saddest part of being a bookstagrammer. There are countless blogs uploading one brilliant feature after another and what happens? They drown. Their work drowns. If you don´t hashtag the shit out of your pics and tag the right people then you might get seen by 40 others if you´re lucky. This has nothing to do with the creativity or the ability to engage a following. This has everything to do with the app itself. Sure, Instagram is user friendly and has cool features. But what are those things worth when you drown before you even have a chance?
#4 The Algorithm
Another thing I don´t care for. It´s a little frustrating when I know my friend, who lives two streets down, just uploaded a pic of her dog and I see it two days later. Not to forget my own posts. Since I blog books on Instagram the whole purpose of my blogging on Instragram is to reach an audience. That can´t happen if I slip down the Insta – feed chain. I´ve heard one bookstagrammer say there´s a way to beat the algorithm. I honest to God do not want to invest my time with this anymore than I already have.
I´m competitve but in a positive way. A little competition in the book blog world has never bothered me because I see my fellow book bloggers as creative people with unique styles. I can´t reach their waters and they can´t reach mine. But bookstagrammers are becoming vicious beasts. Since Instagram is about showing off creativity, many book bloggers are desperate and will do all sorts of things to get noticed, for example: Taking an idea without giving credit to the original source.
#6 Seeing Repetitive Content
It´s truly a great feeling once you´ve found “your book”. The one story that has emotionally touched you in more than one way. I get it. I´ve been there before, myself, and can understand the urge to want to tell the whole world about the awesome book you´ve read. But there´s a fine line between recommending a book and forcefully shoving it down someone´s throat. This happens in form of a bookstagrammer uploading a million features for one book, probably until the next book in that series is published which can take up to a few months.
I. Can´t. Take. It. Anymore.
It bores me shitless to see 1 book 800 times. I also get annoyed when I see 500 candle features.
#7 My Age
I´m not sure what the average age for Instagram is but I´m pretty sure I´m far from it. Age has never been a problem for me. But sometimes an age gap can be annoying. I´ve been in a few Instagram book groups where I was the oldest. THE oldest, bordering on granny age with my 37 in a group of 16-18 year olds. All´s fine until they find out my age.
“Omg, I never knew!” Yes, I never knew I´d get this far, either. Yet, here I am.
“Wow, that´s an impressive age.” I think 90 is an impressive age. Not 37.
“That is OLD.” Yes, in your world I already have one foot in my grave.
“You´r generation is known for not having the right kind of empathy.” And with 16 you´ve suddenly become an expert on generation traits and empathy levels?
“Omg, you have kids?!” Yes, and I´m still alive. Who´d have thought?
These remarks don´t come from a negative place. I know these younger bloggers can´t really wrap their heads around being a 37 year old. I´m not offended by this. Quite the opposite. But it does get annoying after a while.
Age becomes a problem if you make it one. I don´t make it one. Others often unintentionally do. I don´t appreciate this happening on an app that´s supposed to be fun.
#8 Finding Something To Say
I consider myself a wordy person. I have an average vocabulary. But I cannot come up with a caption to include with my pictures. Why? No clue. It´s like my brain does an automatic shut down. And because I struggle with a caption I thought I´d just upload a pic and be done with it. I received a PM on Instagram from someone kindly reminding me I had to include a caption. * sigh *
#9 Unwanted Tips From Bookstagrammers
This is the only point that pisses me off- The constant tips from fellow bloggers. Tips I never asked for in the first place.
I received quite a few free of charge tips on how to clean up my pictures and how to gain followers.
Look, 1) I never asked. 2) I never said I disliked my pics. I actually like what I upload. 3) I never complained about not having a large following.
“You have to include yourself in the follow trains.”
“You´re not promoting the right books.”
“You´re using the wrong filters.”
And I´m sitting here thinking about what gave these people the impression that I need help when I never asked for help. Why? WHY?
To sum this up: Using Instagram for book blogging purposes is not an option for me anymore. It was fun. It was creative. But I´ve lost interest because of feeling pressured and frustrated. Now I feel lighter knowing I have one less social media to tackle.
It´s time to bid the app a farewell. But before I go off and delete my account I´d like to share my favorite features from my 3 year Instagram journey. Y´all ready?
Do you use Instagram? Do you still have an account? How are you holding up? Let´s chat ❤
Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day.