I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. Although I enjoy the creative process, I find it comes with a lot of pressure. Follow counts on Instagram, seem more predominate than anywhere else, I guess mainly because have a large following in Instagram can be can money maker, and it seems brands are more and more interested in working with 'influencers' on Instagram posts, than they are in long-form content, such a blog posts and youtube videos, which logically, seemed to cut the workload down slight for the influencer, and who would say no to less work and more money?


I find Instagram tricky, because, my followers rarely grow on there, and I know people endlessly say follow counts don't matter, but when they are what stands between you and your dream job, they kind of do. I don't want a career built on Instagram, not for a second, but as a blogger and a writer, my Instagram following has become something that could give me a ticket into the career I want. It's frustrating. I've said similar things to this on Instagram itself before - so I won't bang on too much about it here, instead, I want to talk about where I think the future of the platform is heading.
                                                                                 

I read something recently about how with traditional media, you get the advert between the entertainment, but with Instagram influencers, the entertainment is the adverts, which is completely true, advertising has become more integrated with the entertainment. Or is this just the first time we're realising? Product placements on TV shows has always been a thing. Is it such a bad thing that people are trying to sell us stuff? If we enjoy the free content they're putting out there, I see no reason we should not have to see the occasional toothpaste advert which is simple enough to slid into the content which is already there.

It's odd that Instagram is a career for some people, and a hobby for others, as with blogging and youtube, and many creative careers. Most of us have Instagram, some of us have several accounts. We're addicted to doing what some people get paid for, for free. Although unpaid, we might not be putting so much pressure on the images, and captions, hiring photographers and planning out our grids, but we're still contributing to that platform, unpaid. It's a place where humans are ranked by follow counts. I don't think I've ever looked how many friends somebody has on Facebook, or been concerned by followers on twitter but on Instagram, I'm more likely to interact with an account with more followers, which is absolute bullshit. I know, from experience, your follow count can be low but that doesn't mean your content is not thought out and valuable.

Something which does bother me is the idea that the print industry will one day be replaced by online platforms such as Instagram.

Personally, I've found myself heading more towards traditional media more than ever recently. Instagram can feel a bit samey, and while I have the blogs which I love, it seems bloggers are choosing more and most to posts on the 'gram rather than their own website, which is completely understandable, as writing a blog post takes a lot more time, and probably get a lot less engagement.



But lazy Sunday mornings, when I lay in bed, scrolling through insta doesn't quite cut it, and I begin to feel sick of my phone. I've realised nothing brings me the joy of a magazine and a cup of tea on those lazy. There's something satisfying in flicking pages, and the articles often tend to be a mixture of my favourite writers and some new ones. Articles I never expected to find myself reading can impact my thoughts, change my day - which I'm sure could happen with an Instagram caption, but sometimes I want it to be an event, consuming media, and scrolling Instagram is more of a habit than an event, there's nothing about it which feels special. With Instagram, it feels like something I consume when I want the minutes to slip away from me, but reading a magazine feels like a way to embrace the time I've got, and really make the most of it. It's a way to indulge in the words of others and curated imagery.

There's a pressure to post on Instagram, to create content which adds to what everyone else is posting. It's nice to read a magazine and know I don't need to worry about my input.  On Instagram you expect everyone to be relatable, real, and when they've got abs and a  new home, your average joe doesn't feel quite average which can leave a feeling of inadequacy, at least with magazines, the models printed aren't supposed to be the girl next door, they're too far from me to compare.

Having said all this, I do love using Instagram, I'm not against adverts on there, if they're from somebody who's content I trust. and I think we're all smart enough by now to really, we don't need skinny teas.

I love that is something I can curate myself with who I choose to follow and I love that I have my own input in the space, but it's no replacement for the pleasure of carelessly flicking through the crisp pages of a magazine.


Jumpsuit: New Look - Lipstick: Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - i-D Magazine



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