Doing It for the 'Gram


Image by Matt Reuter

It's so easy to fall into social media's traps. You can fall into simple traps like wanting more followers and likes, or fall into the bigger, deeper traps like wanting to to make a good impression on your mutuals or being praised by your followers. When this happens, most of the time you start doing what the popular accounts are doing. You see them being praised, being adored, being loved, being called "goals", so you try to be them. You want to be them. You start going to places for just the pictures, not to have fun. You start not posting the pictures you actually like, so you can have a "nice" feed. You start to conform. You start to lose yourself, and sometimes you don't even notice. 

I personally am guilty of this too. I used to (and sometimes still do) crave "fame"—I wanted to be noticed, I wanted more followers, I wanted to become popular on Instagram, I constantly wanted more without thinking about the costs. I stopped posting photos I truly liked and put effort into, and posted photos that would be pleasing to other people's eyes, so I could get more followers. I thought all this would make me happy in the end. I tricked myself into thinking that posting things popular accounts posted would somehow make me them, that the photos that I were posting had significance to them. I started caring much more about what others thought about me, my pictures, my feed.

But after months and months of doing this, I finally saw the difference between people that obviously put effort into their photos and were happy about them... and the people that seemed to just post things to keep gaining followers and maintain their feed. 

The people that posted things they liked, you could tell they didn't go somewhere just to snap and post a pic, they went to have fun with their friends, and to actually you know, enjoy the place.

On the other hand, the people that basically went to places for the pictures seemed to put less effort into their photos and cared more about the mainstream aesthetic. And even if they did go to a place with their friends, it seemed like they cared more about getting "cooler" pictures than having a great time with their friends.

This doesn't mean that social media is bad or having a certain type of feed is bad. All I'm saying is to actually look at who you are following, look at the things you post. Would you still be posting the things you're posting if there were no such things as likes or followers? Do you only follow the person you follow because they have the qualities you wish you had to become a more "successful" Instagrammer? Do you let other people's opinions affect you? But most importantly, are you happy? 

Don't do things for the gram, do them for yourself.
Article by Janice