My Instagram engagement was excellent and my stories were viewed and appreciated. I also got to meet the most incredible people through the app and spread my bold luxurious art far and wide.
Yet at the end of 2021, I reviewed my 2022 Business Plan and turned my back on the platform.
My Inbox was filled with shock and questions so I thought I would break down the 3 reasons why:
1. It’s IG Monetisation Time
Instagram (Meta) has now shifted gears and is in “Monetisation” stage. This means that for artists and creators like me, for my work to get in front of my target audience, I’m strongly encouraged (aka don’t really have much choice) to pay for Ads and “boost” posts. This turns the app less into a casual, “behind the scenes” and wonderful way to communicate with my audience and more into a sales machine. Which is OK if I just paid and they did all the work but Instagram also wants my time on the app too.
2. Curation, Curation, Curation – Instagram Posts aren’t Authentic
The app is all about how things look. As an artist exploring a range of mediums and jumping between my resin and Crystal pieces vs oil paintings, my feed just never really looked that good.
In addition, to make it big on Social Media, the trick of the leading accounts is to batch content and curate curate curate in advance. You sit down and figure out the goals and products/services for the year, and then take photos and write content, categorised into a bigger theme. You then upload it all into an Instagram planner to be automatically uploaded or manually added into the app, sometimes months and months in advance.
But I want to give my audience progress in real time; the beauty of being an artist means that although my style may remain unique, my techniques are costantly evolving and I want to take my audience along that journey with me. I also didn’t like that every time I storied with behind the scenes footage of me painting, I had to take into account that the post related to that painting hadn’t been put up on my feed yet and the audience may get confused with the timeline. Too many times I had to stop myself from sharing the fun in my studio because it wouldn’t beautifully match into the Instagram puzzle pieces.
I found it inathentic to show a certain post but yet the stories show a totally different time frame of that latest painting and I started to resent the process.
3. Instagram Algorithm is dangerous
This is what really did it for me.
I watched Netflix The Social Dilemma and learnt about the computer logic behind the app that makes it so addictive.
Instagram wants us on the app for as long as possible so that they can collect information about our likes, interests, DMs, locations we’ve uploaded posts and more… and sell this data to the highest bidder. The more ads included the better.
The algorithm has recognised that people engage most with posts that trigger an emotional reaction so those are the posts that get seen the most.
Posts haven’t been shown chronologically since 2016, instead the algorithm decides what to show you so that you then go down a rabbit hole researching and stay on the app for as long as possible.
The result is that Instagram promotes anxiety, depression, comparison with others and divisivness between people by promoting dramatic posts that often are not even accurate.
When it’s all about vanity and keeping people on the app, who cares about the truth anyway.
If even I, as a logical sensible person with a million and one things to do, can barely close the app, then what a manipulative beast this algorithm has become. And I definitely don’t want to play a role in facilitating Instagram’s agenda.
So there you have it, my 3 key reasons for leaving instagram. You may or may not resonate and that’s OK. I’m excited to discover all the hours now gained back from saying goodbye to Instagram. I’m also excited to see the alternatives to Instagram the will undoubtedly continue to pop up.
Most of all, thank you so much to everyone who continues to support my journey by purchasing my artwork and cheering me on as I keep getting better!
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