Listen, I’m not being negative with this blog post title, I’m being realistic. And I’m coming to accept this fact: I will never grow an extensive amount on Instagram. Period. End of discussion. Facts, etc. And not only is this due to the ridiculous algorithm and expectations of Instagram but due to my own inability to stay completely immersed in the app, 24/7.
Instagram requires endless usage. While you’re trying to keep sane by staying off of social media, Instagram is grading you based on how much you’re on it and using it. This doesn’t just mean endless posts and stories and reels, but how much you’re interacting with other content as well.
It’s not that I don’t want to interact and support my Instagram community, I just can’t, for my own mental health, spend 2-3 hours a day scrolling and commenting on posts.
I have social anxiety, and this translates into digital spaces as well. I see scrolling and engaging as a mountain to be climbed, not a joy. And when I leave Instagram, I feel drained and overwhelmed by what I just “wasted my time doing”.
It’s a fact that if you wish to grow, you need to return comments on the accounts of everyone who interacted with yours, and out of kindness and the goodness of my heart and love for these people I am connected to, I want to, but I can’t. Beyond DMs and comments on my post (which I always reply to), I just can’t. So there’s a wall that’s blocking me from growth.
New features like Reels are being pushed in the algorithm by Instagram, and I simply don’t have the time (or exciting enough life) to do a Reel every day or other day. There are only so many times someone can see me browsing my shelf for a book or pulling a tarot card and find it interesting.
In addition, the Reels feature never works well for me and it takes me about 1 hour to get a 30-second video done (the app will shut down, the text doesn’t work as it’s meant to for Reels, and I lose all my work and have to begin again). It’s far more frustrating than it is enjoyable, and I refuse to spend time extensive time on something that doesn’t bring me joy.
It’s also been proven that leaving an account silent for an extensive amount of time shadowbans you. My current account was left vacant for four years. I am not willing to start an entirely new account just with the hopes to grow my followers. I’d rather not risk the connections I’ve made on this account or the trust I’ve built with my clients just to have more reach and a (potentially) bigger number.
Even breaking up the consistency of your post can lead to a shadowban of your content. Instagram wants you to make this platform your world, and I can’t do that.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that my number will stay steady at 2,500 followers. I share my content because it brings me joy to do so, and I don’t spend my time on Instagram with solely the intent to grow. I know many make this a career (“influencers”), and I have no desire to do that, either. I like free goods, who doesn’t, but I’m not willing to dedicate my life and soul to Instagram in order to get free goods.
I’ve always said, nothing is really for free – and if you’re getting something for free, that means you’re the product.
I refuse to be Instagram’s product.