When I returned to campus this past Fall to start my sophomore year of college, I noticed a common thread in nearly every conversation I had with friends I hadn’t seen since finals week that prior Spring. Eventually something similar to “Your Instagram looked good this summer!” would be said, I’d sheepishly thank them and we’d move on. Don’t worry, this isn’t a long humble brag, but hear me out.
Because those encounters, although kind, felt rather embarrassing because it meant people noticed my effort in a frivolity of my generation. I’ll admit to consciously deciding to work on my Instagram over the summer, switching from existing as a passive to active user. I was living at home, working full-time, and Instagram was an easy side project. And it was fun… until recently. There are only so many “flatlays” a girl can do before it all seems too repetitive. Blame it on feeling cookie-cutter in a sea of #vsco, but my Instagram account was starting to feel a whole lot less like me and more like a fan account for white walls.
I believe every post was an authentic portrayal of myself at the moment I uploaded it, but I can’t — and don’t wish to — stay the same forever. Plus, can we all take a moment to remember that social media should be fun! I’m all for sharing beautiful things, but I’m also an advocate for not taking yourself too seriously. A simple Google search will reveal pages upon pages of how to “grow your social media following” in scientific and methodical ways, but isn’t there value in finding active followers who enjoy your unique perspective and frequently humorous captions? The point of Instagram isn’t so everyone can share the same curated life, but rather to act as a place where we can discover the creativity of people we may never meet.
So, I don’t know what you consider a “good” Instagram account, but I’m going to argue that a “good” Instagram is an authentic one.
Images via my Instagram. GIF made by me.