Insatiable Instagram – it’s okay to hold back

In 4 years my blog and brand has grown. From a humble place I only posted for prosperity, to a legitimate social media business. Incorporating a blog, social pages and managing other brands.

I post almost daily and can often be seen talking to the camera. I am not shy when it comes to doing a video or a shoot. My life is an open book… or is it?

When I first started I did not put much thought into who was really reading my posts, who was viewing my photos. As time went on this changed.

I found I did not talk about my blog to friends and family. Almost like I did not want them to know. I did not feel comfortable discussing face to face my latest post or being questioned about what we did that weekend or why was my child wearing a certain outfit or advice I did not need.

Never would I share a blogpost to my private Facebook account filled with old school friends and ex colleagues. I have not changed on this stance and prefer to still only publish to my public page.

I literally cringe when someone says “where was that place you guys went to again, I saw it on Facebook/Instagram”. I grit my teeth and answer. This made me think, why did this effect me? Did I think that some law of the internet was broken? You know? What is put online – stays online. Or maybe it felt awkward because the same people that comment on what I post online don’t comment on the actual post. Does that kinda feel like spying? To me it just feels slightly nosy. You want to see what I am doing and think enough about it to comment in real life when you see me next, but not in the moment?

Overtime I have become less reluctant to show too much vulnerability online. Concerned about leaving my heart and life open for judgement and cross examination. I don’t feel the constant urge to tell the world what I did that day or document everything.

I am more guarded now about my personal life than ever before – bizzare right? Your followers will tell you that you need to be more ‘real’, authentic and show intimate details of your life to make you relatable. That is true to a degree, and so is leaving a little mystery keeps them guessing.

There are a couple things I don’t share online. I don’t post a lot of inside my own home, this is my private space, and I don’t want to feel the pressure to make it Pinterest perfect for the “gram” and get into debt doing it. It’s fine as it is and suits our lifestyle. I don’t want every follower picking at my choice of art etc. You will see glimpses of my home and what I feel comfortable showing. There is also the other side of safety, why should the whole world know how many entry points you have in your home or where your valuables are?

My husband is a another element you won’t see often. A couple reasons for that, from the fact he is not that big into social media, to the fact he hates his photo taken. I respect his choice not to be overexposed online.

Extended family and their lives, they did not ask to be on an open public platform and therefore should not be spoken about or shown, unless they give their blessing.

There are also personal things family and friends go through that is private and not for discussion online. I won’t rush to Twitter to blast out about the latest fight my husband and I have had or moan about a friend that has annoyed me.

Social media can be very polarizing and I believe there is a lot of pressure to show every aspect of our lives, from where we shop for food, where did we buy our clothes, what we did that weekend. And there is also so much pressure to photograph it all, or do a video, cause you have to share it. Constantly bloggers/influencers are thinking can I photograph this to post? It’s an unrelenting cycle of needing to create content for a forever hungry giant beast. Anyone remember the broadway show and movie “Shop of Horrors”? Feed me Seymour, fee me… that is how social media can feel sometime.

Honestly I want to tell you, it’s okay to put the phone away sometimes, leave it in your bag. Often when I am around friends and we are deep in conversations my phone is on the other end of the room. I really believe as influencers/ bloggers it’s okay to build up your pile of content. So you don’t have that pressure to photograph every day. So you can give yourself some freedom. Also set boundaries, you don’t have to show your whole life to the world. You don’t have to be an open book, you can give just a synopsis of your life, it’s okay.

6 thoughts on “Insatiable Instagram – it’s okay to hold back

  1. LOVED reading this, Teri, and could relate on so many levels. I often cringe when IRL friends or family members tell me they read a specific blog post, or loved an IG post, etc. I much prefer believing that only strangers on the internet actually see my posts!

    Can also relate to what you’ve said about your home… for a long time I used to beat myself up and found myself constantly wanting more, more, more in order to have that Pinterest perfect home to show off on the grid. When we moved to JHB, we lived in a home that very much had that vibe – beautiful bathrooms, kitchen, white walls, etc. PERFECT for the ‘gram… but I wasn’t happy, and it never felt like home!

    Thanks for opening up and sharing so authentically – always appreciate your posts, even though I don’t often comment. NEED to do that more!

    Liked by 1 person

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