An Open Letter to Instagram

Dear Instagram,

I remember my first post- it was of a peach tree. I added one of your preset filters and a thick black border, I don’t even think I added a caption and published it (it was removed years later as I curated my feed). I followed up with pictures of Anna Wintour, Rachel Zoe & Victoria Beckham as I got my first taste of fashion events in NYC. Posting wasn’t a thought, it wasn’t planned out, it was fun & carefree.
I remember the first time the 9 names under a photo changed to double digit number. I remember the first photo that raked in 100 likes and the feeling of excitement. But, that’s when it started to change. With likes stress rolled in, how is my photo going to perform? How many likes will I get in the first hour? Do I take it down if it tanks and what does that say about me as a person and as a creator?
I became glued to my phone- I couldn’t post without keeping the app open in order to monitor my post. I answered every comment and spent time engaging as much as I could throughout the day.
After a while the hundred likes turned into hundreds and I finally felt like I hit my stride. I wasn’t as worried or stressed. I scheduled my posts to go live in the early morning as I got ready for work and spent time engaging as I rode the subway to work. This daily routine allowed me to be more carefree during the day and night and the stress seemed to melt away.
And then you changed.
And the stress came back.
So did the questions:
“am I good enough to be in this game?”
“do I just give up?”
Around that time comment pods formed helping bloggers support bloggers. I hated opening your app. Anxiety crept up, how many posts do I have to respond to before sharing mine? Finding the time to “keep up” with you became a chore and I started my love hate relationship with you.
As you keep changing I keep adjusting. We all keep adjusting as content creators, heck we are creative- we got this!
& when the questions of am I good enough roll in I have to keep reminding myself that I am still here. In a self created profession I have withstood the test of time, made a name for myself and have had more opportunities than I could ever imagine. So when you change your algorithm for the hundredth time & when you decide to show my profile to 10% of my following realize that I am still here, I’m not going anywhere & I’m giving up on the passion that drives me and feeds my creative soul.

A special thank you to all of those who continue to follow me on this journey,  I would not be here if not for you!

Love you guys,

Sept 2012

March 2017

February 2018