Lifestyle Technology

Why I’ve Been Un-Following People on Instagram

May 17, 2018

I’ve been un-following people on Instagram, and it feels good.

Time is a resource that I’ve been trying to use more intentionally, and I find that so much of my time is spent on Instagram. I scroll mindlessly through posts, jump to Insta-stories, and back. I go from staring at my screen at work to staring at my screen on my phone.

As odd as it sounds, I wanted freedom from my phone – without having to actually get rid of my favorite app. I want a connection to what I’m seeing and engaging with.

I won’t always love everything that I see from the people I love, but that doesn’t matter. I’m engaging and learning, right alongside them. It just means that I’m willing and ready to come back for more.

The Instagram algorithm is always changing but generally, you see more of who you engage with regularly. Small bloggers are struggling with engagement because often times their followers don’t even see their posts! I want to see more of things I like and people I genuinely care about – not just scroll, tap tap, repeat.

I’m always adding people I follow, but why am I never taking away? I unsubscribe from emails I don’t want anymore, so why not a platform I just even more regularly?

I came up with some criteria to help me increase the quality of content I see while reducing sheer quantity:

  • go through your “follows” list – if you don’t recognize their username or actual name, you probably aren’t engaging with them
  • be okay with letting go. you don’t have to follow anyone you don’t want to and you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out on something if you decide to unfollow. 
  • which posts don’t make you feel good? do you follow anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself? cut them out. 
  • on the flipside, who makes you feel good by engaging with their content? who do you get excited to see? a lot of my experience with this comes from interaction on multiple platforms, but I do find that there are some people who I genuinely press “read more…” because I want to hear what they have to say.
  • if I randomly went through your feed and deleted people at random, who would you notice was gone?
  • if they are someone you knew/know personally when was the last time you spoke to them? there will always be people I want to check up on now and again, but maybe you can sort through this list (and maybe see who is private/public, if I’m being honest about my level of “creep”) to cut out a few.
  • turn on post notifications. if I’m being honest, I don’t plan on doing this, but I’m sure it helps if you want to make sure you never miss something!

Alternatives to simply deleting them from your feed:

  • how else do you engage with their content? maybe getting on their email list or following them on Twitter is a better option.
  • like their posts but not their Instagram stories? you can mute them! this way you get to still see the feed without unfollowing.

Who would I miss if they stopped posting (in addition to close friends and family)? These are a few of the people that truly add value to my feed (definitely not an exhaustive list, but merely a few examples).

Sarah’s Day Simply Darling Bryn Smith
Zoella I Covet Thee The Anna Edit
Lily Pebbles The Cake by Hannah Madeleine Olivia
Sunbeam Jess Allana Davison Estée Lalonde

Please note that none of this is to be dismissive of people producing different content or making changes – or even saying that everything is all about you! I’m taking this approach to be better in tune with what helps me be the best me and as positive as possible by surrounding myself with things that bring me joy.

Your vibe attracts your tribe. Quality over quantity, whatever that means to you.

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