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Why Instagram Is Actually Really Good For Us

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Instagram is my addiction. It is every twenty-something girl’s addiction.

It lures us in with peony photos and quotes that just get us and shoe snaps that are both arty and sexy. It captivates us with its smashed avocado and colourful cocktails and breath-taking snaps of New York’s skyline. It is our dream life pulled together in a sweet-as montage of photos. It has become less of a place to share cute snaps with gal pals, and more of a place for life inspiration – a place for us to visualise the life we’re working towards.

And, as much as we love it and we love our hopeless addiction that fills every spare 7 seconds we find within any given day – whilst walking to the bus stop, whilst waiting for the microwave to ping, whilst sitting in the bath, whilst pretending to watch TV – we also kinda hate it.

Admittedly, Instagram causes one of my biggest emotional downfalls. It’s the biggest reason I compare myself to every other sassy sister out there and start to think that maybe, damn it, I could be better. I should work harder, eat less, do my make-up better… you know the story. Instagram sometimes manages to convince you that you’re somehow 573785687 times more flawed than everyone else out there.

Bloomin’ thing.

Despite this, here I am about to harp on about why it’s actually really, bladdy good for us. We’ve just never realised.

So err, here goes.

Hands up who’s taken themselves off for an autumnal walk this year to take in the bright orange leaves contrasting against the pale blue sky just so that they can get a sweet flippin’ heck, THIS IS GONNA GET ME ALL THE LIKES, Instagram snap?

Or swanned off to Starbucks just for a photo of a Pumpkin Spice Latte in that autumn cup? Or bought flowers just because you knew you were going to get a killa hot photo of them? Or decided that FUCK IT, you’re getting Krispy Kreme donuts tonight because you’ve hard a hard day and dang they’d look good in your grid?

We have become mildly transfixed with doing things and buying things for their beauty, for the way they’ll photograph.

And maybe that sounds a bit gross, maybe we should be enjoying life in the moment and not worrying about how many likes a photograph will get – but look at it a different way, how much beauty have you suddenly found in the most mundane of things?

I’ve never really even noticed the leaves on the trees changing colour before the way I have this year. And that’s because not only am I being bombarded with the images across social media, but because I’m making a point of finding time in my oh-so-busy life to stop and take them in.

Yes to photograph them, but also to admire them. To breathe in their simplicity and the way they clash against the sky and still-green grass. The way they look like their saturation has been turned right up.

I find myself stopping at beautiful buildings, and houses where the front door colour just pops against the flowers in the front garden. I’ve found myself noting the sweet pastel shades of the sky at sunset that sometimes makes it look like a LUSH bath bomb – heck, I’ve even found myself buying LUSH bath bombs because omg so pretty and so relaxing and people LOVE a LUSH bath bomb on Insta.

I’ve started getting excited about cooking and baking things that I know will look pretty, I’ve taken to treating myself to flowers ALL THE TIME, I’ve started going out for coffee even when I’m on my own because DANG, INSTA GRID IS LOOKING FINE.

Instagram has made me start to notice the little things, the details, the little fleeting images of beauty in everyday life.

We sometimes get so caught up wishing we were travelling the world and owning designer handbags (looking at you Chloe Drew), that we forget there are magical moments all around us – and so many of them are free. So many of them are free for us to experience just by opening our eyes a little wider.

As my obsession with Instagram and capturing that perfect image grows, so does my awareness of my surroundings.

We have all become amateur photographers forever looking for the next shot that will take our breath away.

There’s no denying that Instagram brainwashes. The more we see a repeated image, the more we want it and the more we notice it. Would you have mentally noted the fresh pale pink blossom sprouting on trees this spring every time you passed one had it not been all over Instagram? Would you have been as aware of it all around you?

I wouldn’t have at ALL.

Maybe it’s a teeny tiny bit sad that I’m too caught up in the internet and First Dates and Netflix and ooooh let’s play N64 to notice how incredible the world outside my window is, without Instagram telling me to, but that’s 2015 century life and whatcha gonna do, eh?

We’re all so busy working overtime and going to the gym and ringing our parents and running a bath and painting our nails whilst cooking dinner and fake tanning to have time to stop and smell the roses.

So if Instagram serves as our reminder that heck, coffees and flowers and avocados are all pretty little things and should be appreciated, I think that’s a good thing. If we’re getting little bursts of happiness shooting through our veins because we’re appreciating the sky or the leaves or the ocean or the way the beach huts look so damn snug on the beach front, that’s a good thing.

And if Instagram serves as our excuse to treat ourselves to the small things – like bath bombs and cake and passion fruit cocktails and Saturday trips to the beach – then I think that’s a good thing to.

Yes, we need to live in the moment more and stop being so obsessed with capturing moments on our iPhones to prove they happened, but if it wasn’t for the sheer joy of uploading to good ol’ Insta, I’m not sure we’d have the same momentum to keep on hunting out the little hidden joys in every day, the way we do now.

And damn it, the little joys in every day are exactly what make the world go round, innit.

LUV U INSTAGRAM, U CHEEKY LIL BAE <3

 



  • I love this Hannah, and it fits perfectly with my morning drive to work where I stopped the car in the middle of a lane just to take a darn pretty picture of a beautifully golden tree surrounded by the mist and morning light. Would I normally notice anything other than the cars/tractors/crazy cyclists at 7.45am – nope! But instagram made it worth it, and therefore it also brightened my morning a little! Alice xx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Jessie

    I love your blog Hannah but this post make me feel a tiny bit sorry for you.

    There’s a lot more to life then taking glossy pics to make people perceive your life is something it obviously isn’t

    just sayin

    • Rupee

      It’s funny how yours is the only negative comment on this post…i feel a lot sorry for you, criticising somebody’s hard work and talent for writing is rude. If you dislike or disagree with this post then keep it to yourself.

      I’m sure Hannah’s life is far more glossy than yours, how many trips abroad and blogger events have you been invited to Jessie?

      P.s loved this so much Hannah!

      • Jill

        Rupee, you literally just ignored your own advice here. You yourself are being negative, and belittling someone who may/may not be able to afford “glossy” holidays etc.

        Keep it positive and ignore comments you deem rude/harsh.

        “If you dislike or disagree with this post then keep it to yourself”

    • anscwlara

      If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all!
      I really like your blog BUT… stop! No need

    • love this post! I’ve legit never even thought of how seeing life through the Instagram frame does actually make me appreciate the beauty in little things. Also I bloody love your blog, HOW have I only just found it?!

  • Jayem

    This post is beautiful, because it balances modern thinking with the beauty of life. I can see how some people will miss the point of this article, but I think the point to remember is that like or not we are in a digital age now. So what if social media is the reason we are taking note of the beauty around us.! The point is that we are now noticing that beauty, we capture and share it and in doing that we start a chain reaction of appreciation, gratitude and peacefulness . How can that be wrong?

  • Yes!!! This is so true, and I’m glad you’ve posted this because it’s sort of justified what I’m thinking when I’m supposed to be eating my food and I’m actually taking pictures of it! xxx

  • This has really changed how I think about Instagram! I’ve been kinda embarrassed by how much I’ve started to do things just for the aesthetic pleasure, but this totally justifies it Cheers Hannah! Feeling a billion times less shallow and a lot more deep and meaningful now haha :)

  • I really enjoyed this post, and completely agree! I also think that Instagram helps you appreciate things in the past as well, I often find myself looking back at photos that I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t Insta’d them- and think, well I’m really glad I did that.

    Claudia Harriet

  • I think I’ll always have a love/hate relationship with Instagram because I should really be living instead of finding random shit to photograph but you’re right. We are looking for the beauty in life when we do it, so maybe it’s not all bad! xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

  • YES to all of this. I had been wondering why this year I was so into leaves, pumpkins, and wearing autumnal coloured nail polish. And you’re right, Instagram makes me appreciate all the little seasonal nuances that bit more. And yes of course it’s because they are cliches and that’s not great, but actually it’s made my year that little bit more full of wonder in the mundane.xxxxxx

    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  • Hear hear! I love photography generally, and instagram has just allowed me to always keep a little toe in my fav hobby when life is too busy for me to whack my DSLR out for fun

    x

    http://www.siobhanrothwell.com

  • Lauren

    This is so true. I’ve really started to notice nature a lot more this year and I’m sure it’s bcos of Insta. Now I have a better excuse for refreshing my feed a million times a day, thanks Hannah! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • i LOVE Instagram! Although I definitely don’t had it as much as I should do anymore, because, time. But this post really reasonates with me because it’s just so true, it’s definitely got people out and about more and that’s a great thing! There is beauty in almost everything if you look closely enough!

    Lucy x- Yellowicing

  • I love this post. When I realised I was buying things and going certain places purely so I could take a picture of them for Instagram, I decided to delete my account. It’s a website that’s filled with all things girlie and beautiful but at the same time makes you compare yourself and your own life to everyone else’s like crazy, which is really bad for you and downright unhealthy. But unfortunately (and fortunately, at the same time) this is the world we live in and we have to embrace it in some way, I guess.

    Love your thoughts!

    http://www.natteringblonde.wordpress.com

    xoxo

    • Emily

      I thought exactly the same as this – whilst I agree with you, Hannah, that I do think Instagram is amazing in terms of noticing the little things and appreciating them more, I agree with Lauren in the fact that the comparison side of it is awful! I go on it ALL THE TIME and as soon as I see that someone else is on holiday / has a new bag / boyfriend bought them flowers.. I immediately feel down and sad! Maybe that’s my problem, but I do think that there’s definitely a good and a bad side to it, and I think there is definitely a show-off-y side to it which I don’t like, but I accept that that is across the whole of social media too! There is definitely an element of it being a bit depressing and smug for me too though! V interesting post though and I do agree with both sides!

  • Mary

    YES! Absolutely love this so much. Agreed. 100% agreed.

    You are a gem.

  • Loved reading this, it’s so true! Heck, the last uploaded photo on my insta is my starbucks cup with my name incorrectly spelt which really made me chuckle, and right next to that is my feet in ALL THE PRETTY LEAVES haha >.< x

  • I’m totally obsessed with Instagram as well! I’ve definitely stopped in the middle of a run to catch the perfect picture of the sun setting behind an autumn tree!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

  • Carly

    I’m actually addicted to Instagram and it doesn’t make me feel rubbish like Facebook does.

  • So true, ironically, instagram is the reason a lot of us go out and live, just to take the photo, to put on instagram, to make others rush out – to do the same. Never-ending circle!!

    Great post.

    Love Ashleigh,
    http://www.quintessentiallyme.co.uk

  • This is SUCH a good post, even though Instagram can lead to rage induced FOMO, it makes us focus and appreciate the beauty in things around us for the season and capture worthy moments to share :)

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Sophie

    I like this, it made me think and also made me go and unfollow some of the accounts that do the opposite of this to me so that I can get the most out of it! Xxx

  • You are so completely spot on with this post Hannah :) I’ll happily put my hands up and admit I’m completely addicted to instagram, but being able to scroll through it on my lunch break/train home gives me such a boost and as you’ve said it really helps to remind us to appreciate the little things :)
    Love Holly x

    http://www.thehollydays4.blogspot.co.uk

  • So glad somebody else has had this thought! I totally agree with this. Although we’re more into our technology, it allows us to appreciate, and get happy over the small details in life, and show them in a way that excites us. And I think that’s great.

    Seeing how other people capture things also inspires me!

  • This is hilarious! Doubly so because I just posted a pic of Krispy Kreme donuts on my Instagram. There’s really no hope for us is there?

  • Amy

    YES I definitely appreciate the small beautiful things in life more because I’m always seeking out something to photograph! Thank you for justifying my Instagram obsession haha
    Amy x
    Call Me Amy

  • hannah

    what a fab read! I, too, am addicted to Insta so this has made me feel a whole lot better about myself!
    Hannah | Heyitshannaah

  • I completely get what you mean. When I was picking out smartphones I went for the phione almost 1005 so that I could have instagram. The idea of memorialising your life in little moment is such a nice one – it’s like scrapbooking or when you were little and would run around with the disposable camera.

    The amount of times I took myself out on walks just to take pictures (like the adorably awesome duck-footed bench on mine https://instagram.com/pixelmagpie/ ). Heck, when I first moved out a big part of what got me into learning how to cook was keeping motivation up by posting each of my new experimental meals onto instagram (also thnx to Jamie Oliver’s 15 min meals, you babe!). What’s more it kept my Nan and Granddad happy because they could see I wasn’t about to starve at any given moment 😀

    Sure there’s an argument that you should do this anyway, but it’s not out of self obsession that we necessarily always do this. instagram is just a nice tool that brings a bit of joy and sharpens your eye to the world around you.

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