Lately, I’ve been unfollowing a lot of accounts on Instagram.
I’ll be scrolling though my feed whilst shoveling a buttery crumpet into my gob (my current snack of choice, obvs) and I’ll be like HANG ON, WHY AM I FOLLOWING THIS ACCOUNT?
What am I getting from it? What value is it adding to my life? Does it make me happy?
Sometimes it’ll be a brand account. A brand account that posts nothing but its own campaign shots and I’m like, how is this engaging and interesting for me as a consumer? It’s not.
Sometimes it’ll be a member of what I’m going to coin ‘the bot crew’. Accounts that were completely and utterly scuppered by Twitter’s bot gate and the rise of people (myself included) using Social Blade. Accounts that you could say, I no longer trust.
And then there’s the other type of account. Let’s call it the super aspirational account. Y’know the ones. The back-to-back jet-setting. The v expensive wardrobes. The images that somehow have a perfect rosy pink sunset in every single damn snap.
Now, my issue with this kind of account isn’t the luxury of it all. Because hey, I’m always going to support any feisty female that’s hustled her way to her dream life.
And if someone offered me a £1500 bag and a business class flight to the other side of the world then I’d be signing up quicker than you can say hashtag relatable.
(Currently in the market for a nude cross body bag and ideal locations would include Hawaii and Bali, in case any of you are keen to hook a girl up…).
No, my personal problem with these accounts is that I don’t get anything from them.
I want to follow people who document their highs and their lows, not just high, high OH LOL ANOTHER HIGH MY LIFE IS SO GREAT. Because that’s not how the world works and I think it’s dangerous for all of us to be duped into believing that it does.
Life is about balance. It’s about eating an apple as a snack one day and eating a leftover Domino’s pizza turned into a toastie the next. It’s about jetting off on the trip of a lifetime one day, and swanning around Lidl in your trackies the next. It’s about going to lavish dinner parties hosted by brands one day, and playing Monopoly with your family the next.
It is about accepting that for every beautiful thing we see on social media, there’s something as equally un-beautiful going on in the background.
For me, Instagram is no longer just about the quality of the images (we’ll leave that to Pinterest). It’s about the person or the people behind the image.
I have to fall head over heels in love with the person and who they are, as much as I have to fall in love with what they’re putting out there.
I follow accounts on Instagram the same way I follow blogs on Bloglovin. It’s as much about what that person has to offer me – whether it’s style, interiors or just a fucking fantastic outlook on life – as much as it is about how good they are in front of (or behind) a camera.
I like following women who show off their personality through their images. Women who write witty captions, or just captions that make me go OMG YES I GET IT! I like women who empower each other, women who lift each other up, women who make others feel less alone.
I like women (and Instagram accounts) that have a positive affect on my mood, and well, my life.
Women who reassure me, without even realising it, that I’m not failing at everything.
I’m not writing this to sound like some hideous queen bitch of the internet (I am a touch hormonal so maybe I am queen bitch of the internet right now) but because I want you to remember it’s OK – more than OK, it’s GOOD for you – to unfollow accounts that no longer bring you joy or add a positive element to your life.
You don’t have to force yourself to see the accounts that make you second guess yourself and question your own achievements and life success.
Because you are AWESOME. Really awesome. Super awesome. YOU DA BEST.
So if you need to give the ol’ @hannahfgale account a little unfollow, there’s absolutely no hard feelings here.
This is your life, and you make your own choices. And if I just ain’t cutting it for you than girl, that’s A-OK, I get it.