If you enjoy looking at pictures, and if you read this blog (since more than 80% of the readers come from my account there), you must know about Instagram. The social network had evolved from an easy breezy photo sharing and editing app to being bought by Facebook and being the most used social media app by teenagers.
Social media, however, has changed. Not because there is once again a change to the algorithm, but because our view on social media had evolved. Numbers are important to us, we rely on social media for a great deal of our social interactions. I think we should move away from this toxic way of using Instagram. That’s why this blog isn’t about how to get the most followers, or the most interaction. It is about how to get the most fun out of it. However, to my experience, following these steps does lead to more followers and interaction.
#1: Find your niche with your friends and peers
I started my interior oriented Instagram account in December of 2017. Starting with 0 followers and 0 accounts you are following is quite daunting. Immediately I went on a follow spree of all the Dutch interior Instagram accounts. Looking back, I would do it different. Nowadays, I find a lot of account is love by looking at the hashtags I use and what other pictures show up when you tap that hashtag. This all might take a while, so don’t worry if you feel on lonely island with your account. It all will work out.
#2: Follow accounts you wánt to follow
This point is sort of an extension from the previous one. In my time I have had a lot of account that have followed and unfollowed me unfathomable amounts of times. All in the hopes that I would follow back (after which they no doubt would unfollow me). It is sad, but I hád to start using an app where you can see who follows and unfollows you. Also; the whole phenomenon that is called ‘follow trains’ is absurd to me. How can you promise to follow all those accounts back if you don’t know if they are inspiring to you.
#3: Don’t interact for the sake of interaction
This one annoys me most I think. People advice Instagrammers who want to grow their following to interact more. Like more, comment more, follow more, DM more, comment on Stories more. On one hand I totally agree, Instagram is most fun when you interact with accounts you like. On the other hand, I’m really tired of the ‘Banging pic!’ or ‘Great post keep up the good work’ comments on my pictures. So please do interact, but don’t overdo it. It might get you blocked.
#4: You have total control and freedom, don’t restrict yourself
It is your Instagram account. This is one of the parts of your life that is 100% yours and had total freedom. Why do we all restrict ourselves then? Please, forget all the rules of what time you should post, what kind of content you can or can not post or how much time you should invest in your account. If you just do what you love to do, it shows. People love to see other people be happy and enjoy themselves. So do you.
#5: Be bold and collaborate where possible
When we talk about the anonymity of social media, it is mostly when talking about negative things like bullies and predatory behaviour. It cán also lead to wholesome situations. I, as an introvert, find it helpful that on social media I don’t have to come in direct face to face contact with people. A lot of fun conversations and advice come from just sending that DM when you think about it. So be bold.
This whole subject came to mind because of some conversations I have had with Guy Vording, an artist who I follow on Instagram. Because of our digital friendship, we met up IRL and I have one of his artworks now hanging in my home for a while. Also, we are -so it happens- from the same town in the east of The Netherlands. If you want to know more about his artwork, read on below or visit his Instagram or website. Thanks for reading!
Stories and forgotten news items inspire Guy Vording (Wierden/Almelo, 1985). Historical events from old newspapers and magazines or stories he has picked up along the way become the beginning of his work. He reads, studies and analyzes the texts and images he’s been collecting during the last years and transforms them into another scene. Something new, something more intimate. At the heart of them lie both loneliness and loss of control. Subjects you can also find in the title of this specific collage: The universe doesn’t know you exist #1.
Often, America is the backdrop for the events. From a young age this country captivated Guy, which accounts for it playing an increasingly prominent role in his recent work.
Almost all of his drawings and collages are created in a series. They have a relatively small size, which renders watching them an intimate experience.