What happened when I had an Instagram break

There are a few reasons I took a Instagram break. Some of them I will share now – some I will have to keep for another day

Before I begin

Before I begin lets get a few things straight. Instagram is my hobby, and my obsession. I have deep love for these tiny squares for 18 months and I cannot tell you how much joy my Instagram community brings me. If you are reading this blog post it is fair to say you are probably part of my Instagram community. You might love my grid posts, or be all about my insta stories. You might have started following 15 months go. You might have started following me 15 days ago. But I think you have probably worked it out – I love Instagram.

I love instagram and i took an instagram break

Why is an Instagram break a big deal?

In the world of Instagram having a break is a pretty big deal. Let me explain: Say your an account (like I was 18 months ago) that come for the pictures and the stories and love to follow along but don’t post much themselves. You guys are our life blood. We love you, you are why we create, because you love it and you tell us you do, and we want to create more for you and tell you more stories and it goes on and on.

If you want to see our posts then Instagram has to show them to you. Instagram has a snazzy little brain governed by more then one algorithm.

These algorithms try to determine what each and every one of us sees in our feed. So if you follow 500 people and every 500 people post twice a day, that’s 1000 pictures you could potentially see. But you are not likely to. Because at some point the algorithms will have seen that you like pictures of cats and Tom Hardy, over pictures of sunsets and cakes, and your feed will get its very own special order.

How does this effect someone like me? Massively! Because, by having an Instagram break, i’m breaking my own algorithm rules. I’m messing with the Instagram brain. If I stop posting consistent content for you to see the algorithm will start to lose me. I will fall off its radar, I will cease to exist and you will all unfollow me immediately.

OK – so I might be over reacting – but I can guarantee you that all infulencer/creative/photographer accounts that are trying to grow there following and community will feel they cannot stop posting. Not for one day because an Instagram break it will effect the algorithm.

But I promise you, it didn’t

Conceptual coffee photo created for Instagram homewiththebuckleys

Engagement loss?

Simple answer. No. Not really. I have now posted 3 times in the last 3 weeks since my Instagram break and my engagement is still up. Why? Because my content was strong. Because I engage back. And because I have a strong community of followers who were looking forward to me breaking my grid post strike.

Was I cold turkey?

No. I wasn’t. My phone didn’t get put away. I didn’t sign off entirely form Instagram, I was still digesting content daily and I was still on Instagram stories. And I was still loving my app. I just didn’t post on the grid. And although there are a few reasons I can’t go into right now. There are some that I need to make clear and they might surprise you

Why did I need an Instagram break?

My grid is a mixture of lifestyle photography with a dash of whimsy and a side order of magic from time to time. If you enjoy my feed you will enjoy my classic and sometimes intricate flatlays. You will enjoy my home, my styling and my interiors shots with a twist. And you will see me posing and playing with landscape shots to add a little more wonder to everyone’s day.

Conceptual photo of a sunset created for Instagram homewiththebuckleys

This all takes time. Lots and lots of time. And I am quite a busy lady. So sometimes. Just sometimes. Instead of losing the quality of my posts. I need to just stop creating altogether

The consumption of time

I’m often asked how much time each post takes. Or how long a chalkboard wall takes to set up? Or how long did a flatlay take? Or how many photos did I take to get that shot of Otis perfect.it takes a long time?

I take most of my shots on my iPhone 6  and i’m a big champion of iPhone photography for Instagram because of how much quicker i find it but the photos themselves still take time

A flatlay can take 10 minutes. Or an hour.

A chalkboard wall can take 3 hours even before I photo it.

A self portrait can take 20 shots and if Otis is involved, well that’s another story altogether.

Then I edit, then I gather my hashtags, I write my caption. And then I spend a minimum of 1 hour engaging with the photo after I have uploaded it to Instagram. And most of this is done after bedtime. Eating into my down time with my husband. Minimum time per post 2 hours. The most? Up to 5 hours!

Flowers drawn on a chalkboard wall interior design floral portraits

Something has to give

This is not my full time job. It’s a very exciting hobby. That I hope and prey will be something more one day. That is why I put so much effort in. But I am a mother to a very energetic toddler, I work at my office job 20 hours a week. And I renovate my house in my other spare time.

So four posts minimum a week on insta could equate to another 20 hours work. That would mean I’m working full time hours. That is why sometimes. You have to put aside your love and passion and just get life done

No regrets

I have no regrets at all for having an Instagram break. Everyone was still there when I came back. My followers didn’t desert me. I didn’t forget how to hashtag. I still enjoyed everyone elses feeds even though mine was on pause. And it was refreshing to give myself official space.

For me it wasn’t about having to be more present, or having loads of things I had to get done. It was literally just about having control of what I do on a day to day basis. And one of the things I do – is spend a lot of time nurturing my Instagram. So when you feel the tank getting empty, or the edges fraying, be honest with yourself and hit pause on the things you can control – like your social media account.

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