Here’s what happened when I didn’t go on instagram for a week.
Before the break
I was posting one to two photos per day, usually breakfast and a snack/dessert. Also I had been running the #superfoodstar competition with @_hannaheats and @vivolife. My photos were getting a minimum of 400 likes per day and sometimes 500-800 depending on the quality and content of the photo. I also had about 40-60 comments per photo (including my replies).
Why take a break?
I decided to take a break because I had so much work to do for my PhD and I wanted to get into the office for 8am and not be distracted throughout the day. Usually I take photos of my breakfast, but making it look ‘insta-worthy’, taking a photo and uploading it adds at least 20 minutes to my morning routine, which I wanted to avoid. Also, I was eating breakfast at about 7.15am when it was dark outside. That meant there was very bad lighting so taking a nice photo was almost impossible and it puts me in a bad mood when I can’t take a nice photo! Finally, I didn’t want to be distracted by comments during the day. I am so happy that people do engage with my photos, but if I’m feeling stressed I don’t want replying to comments to be another thing to add to my to-do list! So I decided to take a break.
What happened when I didn’t go on instagram for a week.
- It took far less time to make my breakfast.
- I still ate the same food- it just didn’t look as pretty.
- I felt less stressed in the morning.
I’m sure I have said on my blog before that I enjoy taking photos of my breakfast in the morning, which is true most of the time. But when I feel stressed in general it’s another thing to worry about, which I really don’t need.
- I thought I would miss talking to people on instagram, but I didn’t really because I had so much else going on!
- One of my instagram friends messaged me on what’s app after a few days to see how I was doing, which was really nice and unexpected.
- My phone battery lasted almost twice as long!
- I was more productive. Instagram can be a distraction normally.
- I wanted to go on instagram when I was bored in the evenings.
- I couldn’t resist and had a little snoop!!
But only for a few minutes and I didn’t post any new photos or like anyone else’s photos.
Logging on to instagram after one week:
45 comments (I think a fair few were where people had tagged me in competitions, rather than commented on my photos)
6 direct messages (4 related to working with companies and 2 from my friends/followers asking how I was)
15 new followers
10 photo tags
Unfollows– I meant to take a screen shot when I logged on so I could see the number of followers I had before and after, but I forgot!! So I don’t know how many people unfollowed me.
Did being away from instagram for a week influence my popularity?
Obviously it influenced my popularity in the sense that I didn’t get as many new followers in that week as I would have if I had been posting. I was actually surprised that I did get a few new followers!
In terms of likes and comments on my photos, I don’t think that taking a break from instagram made a difference. After reading other articles about how the instagram algorithm works I thought that once I logged on again everyone would have forgotten about me and my photos would be unpopular, but that wasn’t the case.
My first post was a post-workout smoothie at about 6pm (not my usual breakfast post). It got just over 500 likes in 24 hours, which is similar to how my photos were performing before. Also I had several really nice comments from people saying that they had missed my posts and asking how I was.
It’s now been one week since my instagram break and I have posted a breakfast photo most mornings, but if I couldn’t post for some reason then I haven’t been too bothered. My photos have been reaching 400-450 likes per day, no very popular photos, which is kind of disappointing.
I love instagram and making pretty breakfast bowls, but it can sometimes feel like a lot of pressure to make a nice photo every day. From now on I’m not going to worry about being less active on instagram. I have read articles that recommend posting 1-3 times per day so that people don’t forget your account or unsubscribe. But that just isn’t feasible for me when I’m busy or when I don’t have good light for taking photos. My instagram break/ experiment has shown me that it’s okay not to post on instagram every day.
What’s your experience with posting on instagram?
Also, check out my account @healthyandpsyched.