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Thinking Out Loud: On Instagram

Thinking Out Loud: On Instagram |

Real talk: Instagram is the bane of my existence.

Okay, I’m overreacting but I often find myself thinking: “HOW THE HECK DOES INSTAGRAM WORK?”

I’m hesitant to even publish this post because I sound like a brat thinking out loud, but what the heck.

Last year, I decided to clean up my Instagram because I came down with a nasty case of the comparesies and wanted my online life to look like all I did during the day was buy fresh flowers, drink sugary coffee, and read fashion magazines (#education). I had Instagram envy and I had it bad, and I totally embraced it. I followed all these ethereally white, bright and airy minimalistic feeds and had hopes to be just like them— no, tried to be just like them. We all know Instagram isn’t real anyway.

Ten months later, my Instagram is still far from consistent and I’m also so bored of it all. I can only take so much of the minimalist pixie dream girl aesthetic before I start hating everything muted and milky (while still trying to emulate it LOL).

Thinking Out Loud: On Instagram

Flatlays for Days lol

Several times, I’ve come across articles titled How to develop your Instagram aesthetic or How to come up with a cohesive Instagram feed or How to take the perfect Instagram photo or How to grow your Instagram following or Instagram hashtags to get you noticed— you know the kind. At first, I lapped up these articles like a kitten does to milk because I wanted a bombass Instagram account (I mean, what else did I buy all those VSCO filters + other photo editing apps for, right???) but now I’m just kinda really sick of it already.

Why do I feel the need to define an aesthetic?

Why do I need to box myself in?

Why do I need to use the same filter/s in all my photos to form a cohesive feed (and what about all those other presets I spent money on)?

Obviously, my thirst to establish a personal brand (yuck) has led me to discontent so it’s really all on me. No one told me to follow a specific look or use Instagram in a certain way, after all. I’m still hashing out my feelings for Instagram because I know that I’m still going to keep aspiring for That Look because I do like it. I just wish this desire for a “perfect Instagram feed” didn’t bother me so much.

Does anyone get me?

PS: Don’t forget to join tomorrow’s Friday’s 10 Happy Things. :)

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  • Reply Vanessa May 21, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    OH YEAH, helga. I feel you. Haha.

  • Reply Camie Juan May 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I was just thinking this a week ago! I was like, “When did Instagram curated feeds become such a huge trend?” I kind of miss when people just posted whatever the fuck they wanted. Now there’s this huge pressure to have that “feed goals” kind of IG profile. It’s kind of sickening in a way, because I also gave in to that pressure but it started to not feel like the genuine me but more of the me I thought people would prefer. I’m also getting really bored of all the IG feeds I followed that are just waaaay too curated. All those beach, plants, white linen sheets get a little boring to look at, because they’re just photos with barely any story to them. If there’s any Instagram cleaning going on, it’s going to be unfollowing those boring curated feeds. Haha BRING BACK THE PERSONALITIESSS! YAY!

    • Reply Helga May 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      RIGHT??? I wish I didn’t like LIKES so much lol. I’m trying to find the perfect balance between INSTAGRAM GAME STRONG and PERSONALITY.

  • Reply Clarisse May 21, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I feel you!!! Like lately I’ve been just posting whatever I want on IG, with no care if it looks cohesive with the other pictures on my feed because I look at all these bright and minimalist feeds and they all look the same. I want mine to have LIFE. Like isn’t that the point of Instagram in the first place, to document your life, and not what you want others to perceive it? Hay. So yeah. I feel your boredom. =)))

    • Reply Helga May 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      I’m too self-conscious to go back to documenting my life AS IS. I want my feed to have my personality but also to be nice lol. Thank god for Snapchat????????? Hahaha.

  • Reply Corinth May 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I totally feel you. I call Jorge a hardcore instagrammer kasi he even has his hashtags sa notepad niya so he copy+pastes it nalang right after he posts his photo. He even takes a screen shot of his current feed to see if the picture he’s about to post matches his feed. HAHA. I find that way too time consuming and ridiculous, and the amount of editing he does to his photos, minsan OA na, to the point na I roll my eyes at him, but I guess he’s doing it right because he gets more likes than I do haha. And I feel hurt sometimes kasi I don’t get the likes I want, and my follower count is such a poser haha. And I know, it’s JUST Instagram, but it really isn’t JUST Instagram anymore. For me at least.

    • Reply Helga May 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      What’s the point of having nice photos if people aren’t going to like them, diba?? Haha it’s so silly but these things matter to our egos kasi.

  • Reply Tara Cabullo May 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Totally. :)

  • Reply Chiin May 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I feel the same way about my Instagram feed. How come others has this nice, single- filtered ones? But I can’t do that. I realized every photo in my feed is different and who cares anyways.

    I always thought of using Instagram to post photos that happen realtime as your followers see a filtered moment in my life right at that time when I click post. ????

  • Reply Jean May 21, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Ugh. I feel you. I as well is in a constant struggle to figure out life in squares. I’ve deleted accounts, old pictures, etc. It has become a major problem and dilemma specially for a person who has an OCD like me. Lately, I am trying not to bother too much and just post whatever I wanna share. After all, it’s my page. So I decided to make my instagram page as a space for life snaps, life in a nutshell. Fck theme. Fck consistency. But then again, at the end of the day, I can’t help but browse through my feed and this itch of deleting and redoing things are still there. And my Instagran feed envy will never end.. not until I figure things out.

  • Reply Dani May 21, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Dude, yes! It came to a point where I would scroll back to really old photos and delete anything “substandard” or in line with my “feed goals”. I had to snap myself out of it and tell myself to just leave old memories (I was once excited to share) alone! It does not help to work in an environment where half of the people are Instagram-crazy!

  • Reply RV May 21, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I honestly feel you! But don’t feel bad about it. Maybe the reason why we keep our IG feeds nice and clean because we let people call us photographers or bloggers. We need to own it, because ideally, bloggers doesn’t post bad photos. :)

  • Reply John Steven May 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Oh Helga. We all love your personal brand of being yourself. ????

  • Reply Mikyu Maglasang May 21, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Totally understandable! I felt that way before, too! All these rules and all those guidelines… they take away the real characteristics of a person. That’s why I deleted all of my social media accounts. Everything about it got so tiring hahaha

  • Reply Aia May 22, 2015 at 12:48 am

    That lipstick, tho! <3

  • Reply Joyce May 22, 2015 at 1:03 am

    I feel you, Helga. I’ve been to that phase where I want my feed to be that “IG feed goal” but i’ve realised it’s not me anymore… So I started not to care about the followers and likes, I don’t upload random photos anymore that doesn’t have anything to do with my life for the sake of a pretty feed.

  • Reply Ziba May 22, 2015 at 1:22 am

    I hear ya. I got the instagram comparesies bug a while back. And I tried to emulate the white-everything aesthetic. But it looks so damn sterile and boring. True creativity is messy and chaotic, embrace it!

  • Reply Raisa May 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

    I admire people with really pretty Instagrams because I just don’t know how to do it. I used to not get social media, and I’ve only started to understand Twitter. Anything more than that (Pinterest, Instagram, Bloglovin, etc) is still too much for me. I feel so old lol.

    I think it’s also because people I know IRL follow me on Instagram so I’m kinda shifty on promoting my blog. Not that I don’t post anything juicy, but I still try to keep it somewhat separate from my real life.

    • Reply Raisa May 22, 2015 at 5:01 am

      FACK I meant “not that I post anything juicy.” There is nothing tender juicy about my blog.

  • Reply Camille Puche May 22, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Oh I totally agree with you, Helga! I am on the same page (or was) as you and I can never get the consistency like others do. So I think I am slowly giving up and slowly embracing my own taste. It’s just like any trends out there… how annoying. T.T haha

  • Reply Alex Carpio May 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I totally feel you! Had this predicament too.

    After having bought all the VSCO filters and reading tips and tricks on how to beautify your instagram, I just stopped.

    Anyway, I think you’ve already established your personal brand and most of your followers love it!

  • Reply Jean May 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I don’t know how to create a pretty Instagram. I don’t know how others do it. I tried to copy once and it was a big failure so goodbye to that. I follow a lot of these pretty all white Instagram. I did get the why-is-my-life-not-as-pretty feelings, too, but these beautiful posts can get tiresome and really old fast. I hope there will be more variation or people would inject more of their personalities.

  • Reply Lizzie May 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I feel you, sisturr.

  • Reply Maria May 24, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Omg. You are not alone. There’s like this unspoken (but totally spoken??) Rulebook To Win Instagram and I totally relate to your feelings : it makes me want to puke but I’m also drawn into it.

    It was annoying me so much that I made it a point to unfollow / not follow anyone’s ‘Gram that’s heavy on the pristine, minimal, hold my coffee, look at my breakfast and Celine bag “aesthetic”.

    This policy keeps me sane and keeps my Insta feed fun and fresh haha. But you know what? To each their own, you know?

  • Reply Yshy May 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I feel you!!! Ayoko na din, nakakastress!! HAHAHA

  • Reply astrid May 27, 2015 at 4:10 am

    i’ve had the same battle. while i want my feed to have this clean, minimalist aesthetic, everyone’s feed starts looking the same and when you take out the profile name, parang walang identity ang photos. they’ve become so homogeneous that you can’t say “oh, this is her instagram for sure.”

    i use my instagram/twitter as my datekeeper too, so i can remember the things i did the past week. deleting some content would also mean, baka makalimutan ko na nilibre ako ng ramen ng crush ko. mga ganon.

    so recently, wapakels na rin ako hahaha.

  • Reply Toni May 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I mostly lurk on your blog but I just need to comment!
    I feel the exact same way. It sickens me how much I feel the need to curate my feed but hey, awareness is the first step to getting better, right? At least I know it’s shallow and I’m not deluded into thinking I’m oh so #artsy and #minimal. I used to not take IG so seriously and when I look at my past posts, (fun ootds that didn’t HAVE to be against a wall, Pictures with friends, etc.) I had a life! My feed currently is “well-curated” but completely devoid of personality. I still do the same things but my IG reflects none of that. It’s actually a lose-lose because you don’t achieve anything by having the perfect feed. You may get likes from strangers, but your IRL friends might be put off with this superficial IG presence. You might get the look you want and become #feedgoals for somebody but you’ll always be bound by your silly onefilteronly rules. It’s so stressful. And it’s so fake. NONE OF IT IS REAL!!!

    • Reply Helga May 27, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Hahahaha hi Toni! I think I try and make my personality show through my captions. And yeah, at least we have no delusions that we’re #KINFOLK when we’re really #KINSPIRACY!!!

  • Reply Juliebear July 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I wanted to get a cohesive aesthetic too because OC. Many times I’ve tried. Many times I’ve *FUCK IT THROWS PHONE…picks it up again because cat is doing something cute*

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