Hello all and thanks for stopping by! I feel strongly that this is a subject that needs to be discussed on my blog today: Why I have an Instagram. I woke up this morning to my boyfriend insisting that I listen to this podcast about social media (mainly Instagram). The speaker brought up very significant points on the negative effects of Instagram and pointed out a few other interesting things. He brings up the fact that we all try to make our social media appear that we are happiest, healthiest, and most financially stable yet. We are in total control of what photo we post. We take into consideration the angle of the photo, the lighting and possibly what filter we slap on it. After listening and agreeing with some of the things he said, it concerned me that there are girls and guys who are fooled by these false images they see on social media.
One wonderful thing about the guy that I am dating is that he pushes me to think, plan and set goals. He motivates me to think outside of the box but also encourages me to think realistically. He questions me, not in an offensive way, but in a way that allows me to think out loud.
He asked me “Why do you use Instagram and what is your end goal?”
Frustrated and full of emotions, I sat and collected my thoughts. Looking back, I feel like there have been many people who have asked me this question or a similar question regarding my blog. I feel like it’s easier to explain to my best friends because they “get it.” But when explaining myself to my parents, successful colleagues or strangers, I kind of freeze up and then blurt out some sales pitch answer.
But this time, I really wanted to put some thought into it and be completely honest. I will share the exact screen shots of my text response at the bottom of this post, but I still want to type out my response and add a few things.
So here we go! Why do I have an Instagram and what is this whole “blogging” thing?
- I have an Instagram because social media plays a huge role in my generation. Social media is a great way for businesses to market their brands, target their audiences, and network. Fortunately, I am not “addicted” to Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. I have nothing against those platforms! I personally just prefer to use Facebook for family, friends and keeping up with my colleagues. I tried Snapchat and Twitter but they are just not for me, personally. *Again, this is just my opinion.*
- I have an Instagram because it is a creative outlet for me (and others). I think it would be awesome if I could put my fashion skills, people skills and creativity all together and turn my passions into a business as a blogger. I know it’s not realistic – hence why I still went to college and got a degree. My dad has told me a million times that being a blogger is even more unrealistic than being a realtor (another dream of mine). *If you know my dad you know that he is a very loving, hard working man that just so happens to also be VERY REALISTIC* So I get it. Taking photos and typing long blog posts doesn’t pay the bills…. right now 😉 I also know that it’s hard to start off being a blogger if you do not already have a steady, reasonable income. (Sorry if that sounds blunt, I am just being straight forward here.)
Maybe I do put too much time into Instagram and shamelessly hold onto a very unrealistic dream. So instead, I tell myself that I am going to have a normal job that so happens to compliment my interest/hobby in fashion and social media.
“End goal” related, I hope my blog inspires others. Whether that means inspires them to start a blog, chase their dreams/goals, purchase a good book or try a new restaurant, etc. A lot of my posts are so raw and real…. and I’ve received great feedback from people who are/we’re lost or sad and after reading my posts and getting to know me on a personal level they feel better because I AM so REAL. I am relatable.
(In the text screen shots you’ll see where I put things into my boyfriend’s perspective so that he could have a better understanding of where I am coming from.) I enjoy sharing my experiences, good or bad, with others and my realness with others. It brings me satisfaction and joy.
Side Note: I took a class at The University of Alabama that solely focused on social media. I was not a marketing or business major by the way. My major is in Consumer Science and I studied subjects like E-Commerce, PR and social media. Any who, I learned from a business perspective that it is important for your visual content to be appealing to the viewers’/customers’ eye. You have to have content that grabs the person’s eye before you can reel them in. So I am all about people getting creative and taking fun, beautiful photos. I have so much respect for my friends who are in photography. It takes a special eye to capture something so beautiful/unique and then make it their own with their own personal editing styles. This is where subjects, angles, lightings and filters play a part. Once your audience is captured, then you can become closer to them by being transparent and authentic. Without a doubt, all of the bloggers I follow are beautiful women. Some of them I have been following for years. Yes, they are physically beautiful and have great taste in fashion, but they are also beautiful on the inside. It’s so fun following along with women that inspire me and getting to know them on a more real and personal level. (I’ll discuss this a little more in depth in a sec.)
So end goal: I don’t have an exact end goal. I used to ask myself, “When will I stop using Instagram? Will it be when I’m fat and pregnant? Will it be when (I’m being over dramatic here btw) I’m stressed out, married and miserable with 3 kids!?” I don’t know. But I do know I follow bloggers who are pregnant and bloggers who are full time mommy’s and wife’s that bust their booties for their families. I follow these women because they are ALSO just as inspiring to me. They share life secrets and hacks. They share recipes that they make for their families. I have no intentions on being a mom any time soon but I’m already taking notes from bloggers who have experienced pregnancy and have so much advice to share. They are super duper real and will be honest that life is no cake walk, but they also share how beautiful life can be! Some mention being strong in your faith, some promote positive thinking, some suggest reading a book or joining a workout class.
Life is hard, but it’s easier when you are surrounded by people who support you. I’ve learned that YOU are who YOU surround yourself with. So if I am surrounded by my wonderful family, boyfriend and friends, as well as positive, inspiring women on social media… I’m a happy camper!
So I don’t know what my end goal is. Or how long I’ll even keep up with Instagram. But it’s a creative outlet for me. It’s basically an in-depth diary of thoughts, memories, experiences, and ideas.
I get that Instagram and social media can be negative. It can cause people pain, suicidal thoughts, jealousy and anger. But I feel social media can be beneficial if used appropriately. All the bloggers I follow inspire me. In January I told myself that my New Year’s resolution was to stop screenshotting pictures of fitness models, Instagram models and bloggers with the mind set of “Uh I wish I looked like that. I wish I was them. I wish my body looked like that.” Instead, I now know how to appreciate someone’s talents, body and image without putting myself down. Instead, when I see a fitness model on Instagram I think “You go girl!” and then it motivates me to workout and be the best AYLA that I can be. My body will never look like so-in-so’s because I’m AYLA, not so-in-so. Now, instead of putting pressure on myself to look like so-in-so I say to myself that I am going to go kick butt in the gym to become a better/healthier version of Ayla.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this very long post. I hope it is a little more clear as to why I have an Instagram and why I am choosing to blog. I hope this post inspires those who have been questioning their own dreams and goals. For those who have been convinced that famous Instagramers “have it all”, I hope this post shows you that those people are real people too. Some choose to share their realness and some do not. But do not be fooled. My advice to you is to be open minded, appreciate other’s talents and believe in yourself. Social media is a powerful tool and can be beneficial to those who use it appropriately.
Actual texts so that you guys can see that I poured my heart out in my explanation!