How to cope with Instagram Pressure
Updated: Sep 18
Let's be honest, even in the dog world, Instagram realities and pressures are real. I didn't ever make Chester's account for it to be huge, make money from it, or to represent brands. But 5K later I do feel the pressure at times. In a positive way it has made me learn photography and love it. But it have also given me an even higher perfectionist complex for our photos to be perfect, creative and to be liked.
Mental health is a huge topic. Recently there have been many accounts on Instagram that have taken a break for this reason. But why is Instagram a pressure and how do we cope with it. Being 'liked' is human nature wether you are an introvert or an extrovert, everyone wants to 'belong' in whatever form or shape they see. InstGrat is a phenomena that is being researched currently in its effects in young adults. InstaGrat is the instant gratification you feel when social media content is liked. Some researchers have compared it to addiction. It is a big problem among fashion/travel influences, but has it spread to the dog community?
Let’s just acknowledge the daily challenges or daily commitment IG can take:
Scheduling your life around posting times
Preparing content in advance
Keeping the creativity flowing
Sharing brand content
Creating daily stories
Coming up with grid captions
Commenting time and energy to commenting, answering DM’s and connecting with followers
Give back to the community by liking and commenting on others’ posts
Participating in Follow Friday, Shoutout Saturday Ect.
Looking at this list some would question how it's even possible to maintain it all and how some accounts have been committed to doing all of this for years. But most don’t think of this as work or a challenge, they enjoy it, almost like second nature. But when life gets in the way and you stop doing it as a norm then the pressure can start to because obvious and cracks can show. it suddenly becomes a daily effort until it all becomes too much and Instagram is no longer a joy but a chore.
One of the toughest Instagram realities is the trap of comparison, we all do it, some comparison is healthy, it can help you master better photography and learn. on the flip side it can make you feel unworthy and unhappy that you feed isn't how you want it. It's hard to be on Instagram day after day seeing spectacular talent, creative masterpieces and not feel the need to compare. It can also be difficult to watch others growing faster. Comparison can be harmful when it leaves you feeling chronically inferior or depressed. Remember that success on Instagram is not a measure of worth.
Everyone and every dogs path on Instagram is unique, and it is created by countless elements, unseen forces, and uncontrollable factors. This may be the most difficult challenge of all, but also the most important. If you fall into this trap you will not find joy in the journey.
So how do we deal with this pressure? Me and Chester have some coping skills to recommend.
- Play with your dog (Its the best therapy)
- Listen to your body and mood. If you are not “feeling it” try waiting to comment for when you are feeling generous.
- Make a posting schedule and stick to it
- Take photo shoots on a set day so pressure is off, then any other day picking up your camera won't hold the same pressure (this really worked for me and I got better pictures for it)
- Create posts ahead of time and save in draft when needed.
- As recommended by Lorren from polka_dot_loki use preview to create your grid in advance.
- Take time off your phone. (This is for sanity and to avoid burnout.)
- Feel the love. Really take in the kindness, ignore the negativity, and treat your followers like old friends.
- Always remember why you started and how far you’ve come (I made a collage of my grid when I began and my most recent - to show myself that I've achieved something)
Using these coping skills your time on IG will feel less tedious and more enjoyable. Be strategic with your time, but also help yourself stay authentic. When you feel like you are in charge your IG responsibilities and posting feels less like a job and more fun.
Sarah & Chester x