Instagram, blogging, micro blogging, what’s it all about anyway ?
Lots of people ask & in my head I’m thinking ‘got a spare hour while I explain?’
I have been doing this a while now, and have had time to ponder all of it.
I started Instagram as a place to ‘put’ my pictures. I’d got tired of Facebook, and the negativity that can sometimes be there, so a few years ago, while I kept my FB going, I largely ‘decamped’ to Instagram.
The world of a million Rabbit Holes.
The world of shiny squares, of constant inspiration and a moving magazine of ideas.
When I first started on IG, I had no idea that it would become what it has become for me.
I followed some random accounts and didn’t really dare comment on anyone’s pictures. Then I thought ‘Oh stuff it, I don’t get it’ and deleted the app. *gasp from the crowd*
A few months later, and I thought I’d give it another go, as I really didn’t ‘get’ Twitter lol – and fyi, I still don’t get Twitter haha! I use it to check why I am stuck in a traffic jam, and to moan at BT, and that’s that. (so I guess, when people say to me, they don’t ‘get’ IG, I can kind of resonate because of my total fail with Twitter)
Anyway – I started following the accounts that give you daily prompts for photo Inspo, and started to tentatively comment on a few pics. I almost fell over when I got my first follower, and immediately presumed I was going to be stalked by an axe murderer. lol
I remember at about the 600 follower mark, I was starting to make ‘friends’ with people, and chatting daily on their pics – this is before ‘Stories’ or ‘DMs’ were invented. Back in the dark ages haha!
A few friends asked me nervously if I was planning on meeting any of ‘these people’, to which I replied ‘absolutely!’ And a few months later I found myself on a train up to London, to meet a wonderful lady who I’d been nattering to, called Carol, who was visiting London from the USA and we had afternoon tea together in the Dorchester (get us!) It was like we’d known each other for ever. (both of us figuring that the Dorch was a fairly safe and public place so the risk of being axe murdered in the dining room, was minimal. Besides have you SEEN the door men? there’s no way they’d let axe murderers in, well maybe only posh ones.)
It’s really an extension of being pen pals isn’t it. (although I will say, at this point, that you do obviously need to be very cautious when meeting someone you don’t know etc etc)
A few weeks later, I was on that train again, to meet 3 girls who, years on, are very very important in my life, and my ‘go-to’ buddies on our whats-app group. We all heaved a sigh of relief when we met at the station in London, that yes, we were all who we said we were, and no one looked dodgy. Well… that’s questionable …
So in the early days, it was just a lovely place to ‘meet’ like minded people, a massive garden fence to chat over, if you will.
And that was as far as it went really, a lovely community, to share ideas with, share inspiration, and share a bit of my life with & it’s still all that. I LOVE the fact that I get to peep in to other people’s loves, and yes, I do like seeing what you all have for dinner.
I have thought quite a bit about the criticism I often hear, about these shiny squares of ours. I have been really lucky and so far have never received a negative comment, but I admit I open DMs with caution, just incase.
Loads of accounts I follow look ‘perfect’. The lives are portrayed as magazine style aspirational, the faces are always smiling, the houses are always tidy.
I was questioned, the other day, about that. Not my account in particular, but how I felt about the constant barrage of glossy lives.
My answer would be this.
Generally, in your every day life, you get up, get dressed, do your hair and make up, go to work, smile, say ‘great thanks’ if a random colleague asks you how you are. While you are at work, wherever that is, you remain professional.
You don’t expect your boss, the lady at the till in the supermarket, your dentist, your doctor, the bank teller, the window cleaner (etc you get my drift) to be anything but professional, you don’t know them that well, they pass through your life, you use them for what you need, and off you go. They might all be having THE WORST time privately, but as a general rule, you wouldn’t know it. They are doing their job. They don’t need to share all the ugly ins and outs with you. They can’t share everything with everyone. Their lives behind closed doors are none of our business. Generally speaking.
And here’s the grey area. Instagram IS very often, a peep further in to a person’s life, behind that closed door. But that doesn’t mean they have to share everything with us. The beautifully edited image you see on your feed, is a tiny moment in that person’s day. It is a moment in time. The other bajillion moments might not be shared. The crying baby, the piles of washing, the worries, the ups and downs that every single one of us has in a day, a week, a month. I go back again, to walking in to work with a smile, and get on with your day, even though you might have left carnage in your wake, no one would know. And that’s just it isn’t it. Instagram is that tiny moment that the person chooses to share. That’s all it is. It doesn’t always give away the unseen. Unless the person chooses to share that, and that is their choice after all. So you might think ‘that person’s life is perfect’ but I bet we all know it isn’t really.
For me, instagram is NOT Facebook. I unfollow anyone who gets them muddled up. I don’t need to see your Time Hops, (Ok, one or two, but not all 10 from your Facebook) I don’t need to see 25 photos of your holiday in one go (I quite like seeing 2 or 3 a day though, cheers me up immensely to see holiday pics and gives me loads of ideas for my next break away)
And here’s another thing I have learned. People come, people go. As you know I have organically built quite a large following. Equally I have organically LOST quite a large following.
I use an app called Instrack. There are loads of tracking apps out there. You use them to see who’s followed, who’s unfollowed, who are your blockers, who are the top likes, commenters, etc on your account.
I initially downloaded it to keep track of followers as quite often my alerts ‘fall off the bottom’ in Instagram, and I can’t always see new followers. I dip in and out, deleting and blocking accounts that I think look suspect – for instance, accounts that are private, no profile pic, no followers, no posts & who follow very very few or thousands. I don’t think I want someone like that following me. Real person or Bot, who knows? It’s also nice to see who’s following, to dip in and out and say hello, and find fab new accounts to follow.
As for the unfollowers, it is interesting, I have most probably lost as many followers as I have gained. (around 30k yes indeed) If someone thinks we don’t have anything in common, they don’t like my pictures, or my face doesn’t look as they expected, I honestly don’t mind them going. I am far more interested in the followers. You can’t please all the people all the time. It’s a tough crowd. I still get a guilt attack if I unfollow someone though. Insert appropriate emoji (It’s very hard talking without emojis. I’m not sure I’ll make it to the end without using any!)
Bringing me on to my next point. (not emojis, that was in brackets so doesn’t count. I am talking about followers)
I know I have a lot of followers that like me for me. You comment regularly, you show support, you make me laugh, you are bloody fab to know and you make Instagram a total joy.
I also know that I have way more followers who aren’t interested in me at all (and that’s cool too by the way) they are interested in my house, the colours I paint on the walls, the kitchen, the Dior, (that’s the front door to the uninitiated) the little decorating projects etc. I am part of the bigger rabbit hole of hashtag Inspo.
I am mainly an interiors and lifestyle account and that’s what a lot of you have signed up for. And that is BRILL! I love sharing all that with you. I love it when you ask what colour is this or that, I love helping you out with your paint colour dilemmas or sharing where I got the stair carpet etc
So, to the subject of ‘the niche’ I have discovered that if I cross ‘niches’ its quite unpopular, you signed up for interiors and lifestyle, not a travel blog, or whatever. And I know my place. I really enjoy sharing my house with you all. And I totally understand that holiday pictures for instance (as I am just back from hols) are not what everyone wants to see, for whatever reason. I found it really interesting that I lost lots of you while I was away. I don’t let unfollowers bother me, as it’s way too draining to be wondering why. It’s just quite interesting to me. It is a tricky subject, one that I haven’t really ever read about on other people’s blogs or Instagram, but one I am willing to embrace, as its all part of the rich tapestry that links or unlinks us to & from each other. And I don’t need to discover why people up and leave. It doesn’t actually matter. There’s a saying isn’t there, that whatever anyone thinks of us is none of our business. And I think that is very true.
There is a brilliant website called Social Blade, where if you want to, you can compare accounts on all the social media platforms, you can see how well you are doing, or how well other accounts are doing, Its useful if you are a brand and want to optimise your partnerships with bloggers, and it’s also quite fun to just be nosy.
So – if you are all still with me and haven’t dropped off yet, I’ll move on to the here and now.
We all seem to see ‘hashtag ad’ on our feeds these days. Our favourite accounts being snapped up by brands who want to access their following. (and yep I’ll include myself in that)
I feel a bit sad when one of my fav accounts posts a beautifully curated image for a brand with ‘hashtag ad’ and notice it doesn’t get as many likes as their other pictures on the grid.
I don’t feel sad that one of my fav accounts has posted a beautifully curated an image with ‘hashtag ad’.
The accounts I follow, I love. I trust the girls running them, and I am delighted when they show me something gorgeous from a brand they think I will like.
Here is the rub. Yes, these accounts have been contacted by the band. (and that, in itself is no mean feat. How many accounts are there? MILLIONS. And to be found amongst that massive haystack, is amazing. And before a brand contacts you, they will usually have looked at your images, your engagement, oh, everything you have there to show. Your website if you have one, and most probably they will have checked you out on Social Blade or similar. They want to make sure that you are relevant to them) So to get a brand email popping in to your inbox is lovely. You have worked really hard to get the followers, to create the content and to have gained a large enough following for a brand to be interested in you, and blimmin well done for that!!
If I am contacted by a brand, I will think very carefully before I say yes. It’s lovely to be offered PR gifts in exchange for a ‘Story’ or to be paid for posting an image, but if that brand isn’t a brand I love and would buy their stuff anyway, I say no thanks.
I trust the accounts I follow. I use them as a filter, to narrow down what I am after, whether its a new rug, or a paint colour, or a fab new handbag. If they started showing me stuff that didn’t ‘fit’ because they have said yes to a random brand and are basically just showing me their free stuff, it turns me off straight away. And there are some amazing accounts out there that are my Go-To filters for stuff. I like them and I trust them.
It’s all a fine line though, isn’t it.
I say yes to brands I love. And I think I know what will work, and what won’t with my followers. And I also like to share stuff that isn’t sponsored, endorsed or paid for by brands. I have worked hard to gain your trust, and I won’t throw it away by working with the wrong brands, with the lure of freebies. After all there is a limit to the amount of STUFF a girl needs and trust needs to be earned and is way more important than selling yourself out for a PR gift.
Saying that, once I have agreed to work with a brand whether it’s a gifted item or a paid post, and I think I can speak for lots of bloggers here, that brand wants their pound of flesh, The images have to be spot on, and often need to be previewed by the brand to make sure they are happy. The content can take ages to create, to get it just right. Good images and content don’t just ‘happen’ it can take hours. So to be gifted & paid, is not that hard to fathom. You wouldn’t ask anyone else to work for free, would you? You wouldn’t give a painter a fantastic new brush and a pot of paint and get him to spend hours painting a room and not be paid, would you?
Again, it’s a grey area isn’t it. I had someone ask me what I was earning through blogging the other day. And I asked him straight back if he’d care to share his salary with me! (ps not enough to give upon my day job was my real answer)
Although blogging has been around for ages, blogging and influencing is all still quite a new ish concept to me. The fact that you can carefully forge a career out of it still surprises me, and there are brilliant accounts out there doing just that. And I think good for them! it’s not easy. If it was easy, EVERYONE would be doing it. I guess its ok to feel a bit envious if someone is working with a fab brand and is showing you the gifted items, but, and I hope this is true, it is for me, she will only be showing you them because she knows you trust her, and its good stuff. That you probably need. Scrub that, it’s stuff you definitely need to buy immediately. lol, I discovered fidget spinners through a sponsored Instagram story. Rolls eyes at the whole world!!!
The accounts I love to follow, give me so much, they are consistent and inspiring, and I think of them as friends I can steal loads of ideas from. And that’s another facet of IG isn’t it – It’s inspiring us and influencing the way we all shop. And I’d rather trust the taste of my favourite accounts, than a celebrity endorsement on the tv.
Instagram has given me and heaps of others, a voice. And we can use that voice to say whatever it is we want. To share whatever it is we want to share. I feel SO lucky to have found my voice in so many ways (if you scroll back on my blog you’ll understand exactly what I mean, but this is about blogging/instagramming and influencing, not about cancer)
CRUMBS! this is a looooong post and it hasn’t even got pretty pictures!
I don’t really know how to end this post as I could literally jabber on for YEARS.
So. for now, I’ll say thank you for reading, sorry there aren’t any pretty pictures. And could someone bring me a coffee?
I’d love to know what you think about some of the topics I have covered, from whatever view point. I think it’s a really interesting subject, anyway I’ll shut up now!
Lots of love as always
Really well said. I agree entirely. I love people’s holidays snaps – life’s too short to be jealous. Those who leave – it’s their loss. Keep doing what you do, it brighten my day.
thank you Wendy – I felt so nervous publishing it xxxx
Hi Sally. What a fantastic article. Thank you. I’m new to this Insta malarkey, having taken the big jump from Facebook for the same reasons as you. You write so well and I enjoyed reading your take on the whole thing. So thank you again (Couldn’t resist damn emoji!) Cath xxx (@thepetballooncompany and @cottagecrafts
Aww thanks Cath – it’s been buzzing round my head for a while, nice to know I’m not alone! xx insert appropriate emoji ! lol
I love the inspiration I’ve had from IG (I’m still fairly new to it) its really helped as I haven’t got a clue about home decor.
Also I love the way IG seems to support a lot of small businesses as well. I would never have known about them had it not been for the rabbit hole.
I Love the rabbit hole too! And the support is amazing! how lucky are we xx Currently stalking feeds for new floor Inspo haha xxx
Interesting to read Sally. I love Instagram for fashion, home, garden, food, holiday ideas etc etc And also for human interest. Love how we can feel really connected with ‘strangers’ because of their posts or comments. There are some lovely people out there, although I sometimes feel quite shy when I comment on posts because some people seem to know each other so well and I worry the person posting will think ‘ why is she commenting when I don’t know her?’ ( my comments are always positive….i just don’t understand why people put mean or offensive comments. ….if you don’t like or agree with someone’s ig feed, why not unfollow rather than be horrible?! ) Anyway, i always enjoy yr pictures and writing. Very friendly, entertaining, informative and such good photography!! thank you! xx
I’d never ever think that about anyone commenting ! I reply to everyone where I can and I never check out who I reply to to see if they have loads of followers or not, I treat everyone the same. We have known each other for ages on here and I love your comments. you are always so nice and always positive, and I appreciate you popping up – friends even though we have never met! Mind you, since the latest update its really hard to reply to everyone on IG as they don’t let you reply to a bunch at the same time, just one by one and seriously, I need STAFF for that! lol! keep being lovely XXX
Loved this…I learned so much! I live in the United States and have always dreamed of visiting England. But…now…I can sit on my couch and get a glimpse in to life in your country. I love all of your posts. Thank you for sharing your life with us! Plus, my daughter is named Sally!
Omg I need to get more bunting!!! I love seeing posts from the USA! I am insanely jealous of your porches, your flags on the houses and of the Christmas trees IN your houses!! But I can’t work out if you have mashed potatoes instead of roast potatoes with your Thanksgiving Dinner? And YAY! for your daughter called Sally – I hardly know any other Sallys! Now I do, by default! xxx Thankyou Melody xx
Sally I have been following you for a few months now . I thing you are a babe and make me laugh with your funny videos. I have just come back from holiday and realise I have lost followers and I wasn’t even posting many holiday pics. It really doesn’t bother me as I know the lovelies that are genuine are still here . ❤️
It’s a strange thing isn’t it! *strokes beard* I still haven’t worked it out, but maybe endless blue sky and infinity pools from all of our pics together, on someone’s feed might turn them off if they’re stuck at home in the rain. Anyway, yes, you are right, the lovelies that stick with us are treasures . Thankyou xxxx
Hi lovebug!! As one of the first 600, I’ve seen you come a long way my sweet instafriend. I remember when you met Carol in London..:something about a moustache disguise in case she was an axe murderer. Such a hoot!! You have always inspired me and brought a smile to my face. Gave me good advice about the goobers in my life. And just been a real treasure. Love from me and cherrypie mum from across the pond.
Oh my god DESI!! we have been friends for so long! And I realise now, that axe murderers are a consistent concern! If I could, I’d pop straight round and give you and your darling cherry pie Mom, a massive big hug! From the English girl xxxx
Great post Sally. I’ve never had Facebook or twitter but I love Instagram for the inspirational, funny and honest accounts like yours. I agree with your comments about people’s accounts not sharing everything in their lives. People get jealous on social media of others seemingly “perfect” lives but as you said we all know they aren’t really. I like your mix of home, travel and “brands you love” posts. Keep blogging you’re great at it xxx
Thankyou so much – its all a fine line isn’t it. As you know I do like to chat, and the blog has definitely let me do that, I’m just so glad that you ‘get’ me! I love Instagram of the same reason you do! And feel so lucky to be sharing this little corner of the internet with such lovely people xxxxx
I watch, I like, I scroll by, I get jealous (in a healthy way), I become inspired, I imagine what I’d do with that piece of furniture or clothing. But, never have I thought of leaving or not wanting to see what happens next on your journey.
I wish you luck with all your ventures and look forward to what ever it is you chose to share with us.
Thanks Sam! Thankyou for sticking with me ! Love Sally XXX
I LOVE your posts, especially your stories( I don’t ever do them myself) I live across the pond, am an actor and don’t ever do FB or blog…though I love to post pics….I really enjoy and am fascinated with all of your stuff and look forward to it daily. I don’t DO what it is you DO on IG….
BUT I LOVE IT.
I often am amazed at how people can connect and seem to have a vested interest in and care about the lives of people they don’t know at all other than through their pictures. I think it is fantastic, makes the world small and precious. Keep on keeping on ~please~your pics and posts are joyous and beautyfull ….I will keep following….promise!…x
Hey Cynthia – thank you so much for taking the time to comment ! waves back across the pond! I too, love how connections are made, and how the world is shrinking. I find it amazing that we can chat instantly, and see what someone is doing, no matter that geography actually dictates that popping over for a cuppa would be impossible. I can see why, as an actor you don’t do FB or a blog, I guess you’d be inundated with gazillions of ‘friends’ all needing something! Thankyou for sticking with me! From China, to finding Donald Trump’s wig in our woods, walking Molly. haha Lots of Love, Sally xxx
Oh Sally, you certainly do make me laugh.. I’ve been following you for a while now.. we’ve had a few pips of conversations here and there.. few giggles.. I’m puzzled why people unfollow you.. especially while you were away. Jealousy and envious is what you should put it down to.. I didn’t want to miss out on anything . I loved reading your blog and have contemplated whether to start one or not..You have such a knack for writing, always so witty and entertaining… I agree with what you said about the brands and trust..so carry girl and stay the way you are.. I’ve loved this journey of IG with you so far xxx
Callie thank you so much! It took me AGES to pluck up courage to start the blog, and when I got it I felt like I had a shiny new car that I was afraid to drive incase it crashed! Find your niche and go for it, you probably know your niche already. Anyway, thank you xxxI’ll not worry about any followers I left in Portugal, at least it’s sunny there ! lots of love Sally x
Hi Sally, great words and thanks for explaining the ad thing! Ive actually unfollowed in the past because I felt the ‘products’ were not relevant to the account and felt I was being used! Feel I have a better understanding of it now.I’ve been on insta about a year and started to with pictures of things special to me but quickly I felt I had to ‘compete’ and found myself buying things as that’s what I was seeing daily and felt I ‘needed’ them to fit in. After a while I realised this is not healthy and have realised that although I take inspiration from other accounts I don’t feel the pressure to confiorm. My account is a mix of everything important to me and I understand that won’t get me thousands of followers as I’m not an interiors account or fashion account etc and that’s ok! I get very excited when I get a new follower and practically wet myself when I get a comment (insert laughing face) but I’m still doing it for me. I feel a bit strange that I know so much about your life (and others I follow) but you don’t know me- it’s like I’m a stalker (insert emoji) but I Love reading your blogs/posts and your stories( especially the shanghai trip-amazing) they brighten my day xx
I think that’s the thing isn’t it, if the products aren’t relevant, you feel used. Ages ago a makeup company wanted to send me some stuff and I was so excited I said yes, but it was a train crash, it wasn’t relevant to me or what my followers expected, so I learned my lesson! And the post was deleted ages ago- I couldn’t even bear to see it on my feed!
It’s really hard to NOT conform isn’t it. I think the best thing you can be is yourself. But I do admit I like all the stuff I see on my feed! lol Instagram is expensive, I keep telling Gav that haha – anyway, thank you& thanks for sticking with me in China ! xxxx
Hi Sally, another interesting and well written post. I am one of the #ad haters, and have been honest and told you so. However I love your other posts and therefore continue to follow you, and hope that you will allow me to continue doing so. Again this may be hard to articulate, but as a follower I feel a tad ‘used’ when i see the dreaded ads. I am not going to buy a product because a company gives away freebies to a high profile blogger or instagrammer. In fact it puts me off, and I make a point of not buying. I have stopped shopping in Fat Face and Laura Ashley for this very reason. As is so often said just hit the follow button, and I have where the majority of posts are ads. I believe that thousands of followers and virtually no comments on a post speaks volumes, and I am speaking generally, not specifically about your posts. Hope this makes sense? Thanks xxx
Hi Helen, I do get it yes, but I do quite like seeing the products in ‘normal houses’ and on ‘normal people’ so I don’t mind that sort of advertising. I think that companies who want access to all of our followers might have to up their game a bit as there really is a limit to the amount of free stuff anyone needs, and exciting as it might be, to start with, it doesn’t pay the bills. So undoubtedly, Instagram will morph again, its very fluid I think. But anyway, yes, I can see that ad after ad is not what anyone wants to see. I found it annoying enough when I used to buy a mag and the first 25 pages were ads! Thankyou so much for commenting, I really appreciate your view point! Love Sally xx
*unfollow! Darn pre-emptive text
I love using instagram to share ‘the best bits’ of my life. The things that make me really happy. I post all sorts! I love seeing travel, home, food, special occasions, all of it! I’m simply addicted to the stories lol. It’s like YouTube for beginners. Your stories are some of my favourites, I think because of your sense of humour and authenticity. Love it! Take Care x
Ha yes – You Tube with L Plates! you are so right! and thank you xxx
Lovely post, I’m fairly new to following you and I love all your content. I’m in my 30’s and just moving out of our starter home and into our second proper home in Norfolk. I have been pouring through your feed getting ideas.
I don’t tend to care too much if the people I follow go ‘off topic’ I also view instagram like you – a little snapshot of someone’s life. No drama like Facebook. I want escapism from my day.
I will be honest, if I see a video or post which is sponsored it does tend to turn me off some people. I can’t really explain why, I understand all your reasons above, maybe it just takes the shine off the authenticity of it. Regardless of that your beautiful Laura Ashley posts don’t make me feel that way. You document those beautifully.
It’s more the ones where someone shows a product when you know they don’t use it or my favourite is vloggers getting free really expensive trips all around the world. Or it’s just ad after ad, maybe it’s just jealously on my part.
Also just to say never stop with the instagram stories. You have a beautiful home and family and it’s nice to get a peep into it.
Aww thank you Vicky – I do know what you mean about the ads, especially if you suspect its fake. I think they stand out like a sore thumb and everyone can sniff them out. I think I have to be honest on ig or it’ll come back and bite me on the derriere!
I really hope your house move goes well, you must be so excited to be moving in to a new home! Love Sally
ps Vloggers getting expensive trips would make me really envious too!
What a fantastic post, thank you. ( from one of those that never posts !) x
Thankyou Julie ! from one that posts ALL the time! xx
So well written and so true. I use Instagram for interior and fashion inspiration but have become hooked on everyone’s stories, as well. Oh My Gosh – you’ve made me realise that I could be deemed a ‘suspicious’ account as I have no profile picture, no followers or indeed any posted photos! I’ve become a bit of a IG interiors stalker (in a good way!). Your post has inspired me to get my profile pic on this week-end and post some photos so thank you for that.
P.S. I’ve often thought it would be great to have a #keepitreal Monday or something like that with everyone posting one photo of real life e.g. a messy kitchen just to keep it real and I suppose realise that we all aspire to these beautiful interiors but not to feel inadequate as everyone has real life behind the scenes. Anyway, I have rambled on. Keep up the brilliant writing and funny stories x
Hi Lara – I love the idea of that hashtag! you didn’t ramble, but you know I love a good rambler anyway! and omg I am sorry if I made you feel bad! But I must have vetted you and decided you were not suspect lol I can kind of tell the suspect ones, and they are almost always private too. Not that being private is a bad thing of course. I love Stories too, I can lose hours down THAT rabbit hole wahhhhhh! xx
Oh Sally, you’ve got it totally spot on. Ditto to EVERYTHING- in fact, if I thought you wouldn’t hunt me down with an axe, I’d probably lift this whole post and repeat it on my site!! Having just returned from holiday, I too lost followers when I posted holiday snaps – I guess people really do value consistency, and for me that’s images of country life and not palm trees, but it’s hard when you’re actually just showing real time snippets of you life – should we pretend that we never leave our homes? The sponsored post thing is interesting too. You’re so right that followers often tend to show their disapproval by withholding their ‘likes’, but like you, it’s so flattering to be asked and I would only ‘work’ with brands that I truly like and would have in my home anyway, so the rare sponsored posts are actually truly authentic. I also like to help small brands and accounts who will benefit from a shout out – I see it as sharing the ‘insta love’ , and it’s a shame when these are seen with suspicion also. Anyway, I could go on and on, but simply put – excellent post, and next time you’re arranging a meeting of ace murderers anonymous- count me in lol!! Love from Paula xxx
Yes yes yes to everything you said! you are also welcome to lift it if you like haha! look at it as a ‘Guest Post’ you are GENIUS! I might start asking others to Guest Post, how interesting would that be! I know it’s already a thing, but it would really mix up all our blogs wouldn’t it, and introduce new people to readers!
I shall start investigating the first AMA meeting. how fun would that be! (Axe Murderer Anonymous) Brill! lots of love Salxx
Fantastic article Sally! I started following you for decor inspiration and I love it when you veer off the ‘decor track’ and show us your travel pics etc. I also love your random musings on your stories; so hilarious! Regarding the pictures people share, no one is perfect and being human, we always want to put our best foot forward and show just our good bits. Most of us do just that with our own pics, so I’ve never understood why people expect the next person to be any different. Keep doing what you’re doing because a lot of us really enjoy following you!
thank you so much – you said in a brilliant sentence, the thing that took me two paragraphs! that we all put our best foot forward. Anyway, thank you for being so lovely xxxx *goes to edit her post! lol xx
Fantastic post, completely agree.
I am still too scared of axe murderers and child nappers to have a public profile though.
Lots of love xx
I am convinced they are everywhere! lol – it’s a miracle I am still here really xxxx I was private for ages!
Great article Sally, I’m not a popular account, private and small, sharing little snippets only, I see Instagram as my free inspiration magazine, I’m not interested in gaining followers, I just like to be inspired by lovely home ideas and to keep an eye on my “kids” accounts haha! Sadly I’ve seen the negative side to Instagram too, it really opens your eyes to the bigger picture of what makes folks tick generally, their collective and probably subconscious attitudes to certain issues. I posted a picture of a young child who is currently searching for a stem cell donor, something I know is close to your heart and the reason my husband and I joined DKMS, that post got 6 likes(2 of them from family who follow me) yet a post of my neatly made bed made over 40! (I don’t have a lot of followers so 40 is quite good ha!) That really made me so sad. This year our nation saw many terror attacks and after each one instagram was flooded with posts “praying” for whichever city had been affected, yet the day after the attack on the mosque in London when people were mown down by a van there was an incredible lack of sympathy or photos posted in support of those affected, I was shocked by that but it clearly showed an apathy which was nationwide, and that too makes me sad. Instagram and social media is a very good tool for gauging public opinion and it’s worrying that we live in a world so caught up in image and material things. Your article is very thought provoking and I hope you continue to write more, you have a gift for saying what many of us think and I love seeing your little squares and stories! And by the way thank you for liking my DKMS post xxxx
Hi Jacqueline, thank you so much for joining the register, and for posting about the child who needs a donor. Its Stem cell donor day on … 16th Sept I think ( and I also think I got the name wrong, need to investigate) So I feel I really want to do something – I am just not sure what. Anyway, yes, everything you say is so true, it all fascinates me too. Our lives are being shaped by stuff that our grandparents couldn’t even imagine. Thankyou so much for taking the time to send such an eloquent message, too xxxx
I loved reading your post and agree with everything you said! I love Instagram and have found places to visit and lots of lovely things to buy from the people and accounts I follow. I also agree that you have to take it for what it is and realise that it isn’t a complete snapshot of someone’s real life!
One of the reasons I think you are so popular is that you come across as such a lovely, genuine person and if I met you I know you would be the same Sally as you are on Instagram. You can laugh at yourself and that is a wonderful attribute! My mum recently had a kidney transplant and your Instagram stories were a daily fix for her while she was recovering! So, if you’ve lost followers, I reckon it’s their loss not yours! Keep on doing what you’re doing, holiday snaps and all because we love you for it!
Oh my goodness!! I hope I didn’t make her laugh when I found Donald Tump’s hair in the woods?!?! her stitches! Seriously, please send her all my love and a big gentle hug – wow! Wishing her ongoing recovery to be speedy xxx And lots of love to you, too. I bet you have all been through the mill x
Wow, I never realised there was so much to Instagram. You’ve explained it perfectly. I must admit I do unfollow accounts if they are posting the same type of pictures all the time, it’s nice to have some variety. Yours are always interesting and varied and I do like the holiday pics and the ones of Molly, she sounds just like my dog!!
Janet I can send her first class signed for – she’s just rolled in fox poo… might need a little hose down…. And thank you! I was really nervous posting this but I feel much better now! xx
Oh my word, this is spot on! Thank you for being brace and posting this.
I am totally with you on the whole Twitter thing (or Twitter as my daughter calls is, pardon my French!)
And I too have been turned off Facebook because of all this negativity. I adore the little happy, inspiring snapshots of people’s lives and you are so right in saying that we don’t have perfect lives, we hide the bad stuff and photograph the good because it cheers us up.
I have an obsession now for looking for the perfect Instagram wall, all your fault of course.
Anyway I’m rambling now. But thank you, you’re a lovely, funny, clever lady and I’m happy I follow you!
If you find that wall, Ange – give me a shout! lol And yep! I am usually standing on a pile of rubbish when I take a pic of my tidy kitchen haha! thank you for being so lovely xx
Hi Sally. I’m very new to IG (and a complete technophobe) but love your posts. They really make me smile and give me lots of home decor inspiration and a whole load of other lovely stuff. If other people choose to leave, it really is their loss. It was because of one of your posts recently that I discovered canicross training i.e. Running with your dog. Who even knew there was such a thing but am now meeting up with a lovely lady who is going to show me (and Barry the springer!) the ropes (literally). lol. So thank you. . I may post a pic if I’m brave enough x
Oh Brill! have you ordered the ‘thing’ to attach on to your dog? Gav is ordering one from Dog Fit – Molly is a Small – who knew?? and you don’t sound like a technophobe to me!It took me ages to even learn how to reply to people! Thankyou Jill xxxx
No not yet. Am meeting the lovely canicross lady after summer hols. Not sure what size Barry is. He’s quite “leggy” so poss small/medium (I think). I have visions of me being pulled over the mendips! Watch this space! X
Completely agree, well said! That’s why I deleted my Facebook app too x
Fab blog post and I for one LOVE your account, you were one of the first accounts I followed and I enjoy looking at your photos and stories regularly – for me, IG is a little hobbie, somewhere I upload my photos, for me it’s a bit of a ‘diary’ I suppose…anyhoo, keep doing what you’re doing :)) much love xx
yes that’s exactly it, isn’t it – a little diary of squares documenting our lives. Thank you so much for being so lovely xx
Hello Sally’s, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I am newish to instagram, the only social media I am on. your account was one of the first accounts I started to follow and the one I check first each day, apart from my own family and friends of course. I too love looking at peoples posts and have loved sharing pictures of my home and holidays, when I never thought I would.
I feel guilty about unfollowing people and blocking some when I really shouldn’t.
Again, another great read and I look forward to your next.
I could go on forever, we may have something in common !
Love Marie xx
it sounds like we have loads in common! I think we are so lucky to share this lovely corner of the internet, not least because I am really nosey and it’s like having a master key to see all the lovely interiors and I love learning about everyone’s lives! xxx
Hi Sally never done Facebook or Twitter like you initially just joined to put up my endless pictures of flowers. love your account your honest and real . Like us all some days your gliding along looking together and beautiful others days your still beautiful but sat on the floor surrounded by mounds of washing – that’s life ., also love all your travel pics.. was told to keep my account private and not put my face on profile for safety but you’ve made me think I like to see a face behind the pictures so might have to rethink xx
Hi Michelle, I love to see the faces behind the accounts but do understand it’s a big step. It doesn’t bother me at all now, and it took me AGES to set my account to Public. And yep! surrounded by endless piles of washing is my default setting! I am glad it didn’t put you off! Thankyou so much xx
Hi Sally, I love to see your updates and stories. You would be the last person I would unfollow as you invariably brighten my day and make me laugh ( or Molly does!). So keep on keeping on, in my next life I may even get a pink Dior ‘cos of you!! ttfn Sharon (couchpotato)
Ahhh thanks Sharon! Molly found a new swamp yesterday – she’s so disgusting! & I think we should all have pink Diors! Haha Thankyou for being lovely xxx S xx
Such a true read.. I still feel fortunate that i was able to meet you in person. Such a treasure.
Some day(and i mean it) when my circumstances change, i will be planning another meet up with you!
❤️❤️ I’d LOVE that Carol. One day xxx
Hi Sally. I have been following you for a while now, and have only dared to push my head up above the parapet and comment a couple of times, but I feel like you’re one of my friends (!) and I really look forward to seeing your Insta stories – they are my fave!! We really do share the same sense of humour oh and I totally want your house!!! Keep on keeping on, you’re fab and I would never unfollow you because of a few holiday pics – whats that all about?
Hi Debbie! pop up more often! it’s lovely to make friends on here – I know what you mean though – there’s a couple of accounts that I am not brave enough to comment on ! eeek! Thanks for being lovely – Sally xxx ( ps maybe the swimwear shot was a bridge too far lol)