We need to take Instagram back. I joined Instagram shortly after Jude's first birthday to document my life in a fun way while connecting with old friends and making new friends. Somehow, over the last seven years, Instagram has lost its magic. On my worst days, it leaves me jaded-- with all the bots, the constant begging for likes, and the rat race that comes with curating the perfect feed. On better days, I scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll, content to consume and no longer create.
Three years ago my buddy @JenLovesKev and I tried to jumpstart #MomPrompts- daily prompts for documenting motherhood. Despite over 400 photos tagged during our challenge, after two months (a move, homeschooling three little kids, and potty training), life got in the way and I dropped the ball on this delightful, easy project.
As #Mom2Summit wrapped last Friday, I looked at the smiling faces of the women around me and I was so happy. There! In that loud laughter and in those hugs goodbye, there was a touch of that magic that blogging circa 2010 and Instagram circa 2015 gave me. The internet really does have the power to inspire us and connect us to one another.
Over the years, I slowed my Instagram posting, mainly because I took a lot of Instagram growth strategies courses for work that made me die a little inside due to their tactics of growth at any cost-- things like buying followers, hiring bots to do liking, and joining comment pods to trick the mysterious IG algorithm into making your photos appear higher in the feed. Frankly, the thought of it all still exhausts me. I began to think that nothing I wanted to post was worth posting.
But then Mom 2.0 happened. As I added new friends to the 'gram, I realized that genuine connection online isn't about the perfection we showcase. On the contrary, when all we're given is a tiny square and a meager place for a 2200 character caption, we have to use that space wisely. The people I feel most connected to are the ones posting earnestly and regularly.
Maybe you're like me and you need to get out of your Instagram rut. Maybe you want to take back Instagram-- to post more often without the worry if your post has worth in the eyes of others. Maybe you need something to help spark your creativity again. That's certainly the case for me. That's why #MomPrompts is back. Use it daily or only when you need an idea. Use it to connect with others. Use it and know that your voice here matters and you've been missed.