Personal Thoughts On Instagram Stories

Personal thoughts on Instagram Stories

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a more personal blog post, so if this is not your thing, feel free to scroll on through. I know I love reading personal and honest posts from bloggers and I’ve been meaning to share more like this with you, I’ve just let the fear of writing get in the way. Thoughts and conversations like these go on on a daily basis with Mike, but since there’s so much that goes on throughout the day, I tend to forget about them. When we get into more meaningful and thought-provoking conversations about our business, personal growth, etc., I’ve made it a point recently, to at least write something down in my iPhone notes. That way I can come back to it and remember why I wanted to share it here on the blog. Again, I’m not the best writer and these kinds of posts may be all over the place, but I think it’s important for you to know, there’s more to me than outfits and shopping. I have other passions, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge I would love to share with you and even open up a dialogue. Today’s topic, Instagram Stories and how it’s affected me.

Ever since the start of Snapchat and Instagram Stories I’ve wondered how people do it. How do people have the time to document their whole lives on video all day long? Because let’s face it, I work (A LOT) and don’t have enough time in the day to get all my to-do list items done, spend time with my husband, cook, and workout (did I mention we have a baby on the way) let alone be able to document it on video for you at the same time. Maybe I should reach out and ask. I may have a few answers to this, but I’ll address those later on in this post. First, let’s talk about what Instagram Stories and Live has done to me, my life, and my business.  Not only has Stories and Live changed the social media game, but it’s said to be the number one way to grow your audience on Instagram. This comes from Instagram itself. My Instagram growth is at a standstill these days (I’m pretty sure a lot of you feel the same way), so anything to help, I was all ears. “It’s all about video”, “go live”, “share more on Stories”, is what you would hear from every expert and article. To stay relevant and keep up with the game, I thought okay, I can do this. Talking on video is not my favorite, but you know what, it’s real and we could all use some realness on Instagram. Over the last year or so of being on Stories I’ve talked and shared our lives and to be honest, I’ve loved communicating with you guys, asking for advice, and getting your feedback. I actually really enjoy it, but since it doesn’t come all that natural to me, I don’t find myself making it a priority. It’s hard enough to get on there throughout the day, but also I don’t have a ton to say all the time. My life isn’t that interesting. And it’s just another thing to add to the to-do list, which at this time, doesn’t really have room for anything else. I do however, think it’s important to have that open dialogue with readers and form those relationships, so while it’s another to-do list item, I think I will move some things around to make it more of a priority.    

The other side of Instagram Stories, which is what I really want to talk about, is what we’re watching. Stories has unveiled what people’s daily lives look like. Probably not everything, but at least some parts for people and for others, the majority of their days. This is where I’ve had the most conflict. No, it’s not comparing myself to others that go on glamours trips, or everyone running to important meetings, it’s the TIME SPENT talking into their phones all day. I get it, because I watch them, it’s fun to see how people live their lives, some people are funny, or tell great stories. I get it. But, how do you get anything done if you’re talking to us all day long? Do they not have a work schedule? Then I started noticing myself wanting to live that same carefree lifestyle. Where you talk on Stories all day long and sit down to write a blog post in the middle of the day on the couch while watching Bravo, no big deal. Or document errands, shopping, new clothes, lunches, etc. during the day and then finally getting to a blog post after dinner in the wee hours. Why couldn’t I have this more loose schedule where I could hang out all day. I’m a bit neurotic with schedules and stuff, so was I taking my job too seriously? I’m my own boss, so technically I could structure my day however I want. Was I putting too much pressure on being the perfect worker? All these things ran through my head. It’s the comparison game, which social media is very well known for and I was getting stuck in it. Don’t get me wrong, those that run their blogs, businesses, and lives like that, I’m not knocking you. We all do things differently. But, I was in this place where I was questioning myself and how I was running my business. I wanted something different, I wanted my days to look like theirs… so I thought.

I didn’t know I was doing this, sort of sabotaging, until more recently. With more time passing, I realized, this work lifestyle that I thought I wanted, that I saw all over Instagram Stories, is and never will be who I am and how I run my business. While I think it’s awesome that bloggers have a more carefree, easy-going work schedule (or at least it’s what it seems), that is not me. In order to function properly as a person, as a wife, as a friend, and as a dog owner, I have to have structure. When I don’t have some type of schedule, I feel all over the place, things don’t get done, and I become extremely stressed out. Others don’t run like that. Through the time of comparing and getting sucked into it all, thankfully, I had some personal growth and maturing. Instead of comparing and wanting something I didn’t have, I accepted it for what it is. Crystalin, you don’t need to run your business a certain way to be successful or to have a better life. You have to do what’s best for you and your business and own it. I’m thankful for personal growth, reflection, and time. Do I want more for my business, of course. But, does it have to look like anyone else’s life, Stories, blog, or business, no.

The last thing I’ll say because this post is probably rambling on. I had to have a talk with myself (and Mike always reminds me), other bloggers have teams OR their blog is not their sole household income. I think there’s very few husband and wife / boyfriend and girlfriend duos that work together and blog as their full time job. So yes, there’s a lot of pressure. Time management is everything. You can’t just decide not to work today. Or just dillydally on Instagram Stories all day and get around to a blog post. We obviously took a leap of faith and decided to do this almost 2 years ago and we’re so happy we did. We wouldn’t trade our situation for the world. But there’s a lot of work and sacrifice that goes into it. Not to mention the comparing, self-doubt, and mind games you constantly play with yourself. I’m just glad I’ve come out on the other side (at least for right now) and can own who I am and how I run my business. The road to success doesn’t look the same for everyone and that’s a good thing.

I would love to open the dialogue here. Are you on Snapchat or Instagram Stories? Do you have any similar thoughts about it?. I would love to hear from you.

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  • I used to think Instagram Stories was a great way to connect with people and show more of your “real life”, but now I think people are curating them just as much as their feeds. Some people do a great job with remaining as real as possible (I love Damsel In Dior and Carrie Bradshaw Lied on IG stories). It’s tough, and just another thing we have to worry about as we grow our brands!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    • Hmmm… I haven’t seen that as much. I tend to only listen to people who talk, so it doesn’t seem as filtered, but I can see what you’re saying. And yes, it’s just another thing to add to your to-do list as a small business owner.

  • While I love watching Instagram stories and instagram I have found that it isn’t really where my audience is. I have more growth on Pinterest. Also it isn’t how I like to communicate. I prefer writing. I have never been a public speaker so it just doesn’t come naturally to me. Also my day job is accounting. Not only is it a bit boring to document it just can’t happen because all the information is confidential. Also I can’t get work done if I am gramming all day. With a day job I just have never found the time to get an instagram schedule that works…

  • Hi Crystalin – Thanks for writing about this. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we consume media, how people connect to friends and others in digital spaces, how influencers influence our daily lives, etc.

    I love(d) the realness/accessibility of IG stories and the how it allows folks to learn more about others in a different way than an IG photo or blog post can convey. However, it is getting hard to skim through “the noise,” and now I find myself being more picky about who’s stories I’ll watch, have been cutting back my screen time, etc. People are putting so much content out there but it’s hard to say how much is relevant/interesting to me. But then again perhaps that is sometimes the whole point of IG stories for some people, sharing the irrelevant/in between moments.

    My schedule is a lot like yours where I’m working, on calls, in meetings all day and my every day isn’t all that interesting. But when I’m out and about and see something neat or am doing something fun, I will post a little something. For me, it’s a more conscious effort to want to share a bit of my day/life than posting mindlessly/just for the sake of frequency. Maybe I’m thinking too much about it but I prefer quality over quantity :-)

    • I couldn’t agree more. Lately, I find myself not wanting to be on Instagram and IG Stories on the weekends as much. I just want to enjoy my time off. But on the other hand, I feel like I need to be sharing more because of my business. It’s a daily struggle, lol. I see it as, try to share more things thats you like watching yourself. And pass by those stories that are just sharing irrelevant happenings.

  • I feel the same exact way about Stories. I definitely do try to connect and talk to my phone, but like you said, sometimes I have nothing to say or just don’t have the time. But what has helped me is thinking about how I’ve grown my blog and it has grown because I was me. I didn’t have to try to do something or be something. It is the main reason why I have my blog. And so if I have to force myself to get on InstaStory then I know I’m not being genuine.

  • I love your stories! And I honestly hate ‘day in the life’ stories if that’s all a blogger does (I’ve muted more than a few!). To me it doesn’t seem like a carefree lifestyle, but more like ‘who has time for this?!’. I guess the same thought as you but just from a different perspective. In my opinion, its more about quality than quantity. I don’t really want to see your entire day, just parts of it (and by ‘your’ I mean in the general term, not you specifically!)

  • You know I love posts like this! It makes me miss you much more though so can you stop?? ❤️ I recently listened to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast with Jillian Harris and hey had this whole chat about Insta and Jillian was saying how she often receives criticism from people who say she’s on stories all day (she posts long ones!) but she did the math for like 18 clips on stories and it totaled a whopping 4.5 min of her day or something that. I was really surprised and was like it’s true, in the grand scheme of 24 hours how it’s only a few minutes. But it also depends on the person because her stories are very real and raw and unedited. If someone is curating or making them look pretty, that’s obviously gonna add some time. She also viewed it as another important part of her business, which I think is a good point and really depends on each individual and the type of following they have/if that provides value to them.

    I feel like it comes back to what you said – not comparing and realizing everyone’s situation is different. I also think that you can paint a certain picture even on stories. You know how much work goes into your day but imagine if your story was something like this: pups in bed, morning coffee, photo of computer screen shopping for baby, boomerang of you in an outfit you guys are shooting, coffee shop you stopped at while shooting, wine (ok maybe not wine!) in hand while catching up on Bravo or watching a game at the end of the day. I feel like people could easily watch that and think it’s super glam and leisurely and not realize just how hard you work and how much you put into your biz. So I think even when people have long stories, it only adds up to a tiny fraction of their day so it’s still not the full story. Another thought is that people like me pretty much only remember to take video the few times we are on our bed a day (for tals naps/folding laundry/etc) so it looks like we are in bed half the day! Hahaha

    I also think it brings a lot of joy and excitement to some people whereas for others it feels like just another damn thing they have to do. My philosophy is do it when it feels fun and don’t if it doesn’t. It’s also an easy and quick way to share for people like me that have less of a focus on Insta right now but still want to connect and share and feel creative sometimes. Also, once that baby comes I have a feeling you’ll be picking up your phone to take a lot more videos! ;) And you’ll likely get joy out of how much joy it brings others.

    I personally love seeing you guys on insta but I’m not biased! Do what feels good to you and know that that may change and evolve, especially as baby comes. You’re killing it lady – don’t doubt yourself! Also sorry this is so long but that’s what happens when I miss having these chats with you. Lol Love you and miss you! ❤️

  • I’ve never been a huge fan on Instagram because it’s so curated, and I also feel a pressure to curate my own content, which I do. And even with Stories, though Stories are supposedly more real and more candid. But I use Instagram because my blog is heavily photography-based, so using an image-focused social media platform seems to make the most sense. I never use Instagram Stories though, because I’ve been very stubborn about sticking to Snapchat. With Snapchat, I don’t feel any pressure to curate my content. Even so, just last month, I decided to stop using Snapchat. I made this decision because I started realising that I began developing this weird (and almost gross) need to share even the most mundane aspects of my life. Like, no meal would be eaten without first snapping it on Snapchat. I realised that I spent so much of my life trying to create this “live” content… And I mused about how I could better use all this time. So I stopped using Snapchat (and never got into Instagram Stories) and I just focus on creating meaningful content for my blog and living the rest of my life :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Sorry in advance for my bad English (not my mother tongue).
    I think you don’t need to document all your life on Stories but you can try to share a little bit more. For example: you prepared a yummy dinner and sat a pretty table, you can post a small instastory of 2 minutes sharing what’s your dinner. You can also post your beauty routine, specially if is easy ! You are going out to dinner, you can post your outfit or the restaurant you picked out, even random stuff, like your favourite milk, lipstick or candle, your purchases, workout routine, hair tricks etc. You can talk to your followers your struggles of being a wife, soon to be mother, friend, housewife and blogger (women will relate to this because It’s a problem of 99% of us). It’s a matter of habit, will become natural.

  • I completely, 100% agree. Stories have added pressure to record every second of every day. In a more creative and interesting way than the little circles next to you. I work full-time and also run my blog, and honestly don’t feel like I have the time (or any interest really) to document everything. I’m glad that you are owning who you are and know that you’re a rock star! Keep doing you.

    Cheers, Katie
    Willow and White