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My life as a social media addict: the good, bad & the ugly

If you love taking pictures, sharing your daily life, unique experiences and travels on social media, especially Instagram, and are guilty of spending a little too much time daily on your phone as well, then do read on…you are not alone!

I am that second girl in this hilarious YouTube clip with the Instagram husband that is frustrated with my phone and gets tired of taking pics of me all the time. And with friends who never like or comment on my content on social media, because they totally can’t relate and are not active on social media at all! Recognizable?

But I'm also that girl with 85,000 followers on all social media platforms combined, built up in 2,5 years by sharing pics of what I love the most: my passion for traveling, photography, and collecting wonderful moments around the world. Who made friends in many countries through Instagram and is always happy to meet up, inspire and help others.

Isn’t it amazing that these social media platforms were able to make the world a bit smaller again, more personal and bring people closer together?

In my opinion it all depends on what you make of it and how you handle your account. That is why I am getting tired of hearing so many negative things about social media and mostly Instagram lately:

  • Research says that Instagram can cause depression, especially among young people who compare their lives to other’s on there

  • That it’s fake and curated, because everything is photoshopped and styled before it’s posted

  • Superficial, with fake accounts, bought followers and fake comments

  • That it’s only about numbers and not about real passion anymore

  • Overly popular with competitions and people promoting themselves all the time

  • And unfortunately I hear there is quite some cyber bullying and jealousy going around on social media as well, which I have experienced a little bit myself as well.

These developments and statements make me sad, and I really think it is your own responsibility to handle it in a fun way, but I do have to admit I too compare and focus too much on numbers sometimes, which definitely takes the joy out of it.

Of course numbers are important to open doors and to gain social proof. But for real influence it’s the genuine connections, engagement and relevance of your followers which matter the most, it is a difficult balance of having and building up both!

Therefore I decided to write this blog, to share my challenges with you and focus on the positive side again, so hopefully Instagram can once again regain the value it was intended to have:

To be a platform where you can share your most precious moments, to find beauty in daily life, while being able to edit this for yourself and to inspire others, and just have fun with photography.

But next to that I choose to use it for my business as well and turned my @authenticchica account into a personal brand. That is why I edit my pictures in a particular way, plan my content in advance to fit a color scheme, and limit the type of pictures I post on my account to travel, fashion and lifestyle pics which match my target group and niche. All other pics I save for myself or post on other private accounts.

It may be less spontaneous, but because of this strategy I was able to make a living out of social media through my own brand and by starting my own PR and online marketing company last year.

Now I am managing social media accounts for other brands and companies, am a public speaker about Instagram Marketing and will give 5 workshops this year to help small companies, shop owners and social media fanatics to create their own brand concept as well, become more skilled on social media, and use it to promote or start their own brand, company or website!

If you live in Belgium or the Netherlands and are interested to follow one of my Instagram Marketing workshops you can take a look here, only a few spots left for this year:

I wouldn’t say that I am an absolute expert, but I do have several years of extensive experience on social media and especially Instagram. I am active on a daily basis for myself and other brands, I have followed many seminars, webinars and courses, and read up on new developments as much as I can. But still it is hard to keep up with big changes on social media at the moment.

That is why I too find myself being frustrated with Instagram a little too much lately, as it has changed so much the past months, and I again have to post daily to keep up with the algorithm. With over 190 comments per post on average, and making it a principle to answer each one of them, this can feel like a burden sometimes.

And when you are used to getting a lot of likes and comments per post and used to grow with over 100 followers per day it is frustrating to see these results cut in half or limited by the new Instagram algorithm changes.

I totally get that, but isn’t that the way life and business is in general? Economy changes, politics change, influencing businesses and lives, and industry and media evolve all the time, that has always been the case.

Sometimes there are chances and then the market becomes over-saturated and these opportunities disappear, get limited and shift to new ones, that is just the way the market works!

So let’s all stop complaining about how it used to be and the amount of likes you used to have, and instead accept the ‘’new normal’’, focus on the chances that are still there, the positive things it can still bring you, and educate yourself on how you can keep up with the system and algorithm. That is exactly why I am organizing these workshops.

Next to that I also try to focus more on the daily inspiration Instagram still gives me, the connections I make there every day. The friends I made online that have the same passion for fashion and travel, instead of having babies, like most of my ‘’offline’’ friends😊 Therefore I would like to share some of these accounts with you.

These are the ones that inspire me every day, with whom I have great connections, and who are so kind and genuine, that I would love to meet them in real life:

I hope these accounts have inspired you as well, but I have many more favourites. Do check out the beautiful accounts I mentioned earlier in my past blogs too: The positive power of Instagram, Instagram tips for organic growth part 2 and My 15 favourite social travel sista's.

Are we Insta friends already? Just click on the pic below and make sure to leave a comment, I am always happy to hear your feedback and connect!

Or find me through any of the other social media icons at the bottom of this page.

What do you think of these accounts and the new developments on Instagram? Do you use it for your business as well or just for fun?

Always love to hear your opinion, just leave a comment below…

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