As you probably know, I have been suggested by the official Instagram account, twice. Once on November 28th, 2014 and then again on March 26th, 2015. I don't think Instagram has been the same ever since it got bought by Facebook, and I am not sure if they still have this Suggested User feature, but when I started using Instagram around 2013, there were tight communities of people who have been suggested, also people who were yearning and working very hard to get on the list as it is THE WAY to increase your followers enormously in short amount of time. I gained 2,800 followers a DAY f0r two weeks, at the first time it happened, and then 3,500 followers a day for another two weeks. At the end, it "stopped" at 64,000, which has been gradually decreasing and I've lost 10,000 over the year.
When I got suggested for the first time, which I still vividly remember; it was one Friday night and I was at home with my boyfriend watching Netflix and chill (laughing pretty hard as I am writing this expression, haha). I got an email notification so I casually checked it, which was the email above, from Instagram that I have been suggested. I got off the couch and started jumping and clapping like a crazy maniac (or a cute child, hmmm, actually a bit more like a maniac haha) 'cause I totally didn't see it coming and it was very unexpected, in a very, very good way because it made me feel like my hard work has been recognized and paid off.
I honestly don't know how Instagram found me, but I do know that they cared about Instagram community; and at that time I was attending Instameet, and commenting and liking people's pictures, which I guess can be measured as an engagement and involvement to the community. The 2nd time it happened, though, was shortly after I hosted #StrathconaMeet during Worldwide Instameet Weekend.
I have been noticing that my engagement is way down ever since Facebook took over Instagram, there isn't as much emphasis on the community as before, and I see stupid contents such as promoting Kim Kardashian all over my Explore feed, more frequently than beautifully created and curated "real people's" work. I recently made my Instagram profile PRIVATE, and to be honest I really like it that way. I never started Instagram to get more "likes" and "followers," but I treated as a visual resume and personal expression, also a communal space where you can get to meet and connect with like-minded individuals and inspired by their creativity and learning from different experience, background and knowledge.
Social Media is a very personal matter to me, which is probably why I am enjoying my profile private. I don't want other people trying to control or think they have the right to have their say about it. I am free to do whatever I want in this world. If I wanted to be controlled, I would still be in Korea and working for a big corporate office. I would be a Buyer at Chanel Ltd. Korea by now.
The funny thing is, I am saying this as I am an analytic person, not caring much about the followers or likes, that I am getting the similar numbers of likes, but I, personally, can focus on each individual who is commenting and discovering people from whom watching my Insta-stories (Which I really enjoy doing and having fun with, but it's so unethical of Facebook to knock off Snapchat entirely. Really, Facebook? Why does it have to have the exact same rule? Couldn't you have a slight degree of dignity to change it up a bit? Maybe having videos disappear in 48 hours, instead of 24 hours? I don't know. Something! I just find it wrong they copied the idea.) But hey, as a User who is more familiar with Instagram, all of my community exists on this one single platform. I cannot stress enough it is way more convenient as I was stressed out when had to take pictures, and videos separately on Insta-stories and Snapchat. I don't even use Snapchat anymore, although I don't agree with the ethics of Insta-stories, but I can't deny it is really, really convenient and much more engaging and entertaining for me.
Anyway, I just wanted to finish it up by quoting my favourite line from the movie The Interview (which by the way I have a slightly major crush on Seth Rogen, *bhahaha* insert his heavily "weeded" laughter), "Haters gonna hate us 'cause they ain't us." This post is dedicated to the people who hate me for no reason. I hope you get over me and move on to doing something bigger and better. Do something productive and creative instead of winging, bitching and complaining about other people's success. There are a lot of work to be done in this world, so focus more and use your time on changing the world to be a better place, not wasting your time talking shit about somebody or something that is simply not true. On that note, I am working on a small project which I cannot wait to reveal. I look forward to sharing more details with you all. Thank you for reading my post!