I opened my Instagram account back in October 2011 because I liked the (original) idea of it. It’s a little slice of life, behind the scenes, the whole idea of ‘this is happening right now’ captured forever and shared. It was also an additional dimension to my blog, a social media platform for another audience and as a content marketer by trade, well, it wasn’t something I was going to ignore. So I joined and I started to share like everyone else.
But then it changed.
I started noticing a weird shift over the last year or two – maybe you noticed it too – especially with the kinds of blog and accounts I followed (mostly interior/lifestyle/fashion). I started to see more and more perfectly styled images, beautifully lit, not a thing out of place. No more blurry and heavily filtered pics of imperfect life. Well, actually, it was heavily filtered – just in a different way. Everything was staged as wonderfully as anything you’d see in a blog post or hell, a magazine. That sort of ‘this is happening now’ thing was still going on but suddenly, everyone’s lives looked so perfect. It kind of made me uncomfortable.
So I started thinking, ‘well, okay… this is clearly what’s done now’ and I started taking more care of what I posted there. More and more, I started shooting images with my DSLR camera instead of the rubbish camera on my phone, I started editing the photos in Photoshop, cropping them to the perfect square and posting them. It felt a bit inauthentic doing this but do you know what happened? I started gaining more likes on my images than ever before. I started to get more followers. The people of Instagram had spoken and this is clearly what they wanted.
And I get it. Really I do. People want pretty images. Of course, so do I. I love beautifully styled, beautifully shot images – it’s why I love Pinterest as well. But I don’t know… I still felt kinda weird about it. Not just that, but I simply didn’t have that much to post to my feed. I was still trying to post ‘behind the scenes’ shots (and still do) but sometimes life is just messy and sometimes my house is filled with boxes or tools or dust as we’re working on projects and life isn’t always all that pretty behind the scenes (all you need to do is have a look at some of my blog posts detailing our projects to see that for yourself). So aside from sharing the ‘pretty’ things that you’d have seen on the blog eventually anyway and the odd snapshot of a vignette in my home from a slightly different angle, what else could I share on Instagram? It just wasn’t working for me and I started to wonder what the point of my having an Instagram account actually was.
Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you may already know where this is going. See, here’s the thing. I love interiors – you KNOW I love interiors. It’s my biggest passion in terms of ‘Stuff I Like to Think About All the Time’ – other than perhaps my boyfriend and the cats! But I’m not a 2 dimensional person and I’m guessing neither are you. We all like different things, we all have interests that lie in other areas, right? Me too.
The truth is, sometimes I feel like I can only talk interiors on Swoon Worthy. And for the most part, that’s fine because, I mean, it’s an interiors blog, and of course, I like talking about interiors and I’ve been writing about interiors for the past 5 years. Times when I’ve ventured into other topics on here has always felt like a risk for me – I never know if you will hate it or enjoy the little tangent.
Here are a couple of things that I don’t really talk about on Swoon Worthy that you might not realise about me.
First, I eat about an 80-90% Paleo diet. I started to venture into it back in November and took the plunge seriously in February. I feel great on it, I’ve lost weight, I have lots of energy, I sleep really well – I’ve just found something that works for me (and everyone is different here, of course, so what works for me might not work for you – that’s okay.). Sometimes I want to talk about a recipe I came up with or tried because both Wayne and I love to cook with fresh, natural ingredients – but I can’t post it on here. Because well, it’s a food topic and this blog is not about food.
Secondly, I love my make up. The only other thing I enjoy spending my pennies on when it’s not for the house is stuff for my face. I have always loved cosmetics, trying out different looks and playing around with it. I rarely leave the house without make up – not because I hate my face and not because I have low self-esteem and not because I give a shit what anyone thinks of my naked face. It’s because I love the ritual, I love taking my time choosing eye shadows or lipsticks or creating a glow. It makes me feel like I’m taking 20 minutes to indulge myself completely – it’s my time for me. And I feel good when I take that time out for myself. But if I find a fabulous lipstick or a new bronzer or a contour palette, I can’t post it on here. Because well, it’s a beauty topic and this blog is not about beauty.
While I follow a few You Tubers who focus on beauty, one thing I noticed was that there aren’t a ton of beauty blogs sharing make up techniques for the ‘over 35’ set and there are even fewer for those of us over the age of 40 (I do follow some great ‘older’ fashion bloggers however, as they seem a bit more plentiful!). And so I have been doing sort of “mini blog posts” for those of us who may be a little older but still like to have a play with make up. That picture up there on the lower right hand corner? That’s my ‘Cosmic Space Chola’ look. I may be losing my marbles but I swear, I’m still having fun. I have never taken myself too seriously and that’s just not going to change, I promise!
So if you’ve noticed my Instagram account shows not just interiors but maybe what I had for dinner or me blathering on about how to get the perfect red pout, well, now you know why.
While I wouldn’t call myself any kind of an expert on either topic, over the years I have learned a few things about making some really delicious food and I have learned quite a bit about great make up techniques. And hell, I like talking about these topics just as I like talking about interiors. So yeah, consider it background information, consider it ‘behind the scenes’ or consider it just another means of getting to know me a little better as the 3 dimensional person that I am.
Ya know, the great thing about Instagram is that it’s quick and effortless to just scroll over something that doesn’t interest you. So if my talking about these subjects is not for you, that’s absolutely, totally fine. Just skip on over those posts because I promise I’m still talking interiors over there, I’m still sharing the behind-the-scenes stuff and sneaky peeks of what’s coming up on the blog and I’m still sharing the pretty as it happens as well!
And as for Swoon Worthy? Well, I have no immediate plans of taking this to the ‘lifestyle’ side of blogging. I’m not promising it will NEVER EVER happen but at the moment? Swoon Worthy will certainly be staying all about interiors. So, I don’t want this post to make you think that’s changing because for now, it isn’t.
But if you do like talking about interiors or recipes or beauty products or even if you just like a lot of pictures of a certain little bengal cat (who tends to make a lot of appearances on my Instagram as well), and you aren’t already, then come and follow me on Instagram and join in some of the other topics I’m covering. I’d love to see you there!
How do you use Instagram? What do you think of the way it’s changing? Have you changed the way you use it? I’d love to hear from you!