Is Instagram killing Blogging?

I started blogging back in 2008 because I had a baby and a toddler and was slowly going a little bit bonkers. Like, I swear, if the Seventh Day Adventists knocked on my door, I was sorely tempted to invite them in, make them a coffee and invite them to sit down and have a chat, such was my need for human connection.

There was this thing called Facebook, which had been around for a few years by then, but I didn’t understand it so I didn’t jump on board. I had met another Mum who lived a few doors down, and most Fridays we would drink a gin and tonic in either of our backyards and talk about being bored and a bit lonely. Another friend of mine, Louise Bell, had just started an interiors blog called Table Tonic, which has since gone on to become a crazy successful business, suggested that I might consider starting my own. And then I watched Julie and Julia and made a pact to myself to write a little something every day on a blog, which I named WoogsWorld, which was a nod to the cult classic Wayne’s World.

Nine years ago If you had told me that this little space of cyber would become my livelihood, I would have smacked you over the back of the head with a bag of goon. Warm goon. Fruity lexia to be exact.

But so much has changed since back in the good old days, where there were just a handful of personal or “mummy” bloggers were about. We will knew each other, went through struggles together, celebrated and commiserated together. It was a time off innocence until the word monetisation appeared. Brands cottoned on that there was a new advertising model emerging and so about five years ago, I decided to go pro and see what would happen.

And in that time, a whole heap of new social media platforms would spring up.

2006 – Twitter

2010 – Pinterest and Instagram

2011 – Snapchat

In 2012, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram for One Billion Dollars. Since then, Instagram boasts 800 million active users. The most popular user on Instagram? Selena Gomez who has 130 million followers.

Many bloggers who started out writing and sharing stories, have gone on to abandon their blogs in favour of becoming “Instagram Famous” and while there are horses for courses and all that jazz, it often makes me think is this the beginning of the end of blogging? Do we not have the attention span to sit down and read words, instead turning to an app, while scrolling through and hitting a heart button on things we “like”. Don’t get me wrong! I am an occasional Instagram user and follow some hilarious and ironic accounts, but in other ways, it makes me a little sad, not to mention sometimes a little depressed that my life looks nothing like those whose towels match.

New York University professor Adam Alter shares his findings about Instagram.

The minute you take a drug, drink alcohol, smoke a cigarette if those are your poison, when you get a like on social media, all of those experiences produce dopamine, which is a chemical that’s associated with pleasure.

When someone likes an Instagram post, or any content that you share, it’s a little bit like taking a drug. As far as your brain is concerned, it’s a very similar experience. Now the reason why is because it’s not guaranteed that you’re going to get likes on your posts. And it’s the unpredictability of that process that makes it so addictive. If you knew that every time you posted something you’d get a 100 likes, it would become boring really fast.

One of the problems with Instagram is that everyone presents the very best versions of their lives. So you can curate Instagram, you can take a 100,000 shots if you want to before you actually share anything. What that means is, every time you look at someone’s feed, you’re getting only the very best aspects of their lives, which makes you feel like your life, in comparison with all its messiness, probably isn’t as good. Seeing the best version of everyone else’s life makes you feel deprived.

UNMATCHING TOWELS!

Storytelling has been around since Jesus played half back for Nazareth and I know that it is not going anywhere in a hurry. I have no idea what Snapchat is and I have little interest in learning about it. I cannot see the point of Pinterest. I jump onto Twitter when I am feeling brave because it can be a little like a bar-room brawl but my favourite place will always be blogging. It gets under your skin, and becomes a habit a little bit like brushing your teeth. And while I still jump on Instagram to share photos of my laundry and my dirty kitchen, it is storytelling that will always have my heart.

Do you still read blogs? (Yes, I am aware of the irony?

Or have you switched over to Instagram?

Please feel free to leave the handle of some of your favourite funny Grammers!

  • Red Dragon

    I follow heaps of blogs, mostly craft related. The ones I have ditched had become too photo focussed, took aaaggggees to load and became like crappy listicles, or are so inundated with ads that the content I originally went there for is lost. I think there’s still plenty of room for story content in the blogosphere. It’s more personable than a snap and a comment.

  • Great post! I like WORDs & PICTURES so blogging remains a great part of my life and I certainly hope yours too. Instagram is quick & fun but not enough to “share the stories” that need depth. I still use twitter but mostly with my education tweeps as fewer bloggers are there now. Facebook has a lot to answer for (&IG!) taking away chronological order for posts but I accept it as I am glad to have a few spaces to chat ( on line) and follow friends such as you. D xx

  • Heidi D

    I still read blogs because I like the story behind a picture. I do look at instagram, it’s a quick way to scroll through what lots of people are doing & I like that too

  • sydneyshopgirl

    Still blog and a long term follower, Mrs W. I like that combination of words and pictures, like Denyse. Blogging is my happy place, I remember the good old day with fondness. I lack the business smarts to go pro. What I have in terms of the friends I’ve made through blogging and the blog as a permanent record of my life are my reward.

    SSG xxx

  • Great post. I get this question a lot and will share this with those who ask.

    My two cents – in some ways Instagram is blogging (chronologically arranged content with comments) – obviously with an emphasis on visuals. Same with Facebook, SnapChat, Youtube, Twitter etc.

    All these mediums can be used to tell stories, build community, share information. Sometimes people do it really in fluffy ‘how good is my life’ kind of ways and other times they can all be used in really gritty, real ways too I guess.

    I’m not sure blogging really has a monopoly on doing it right – probably more about the intent of the person behind the content and the preferences of what kind of content those who read/view it have.

    On of the big differences though with Instagram is that you’re ultimately building someone else’s business/brand as much as you’re building your own. As a result you’re lining their pockets as much as your own. The bloggers who gave up blogging to become Instagram celebs do it at the risk of ending up with not much if Instagram goes the way of MySpace.

  • I love instagram but I also like reading blogs. Mind you I have lost my blogging mojo at the moment, I am sure it will return again.

  • Annie

    I loved blogging. I had a good friend that dragged me into it after I lost a lot of photos that I hadn’t downloaded off the phone. At first I blogged about the kids, the chooks the funny daily trivia and the species of women who were creative and clever who suddenly find themselves at home wearing drool and spew. I connected with some lovely women but it never got too big. Six months in I had a cancer diagnosis. A raft of love poured in from these women – and some men. I’d been painting rainbow toes on myself and my daughters. One of these women organised for all these women to send her photos of their painted toes in Samoa and London and Holland and she sent me a book called Rainbow Toes that she put together. The youngest still reads it at bedtime. I had to go back to work afterwards to pay off the medical bills and school fees etc. the blog languished due to exhaustion and lack of time. Instagram is just easier although my towels never match. I’ve just been rediagnosed so the jobs off and I’ll been home again with slightly older kids and more time. Hopefully blogging is still alive enough as I’d like to resuscitate mine. It is a connection to like minded souls. It is a delicious excuse to play with words and write with humour and skills we don’t often get to use any more. Oh look. I just wrote a blog post!

    • Cathie Gggggg

      Good luck 👋🏻

  • I’m not on Instagram, or Twitter, or Pinterest. I was on Snapchat briefly, cos a cousin uses it to communicate, but I like to chat with her regularly as my preference so I deleted it off my phone – is that antisocial, or what?! Facebook, yes – love Facebook. And I’m a blogger, I follow bloggers – been following you a while, Mrs W – and I think there’s room for all kinds of content. I’m not regular enough with my blog to go pro – too many other irons in the fire, always. I have great respect for those of you who do. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to – but somehow I have to manage to keep an art practice alive, as well as writing for myself and those who will pay me – not nearly enough of the latter at present. And not be online all day every day!

  • Leah

    Mrs Woog I read your blog and The thud and that’s about it these days. I’m at home with a 3.5 yo, a 1.5 yo and no. 3 will be here in 6 short weeks! I was an AVID insta and Facebook user (not posting much myself but following many insta famous etc) A few months ago I was feeling quite down abd grumpy and couldn’t snap out of it. In fact so down i considered talking to the dr about what I could do/ take at my next bump check up. Anyway I decided to delete insta and fb instead first. Deep down I knew my scrolling was excessive- any minute the kids were not wanting me I was knee deep in someone else’s perfect life! Fast forward 3 or so months (have lost count!) but I’m happy and content and nothing else has changed other than that. I don’t think I will ever go back!

    • kate Lovell

      Well done Leah. I had the same experience with fb haven’t been on there for a few years now. But insta is still hooking me in even though I know it’s not good for me. I’ve deleted the app but find myself looking at it online. I know I would be in a better headspace if I gave it up completely.
      Cheers Kate

  • Barb Fisher

    I’m a mad ‘grammer….but I think because I’m creative and it’s like turning up to party everyday with all your creative best friends (that you’ve actually never met) and inspiring and supporting each other. I find it really uplifting and a happy place to be (not like Facebook). I also understand that it’s not real though. I think if you keep in mind people are curating their feeds, that no-one and nothing is perfect, then it’s all good.

    I do, however, feel like my attention span is waning. This is not good.

  • Jenny

    Does “#ad” on your Variety Facebook post mean you took money to post that?

    • Jenny

      So you did. Very disappointing.

  • I do love Instagram but like you, blogging will always be my favourite and always feel the biggest connection. I could give up social media and not miss it because I have the blog but not having a blog would definitely leave a hole in my heart! Drama Queen much?! Love your work lady x

  • Cathie Gggggg

    I like Instagram and worry that I am oversharing my not perfect life. I read blogs including yours. But got confused for awhile that because I engaged with what I read I thought we were friends. That the bloggers got me and my humour. Seems crazy now but that’s what I felt like. Instagram is easier in a way. I tell really short stories. Done. The like thing is dangerous because I worry I will curate my life so it’s all happy stories and not real

  • Kate

    I’ve been a blog lover since 2004, a Facebook devotee since 2007 and I’ve used Twitter for work (emergency services) for about 5 years. I use Instagram to follow kids/ friends but have never felt I get as much out of it as I do the other mediums. I’m not at all interested in seeing the pretty bits of people’s lives. I want the warts and all, which is what blogging gives; or the ability to share/ communicate info that is FB and Twitter.

  • I do try with instagram and know I “should” use it more, but I am not very good with photos and I much prefer words! I am pretty old school and still spend more time reading blogs than being on facebook or insta. I can see instagram’s appeal and benefits, but I will still stick with blogging as my preferred platform. Love that you still do too! xx

  • Tracey

    I don’t have an Instagram account and I’m not about to start. I read a handful of blogs because I love to read, and I prefer blogs that have actual words instead of just nice pictures with captions. Keep doing what you’re doing Mrs Woog!

  • I don’t really go on Instagram unless I’m waiting in the car for my husband to come out of Bunnings/Computershop. I still read blogs… of course. It’s hard to find time to comment though. I love your description of Twitter. If I had a dollar for every time I wake up in the morning and delete my tweets…