196 thoughts on “No More Instagram for Me

    1. Thank you, Merril. I recently read an article that social media is in a state of transition and is no longer the best way to promote books. It definitely feels as though the bad actors have gained the upper hand.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I have no idea what is the best way to promote books. I like the connections on social media, and I’ve learned so much about poetry.

        There are bad people on every bit of social media–I get trolls trying to follow me all the time. There are also constant phone and email scams. It gets exhausting.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I felt bad to leave, as if I were turning my back on my friends, but I was going into fight-or-flight mode every time I went on Instagram. Not good for the cardiovascular system.

          I’ve learned the most and received priceless inspiration and support from our blogging community.

          It’s as if we’re in fight-or-flight mode every time we’re on social media.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. This kind of thing is exactly why I focus primarily on my blog and my Substack email newsletter nowadays. And occasionally do YouTube read-alouds. All are platforms that give artist/authors more control. Mastodon and Post (besides Substack) seem to be the upcoming safer places for artist/authors to share their work these days too. Personally I’m loving Substack the most and have discovered many new favorite authors there (like Andrea Gibson and Amie Mcgraham and Neera Mahajan). Other authors like Austin Kleon and George Saunders, whose work I’ve read in print form, are on Substack too and I enjoy regularly seeing them there.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Not the same safety concerns mostly because Substack isn’t beholden to an algorithm. As a Substack writer you’re not trying to game the algorithm (like Facebook and Instagram try to get you to do) so there isn’t the “scam/bots trying to game the system” thing. Also on Substack you own your contract *and* you own your email contact list itself. Plus you can put things behind paywalls and/or make it where the only people who can comment are paid subscribers. Anecdotally, from my user experience, using Substack feels more like attending a writer’s workshop/conference versus the state fair free for all carnivals that Facebook and Instagram tend to feel like. If that makes sense. I don’t have any illusions that I’ll get rich by posting stuff behind paywalls on Substack but it feels like my intellectual content has more protection there. Like on WordPress. I feel even better about Substack than WordPress because my email newsletter seems to more reliably go to peoples IN boxes whereas on WP sometimes they go to spam folders. And the Substack platform (so far) is easy to use, even easier than WP. I’m also grateful for the modest amount of regular monetary income I get from my Substack paid subscribers. It helps. Sometimes WP feels like something I pay for without much return…. but both WP and Substack have been reliable for my business. Facebook and Instagram are hit and miss. Sometimes people find my blog or Substack via Facebook or Instagram so that’s how I use FB and IG. I don’t try to game algorithms. I use FB and IG as signs pointed to my Substack or WP blog.
            I’ve also been appreciating Mastodon and Post as both of those are non-algorithim oriented and seem more safety focused.
            Hope my reply helps.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I’m doing related but different content on my WP blog and on my Substack. My WP blog is about my creative life in general: inspirations, happenings, events, dealing with life and maintaining creativity etc. My Substack specifically looks at the contents of my sketchbooks: drawings, poems, stories. On my WP blog for ex I talk generally and include a link to my Substack if someone wants to see details.
                I think of it like this: my WP blog tells *about* a performance while my Substack *is* a performance.

                Liked by 1 person

  1. Have you had any problems on Facebook? Since FB owns Instagram, I’d keep an eye on that site. A couple of my friends have had similar issues there. Sorry for your IG issues. Every now and then I congratulate myself again for never joining any of those platforms.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This won’t help your perception much, but the internet was designed by the Defense Department’s Research and Development for the purpose of intelligence gathering, and part and parcel of their work has been psychological research. Facebook is reportedly part of that agenda. Don’t acquiesce to the darkness it attracts. There are plenty of light bearers in our community. “The darkness has not overcome the Light.” Take heart, Liz.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I have thought about blogs (and other electronic media) “blowing up” so to speak in this world of tenuous connections. Look at snafus with the airlines lately. That possibility may be one subconscious reason for my using material on my blog for a book. Just sayin’!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t learned to control Instagram but am bothered by all the people who follow me–not real followers, you know. The same happens on Facebook, friend requests that aren’t friends in any fashion. I’m still on Twitter, too, though it doesn’t help me promote my work because I can’t tweet effectively. Ah, the woes of modern fragmented, distant communication with strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me a couple of years, but I’ve finally gotten over the politeness, my parents ingrained in me. I now block anyone who follows me who looks the least bit sketchy who follows me. I got off Twitter a couple of months because I was not getting any appreciable benefit re book sales, and it was eating up a lot of time. Modern woes, indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The conventional wisdom is that authors need to be active on social media in order to sell books. However, all the bad actors are appearing to gain the upper hand. I love blogging. I get to support other writers, and receive inspiration to try new avenues of creative expression. It doesn’t get much better than that!

      Liked by 4 people

  3. The old adage of “when you can’t fight them, join them “ doesn’t always work. One eventually learns that true customer care is a philosophy of the past and our today generation has not yet figured out what that means. A sad aspect of today’s ignorance! JJ

    >

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    1. You are right on all counts, Jean-Jacques. I think the reason behind Instagram’s refusal to have its users’ best interests at heart is that it would cost them money to improve their software to screen out the worst of the bad actors.

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  4. I’m sorry you had such problems with Instagram. I haven’t updated my Instagram for over a year so perhaps I should delete it. I think there is bad advice out there with authors being told they must be on this or that social media platform. It works (i guess) for some people. However, social media often acts as a rabbit hole taking away authors/poets from their writing. I have found Tiktok good for sharing my poetry (indeed it works better for me than Youtube), but I appreciate that it isn’t to everyones liking. Best wishes. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kevin. I think the bad actors are gaining the upper hand with social media, and the conventional wisdom that writers have to spend a lot of time on social media in order to generate book sales is becoming less valid. I’m going to start spending more time cultivating new relationships with local and state writers’ organizations.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good luck with cultivating those relationships Liz. I am a member of a local poetry group. We meet once a month either in a library or over Zoom and publish a yearly anthology. I find tthe group a good means of getting my work out there. With Instagram I made the mistake of including links to my page on the back page of several of my books. Whilst I could delete this in the Kindle versions it would remain for those who had alreadyy purchased my titles and also in the paperback books already sold. But that is not the end of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a shame, Liz. I’ve reset my IG account to private (yet again) in part to avoid bots. I’d like to cancel it but I have friends and family who like using it to communicate with me. Same with Facebook.

    I’ve found Twitter still too easy to use to give up, although I agree that social media is not the best way to sell books. I’ve heard that Twitter is actually pretty useless for book promotion. I’m not sure if it does much for blog promotion either, despite all the retweeting that goes on.

    Maybe it’s best just to simplify, have one or two places where a reader can always find you and ignore the rest. Do you have an author page on Amazon? Although I buy my books from Bookstore.org, I’ll get notifications from Amazon when someone I follow has a new book out. Just a thought 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since I was told to get on Instagram to promote my books, making my account private would defeat the purpose. I’ve read the same thing about Twitter being useful for book promotion. I think that shift has happened in the last couple of years. Yes, I have an author page on Amazon. The Zon has stripped away most of the content we used to be able to post there for book promotion, but the new format looks better on mobile devices. I have an author page on BookBub as well. My strategy moving forward is to be more active with local and regional writers’ organizations, in addition to blogging.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I understand that making (any) account private would defeat your purpose. I’m not selling any books (I have none to sell) so it’s not an issue for me, although I like promoting the works of others.

        Your strategy of being more active with organizations sounds like it would be effective. I bet it will be more fun too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I did a Google search to try to find some way to get to a human to escalate my case. What I found was an article saying that Instagram is so overwhelmed with requests to remove fake accounts that they won’t do anything for their average users. There’s no money in it for them. That was the deciding factor for me to terminate my account.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had the same problem with Facebook. I still cannot access my original page, nor can I find a single human to correspond with, for the same reason, I’m not a paid account.
        I had set up two-step authentication, and used my landline as contact number, never dreaming that the brilliant computer at FB assumed every telephone number was a cell and texted me my number, which of course didn’t work. Apparently, they don’t know how to send a message with a code to a landline. I tried for weeks to get results, but ended up setting up a new site with no two-step, since there is absolutely no way I would hand FB my cell number.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What a nightmare you went through with Facebook! I couldn’t prolong the stress beyond the end of this week. If the current social media trend continues, I’ll probably have to get off FB as well. I’ll monitor my account closely in the days ahead.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a nightmare, Liz! I created an account on Instagram several years ago, but I’ve never used it even once. I think I’ll go ahead and cancel my account to avoid what you’ve been through. I’m undecided about Twitter, but sometimes I realize I’ve gone three weeks and not looked at it. I’m just not a social media person.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Social Media – it is the new euphemism for difficulty sitting. Euphemistically speaking of course. The only thing SM is really good for is improving both the quantity and quality of one’s mature beverage time. Step back and pour one whilst firmly striking the pause and forget button. If you can’t beat em forget em.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. I feel bad about leaving, What I’m seeing on LinkedIn is a lot more writers and literary people than when I first joined. As a result, I’ve started using it more. I checked into LinkedIn’s safety record, and according to what I read, their software automatically filters 93% of bots and fake accounts.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for this post, which created a insightful conversation, Liz. Blogging is becoming the way in which to communicate with “kindred spirits.” I have also been following the idea of social media fatigue and the overload experienced due to extensive usage of social media. This will prompt a more thoughtful approach to virtual engagement. I am grateful for our connection and will follow you anywhere you decide to go. Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Rebecca. I really needed to process this experience with people I respect. Please tell me more about the more thoughtful approach to virtual engagement. I’m all ears! Any chance you could get a scholar/researcher/expert in this area on TTT?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is is my 2023 exploration of how to engage in a world that is competing for my time. So far, there are many that will give insight on how to attract readership, fine tune SEO, write posts and build engagement. But there is so much more to what is happening around us that is ubiquitous. Are we able to participate in a platform that draws life-affirming conversations? I will keep you updated on my progress. Should be an interesting year!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry that happened, Liz. I’ve been debating on whether to continue Instagram. I recently had someone “clone” my account, but several people reported it and they took the fake account down.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not sure why Instagram has never held much appeal to me. I suppose because my life isn’t that exciting to begin with. The beautiful people can carry on without me, as I think my grand total of photos is something like 9. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was talked into it by another author, so all the bookstagrammers would be drawn to my books and review them. The only bookstagrammers who contacted me wanted me to pay for a review on Amazon, which is against Amazon’s review policues to begin with. In this instance, I should have heeded my own counsel. Ah, well, we learn from our mistakes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right that writing good books is the key to selling books, Jill. I currently have two in the works and two more on the back burner. I lost a week’s worth of developmental editing on a new novel dealing with the Instagram nonsense this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve never had FB, IG, or Twitter. At times I thought I ought to jump on board at least one of them, but now I think I was right to avoid them. I used to be on LinkedIn, but once I retired it seemed like the wrong place. And the incessant emails about potential employers and people I didn’t know who were supposedly connected to me became tiresome. So I deleted my account a few months ago. Now it’s just the WP blog and Goodreads for me, plus my author pages on Amazon and Smashwords.
    Sue Clancy’s info about Substack sounds interesting. If you pursue that option, I hope you blog about it!
    (I admit I’m really lazy when it comes to this stuff.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m finding more writers on LinkIn in than previously, so I’m sticking with it for the time being. (I found settings to turn off various employment-related notifications.) Before I try another social media option (probably Substack), I’m going to focus on getting two books-in-progresses finished. There be my happy place.

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  12. It’s too bad this happened, Liz, but I’m not surprised. I’ve had FB for years and maintain a love/hate relationship with it. I step back awhile and then I do some posting. And I’m new to Instagram, but my blog is my main platform and I haven’t had any issues in the the eleven years I’ve been blogging. 🙂 It’s great to be connected with you here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lauren. I’ve never had a security problem with my blog either (knock wood). I’ve cut way back on my FB time because all the changes in the interface make it difficult to navigate easily.

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  13. I use Instagram to follow a few people and that’s my only involvement. I am on my 2nd IG account because I was stalked on the first one and closed it. I am still on Twitter and have had no problems, thus far.

    I just connected with you on LinkedIn. I am going to check out Substack to see what it has to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a mess social media has become! You tapped into a lot of frustration from many of us creators. Reading these comments has been fascinating. Ever since Jill switched to Substack, I’ve considered that option. Good on you to close down IG!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have that right! The bad actors are out of control, and the platforms can’t—or won’t–protect their users. I’m so thankful that our community has responded to my announcement to give me some perspective that it’s not just me. Does Substack have a good safety record?

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  15. Every once in a while I pause and ponder how a social media account is serving me, and I have to say I agree – instagram is a daily blocking of scam accounts and not much more. Good for you. I haven’t thought of Linked In as a source of writing connections.

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    1. It’s hard to leave because the conventional wisdom is that authors MUST be on social media. But you’re right. If the platform isn’t serving me after a reasonable time, it’s time to get off.

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  16. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Sadly, I’ve heard of at least six authors who were hacked there in the last few months and closed up. What do you expect, owned and handled the same shabby, non security way as Fakebook. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sorry to hear you’re having such problems, Liz. I left Instagram several months ago for different reasons, but I don’t miss it at all. The actual book information there was scant, with no substantial discussion at all. I’m now going to focus mainly on my blog, and I hope to keep seeing your blog posts as well. Good luck with your current WIP projects!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Book next to hot chocolate and pine cone, stack of books on a blanket, “book review” with no analysis?? I don’t get it.

      You will definitely continue to see new blog posts from me! I enjoy putting them together, and I enjoy the discussions they prompt. Thanks for your WIP best wishes!

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  18. I never tried Instagram, Liz. I just couldn’t stretch any further than I was already stretching. And no Twitter anymore either. It’s something of a relief. I’m sorry that you had trouble with your account, but I’m glad you’re caring for your sanity! I think there are a lot of people who are reconsidering the usefulness of being everywhere on social media. Life isn’t meant to be lived in front of a screen.

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    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one realizing that it’s time for me to reconsider my social media strategy for “building author platform” and promoting my books. This might make a good topic for a Story Empire series??

      Liked by 1 person

  19. OMG! I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I’ll be sure to follow you on Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve noticed a lot of people have left Twitter. I’m still on Instagram and Twitter, for now, but it’s really quite the Wild West out there in social media land.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I hardly use FB anymore except to call family and friends(it’s free)…I prefer Instagram but only use it for recipes and for that it’s great but I have friends who have experienced the same as you Liz and I do agree about safety as neither do enough to protect women from these leeches I just block anyone who is the least bit suspect or if I don’t know them…Take care and don’t let the so and so’s get you down Hugs x

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