What I Learnt From Losing My 15.8k Instagram Account.
Life lessons can be hard and believe me at 55 I’m still learning lots of them. I learnt lessons galore from losing my big instagram account at the beginning of the year. Lazy Daisy Jones my old insta account was last seen with an organic growth of 15.8k followers. Before I explain what I gained from this experience, let me fill out a few lines of history…
A brief personal history of my old instagram account
Lazy Daisy Jones this blog was started in 2013. Back then I used to post just one photo and write a brief description for a blog post (sounds familiar? believe me I hadn’t heard of instagram back then!) Not being at all ‘technologically aware’ I slowly stumbled my way along unfamiliar paths. Back then you couldn’t even pay people to do this stuff for you, no template designers or blog advisers. I blogged about my crochet, sewing, my vintage finds oh and our cats we had 3 at the time!
Eventually people found me, and through them I discovered Instagram, a whole new world of craft and friends opened up to me. I had discovered what I now know to be my ‘Tribe’
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I had discovered what I now know to be my ‘Tribe'[/perfectpullquote]
My Instagram Tribe:
For the next few years I ‘grammed‘ with the best of them! I attended craft workshops, I met my insta friends IRL (in real life) I launched monthly competitions, I set the post prompts for the month and yarn brands and magazines contributed prizes for the winners. My instagram account numbers grew rapidly, it was fun, we were connecting in a way that us crafters had not had the chance to do before. Can I emphasise something here? It was fun!
Then the algorithm changed…
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Algorithm: a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. [/perfectpullquote]
Algorithm? What the heck was that? I had no idea, but I soon learnt. It was harder to see new posts in the right chronological order. So for instance we saw images of people’s breakfast in the evening or even the next afternoon and vice versa. Things changed for many people on instagram at that point. Me? Trooper that I am I carried on as usual, but change was in the air…
My new instagram audience.
Another year passed and my craft and my instagram account was was on a roll. I had designed a sewing and a crochet pattern for Simplicity Patterns. I had been featured in many magazines, both here and abroad () but I wanted to move on to fresh subjects.
Our house was going through lots of wonderful updates and redecoration. I was now mixing my craft ideas with my new obsession for interiors. My instagram account became all about our home, I was interiors mad! Of course some people who followed me for my crochet and sewing dropped off, it was only to be expected. I gained new followers and made some new friends from the world of interiors. The highlight of my new interiors obsession was travelling to Milan with DFS! I talked wallpapers, I blogged about Marc’s restorations. My numbers were still growing but the growth was slower.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The highlight of my new interiors obsession was travelling to Milan with DFS![/perfectpullquote]
LDJ Instagram Account in 2017…
In 2017, I started a new account solely for my outfit pictures, I didn’t think my craft and interiors followers would like any more changes, in 2017 Instagram was a different world. It was now all about the numbers, fake followers were being bought by many. Some accounts I followed were growing way too fast for the normal growth pattern of the time. (I know this can still happen today, but you need to have been featured on huge accounts like Instagram’s own ‘WHP’ aka the Weekend Hashtag project for this to occur naturally , or to have had a ‘shout out’ from another very big account! The magic and the fun had faded into statistics …
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The magic and the fun had faded into statistics …[/perfectpullquote]
When disillusionment set in.
I stopped posting every day, I was tired of everyone scrabbling for followers, those ‘hashtag roundabouts’ were not for me, it was not what IG meant to me. You know the thing, its when someone dreams up a hashtag and you have to use it on a relevant image to get ‘featured’ on their account…I have to admit I was bored and mightily disillusioned. By Christmas 2018 I did something I had not done before over 5 years of gramming… I took a long break from instagram.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Christmas 2018 I did something I had not done before over 5 years of gramming… I took a long break from instagram.[/perfectpullquote]
Hacked then deleted.
Low and behold when I tried to log back in at the beginning of January something was amiss… a picture I had not posted was on my grid and also briefly on my FB, the two were at that time linked (never again) In short my account had been hacked and a few days later it was deleted completely, all 15.8k followers and friends and all those precious early pictures gone in a flash.
Of course I contacted IG, I left messages everywhere after Christmas (bad time of year perhaps?) To no avail. They did answer, but I had the feeling that if I was someone with a 50k+ account I would have been treated differently
At one point they suggested I or someone with access to my account may have deleted it? WHAT ? WHY?
The whys and hows…
I now know, that an app I had long forgotten about, had access not only to my instagram account but also to my FB and twitter and may have been responsible for my loss. I also had forgotten to reset my 2 factor authorisation after IG had been updated. Be warned!
What I learnt…
So lets get to the core of all this shall we? and in big letters! After being completely devastated for a couple of weeks I learnt that:
Instagram is not real life, its a social app on your phone!
Not everyone you communicate with on IG is your friend! Not unless you later meet, connect and actually ‘like’ each other in real life!
Brands dont like you for ‘you’ they like you for your social numbers and reach (with very few exceptions)
Some nasty people will send you sarcastic messages about being ‘sorry’ for the loss of your account, Others will discuss it on their ‘whats app pod chats’ and decide not to support you (oh yes, I kid you not)
However, you will also discover who your real friends are. Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb and Helen from not about the kids even wrote posts about it for me! Laurie from Vanity and Me mentioned it too on her blog and I found some incredibly kind new people…
If you are lucky some of the authentic brands you have built relationships with will stick by you. I will be forever grateful to them.
The Biggest thing I learnt?
BLOGGING IS KING!
…never ever EVER rely on just one social media account, spread yourself around, but keep it centred on your blog.
Today and a
Today its all about all about reconnecting, finding my old tribe, posting what I am passionate about. My engagement is high and my reach is huge for a tiny account, and you know what? I’m happy with that!
I dont post every day, I post whatever I want when I want, I rarely look at my follower numbers. Talk about being reborn!
Update: Almost a year later in December 2019, I finally was able to use my original ‘Lazy daisy Jones’ account name again, perhaps now some of my old friends will come and find me…
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