The Hobowife guide to Instagram

Hello my friends,

You may have noticed that since I started my wafflings, almost 2 years ago, just for family and friends etc, somehow I’ve managed to attract, and more bafflingly, keep, 2500 Instagram followers.

For the un-initiated, Instagram is a more photographic based social media platform than Facebook. Where it differs from Facebook is that you can easily connect with people with similar interests all over the world, I’ve made some lovely virtual pen pals by doing so, and a few cheery words from lovely people on an off day is a thing of absolute joy. I particularly enjoy posting Instagram “stories” (although recently now available on Facebook too) which are little snippets of video, photos or text etc that are like a little window into what you’re doing right now, a bit like a tweet. ( Can’t get on with Twitter btw but hey). I find it a kinder environment than Facebook, and it’s feels more creative, people post when they actually have something to say, so I share little mini blog posts if you will, when I don’t have enough to say to sling together 1000 words for you in a proper blog. Where Facebook does win, is that you can share links to other content, recipes, property listings, for example, not really possible on Instagram, and you can read my blog posts, which I also can’t link into Instagram. All my other content, with the exception of my stories, links straight to Facebook, so 90% of the content is the same on both.

I also like the anonymity of Instagram, you don’t get weird stalkers from a past job or school, or I don’t at least, as I don’t blog under my own name. To get any sort of Facebook following you need to pay to promote which I absolutely refuse to do as well.

So, here is my Hobowife’s guide to Instagram.

Avoid following people or pages with the following.

No profile picture. What are you up to?

No posts. What are you up to?

Anyone who has made 37 posts but has 59,000 followers. What are you up to?

Anyone called Keith that has 37 followers and describes himself as a “global influencer”.

Any cast members of Made In Chelsea. You will want to punch them.

Anyone with a Snapchat filtered profile picture. Sandra, you’re a middle aged woman, not a Spaniel with a crown made of butterflies.

Anyone who’s bio describes themselves as, “Saved by Grace”, “I escaped the 9-5 and you can too”, “Brand ambassador for some godawful paleo, fruitarian, flaxseed juice cleanse”, “Mommy-preneur”, anyone flashing their abs, anyone with a wanky self obsessed quote “you only have to spread your wings to fly”.

Most importantly, if you see any middle aged man either in US military fatigues, or blue surgical scrubs, if you follow them you will get a DM (direct message) saying “Hey beautiful” within seconds. Aaaand you’re now blocked.

It’s taking me a long time to actively unfollow any interior design pages that are related to Hygge (the Scandinavian minimalist style of home décor, that’s all whitewashed floor boards, furs, candles and evergreen), I’m so over it. It’s not practical if you have kids, a dog, a life, or anything resembling stuff. I like stuff! I followed a lot of Hygge pages, they all need to go.

Never use a hashtag in jest. I used #ilikebigbuttsandicannotlie once, immediately inundated with ladies flaunting their assets in a way that would have had my mother yanking down their hemline every 3 paces to preserve their modesty. Not in my newsfeed “Crystal” if that’s even your real name.

I also get followed by a lot of weird Indonesian food pages, that cook a lot of dishes that have a hardboiled egg floating in them like an eyeball in something that would cause you to exclaim “Monkey brains – Doctor Jones”.

Without Instagram videos, I wouldn’t be mesmerised by people melting stuff. Wax crayons, chocolate, metal, glass. I’ve seen a lot of crepes made in slow motion. Also lots of young Korean girls eating huge plates of food very demurely seems to be a thing? Fair enough.

Give it a try, you know you’ll love it.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, in the very many French related groups I’ve joined, about food, renovation, ex-pats etc, I see so much nastiness, that I just don’t see on Instagram.

(Not, I should add, Bonjour Limousin, or A Very Unfrench Wife, who are lovely welcoming groups full of lovely welcoming people, and you should all check them out).

For example, a poor lady was sent into exile for merely asking what the French for wallpaper paste was. Another was run out of town for asking where she could buy Colemans mustard powder, in a “go back to England” kind of way. People being berated for asking for a particular recipe for something, because they haven’t looked in their PDF recipe library first. Blah, blah, blah. So many groups frequented by bored little know-it-alls, that revel in their accumulated knowledge and meter it out smugly to those they deem deserving of it, rather than giving it considerately and freely to actually help someone that’s in a bit of a pickle. Yet, and I kid you not, someone posted a picture of some sort of animal turd, that he’s found on his window ledge, so that he could try to identify the culprit. Seriously, they all loved this one, and before I turned off notifications it had almost 90 comments. It’s probably your neighbour mate, sick of your nonsense.

I spend half my time, angrily typing responses, only to delete them before posting, because as my Husband reminds me , we don’t stoop to their level do we darling.? No, I reply through gritted teeth while slamming my laptop shut with a little too much force.

I’m going to spend my time in France, posting pictures of lovely little bumble bees on the gardening forum and asking if anyone knows how to get rid of Asian Hornets. That’ll keep the cantankerous gits busy for a couple of days at least…..


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