Autumn glow and falling out of love with Instagram

By far the hardest part of moving away from the area where our children were born and where they went to primary school was moving away from the friends who’ve chugged along with us on the roller-coaster parenthood journey. I miss their easy company, the laughs and the camaraderie. Luckily we do still live near enough to meet up halfway and we try to arrange to get together as often as possible. One good friend and I have been steadily working our way through various gardens and places of historical interest that are roughly equidistant to walk, discuss our children’s exploits and life in general, and have lunch; the most recent one was Great Comp Garden near Sevenoaks.

The garden was glowing with autumn colour from salvias, dahlias, asters, grasses, shrubs and trees, and I kept stopping to take photographs while my friend stood waiting patiently. We caught up on our news as we meandered along the woodland paths and through the garden areas. The grounds apparently cover 7 acres but we didn’t have time to see it all. We also didn’t have time for cake so we’ll have to meet there again in spring to see the magnolias and hellebores, which are meant to be fantastic.

The garden was created by Roderick and Joy Cameron who moved to the 17th-century manor house in the late 1950s. It’s now run by a charitable trust which relies on the entrance fees and donations for the garden’s upkeep. The house isn’t open to visitors but the garden is from 1st April to 31st October, plus a few other days. You can find out more here. If you’re interested in salvias, this is the garden to visit – there are loads of different and unusual varieties and you can buy most of them in the nursery.

Ok. I’m about to have a rant. Skip to the end if you wish…

If you’re on Instagram, you can’t fail to have noticed the increase in ‘sponsored content’, otherwise known as adverts, and the fact that you don’t get to see what the people you follow post when they post it. Sometimes a pic will appear a few days after the event. I’ve also noticed an increase in ‘advertorials’ among the accounts that I follow. I’m getting extremely cheesed off with this. I loved the immediacy of Instagram, the inspiring photo with a bit of text, little windows onto other parts of the country/world, little insights into others’ lives – it’s quicker than blogging and a lovely way to get a dose of inspiration when you have a few minutes to scroll through photos. I like being able to quickly share how gorgeous the sea/sky/etc is looking today, or cake, or things on my mind, etc, without many words. And, as through this blog, I’ve found a lovely community of like-minded people.

If I choose to follow someone, I want to see what they post when they post it; I do not want my feed curated by some algorithm. I also do not want to see adverts and I find it irritating/disappointing when people mention their stats, how many followers they have, how their grid is looking (or changing their content in order to appeal to more people) and I really don’t like people trying to promote stuff because they’ve been paid to do so. I don’t care what type of coffee they’re drinking (because they’ve been paid to promote it), I don’t care what their kids are wearing because they’ve been sent a load of clothes, I don’t want a review of an event or book because they’ve been given a freebie in return for promoting it. They’ve sold out to the man. I’m so cross about it that I’ve unfollowed some accounts and I ‘report’ every advert (when I have time!). Do they think we’re fools? Or sheep? Or both?

What I want is honest, authentic, genuine recommendations (‘I’ve just read this book from the library, it’s brilliant!’), or just beautiful photos. I’m thoroughly fed up with Instagram being commercialised. It’s obviously Facebook’s fault. Bloody behemoth social media companies; I hope they eat themselves. I used to love Instagram and now I don’t.

You may wonder why I don’t just take myself off IG altogether. Well, I might but there ARE some genuine, funny, charming and inspiring accounts that I’d miss. For the time being I’ll try to ‘curate’ my own account!

If you’re still reading, thanks. I feel better for getting that off my chest. Hope your week is going well.

 

 

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56 thoughts on “Autumn glow and falling out of love with Instagram

  1. Hello, fab garden shots with so much colour (& not all all autumn). The adverts on Instagram I can deal with, i.e. ignore, but the posts showing up several days late is annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not on Instagram, but what you write is exactly how I feel about the changes on Facebook!
    And it’s such a pity, because I really liked the possibility to loosely stay in contact to friends all over the world. But now I see a lot of advertisements and less and less of what my friends post.

    Maybe Flickr would be an alternativ to Instagram? I know it’s a bit different, but so far I haven’t seen any advertisements over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely impressions from Great Comp Garden, Sam!
    I’m fairly new to IG and there’s a lot about this platform that I don’t like and a few thing I do like – for the same reasons as yourself. 😉 I have never experienced, or shold I say noticed that the pics don’t show up/appear delayed, but the biggest nuisance is the ghost traffic. WordPress would have spammed them. I do miss a spamfolder on IG.
    Loved reading your rant!
    Stay a happy blogger,
    Dina

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful garden photos! I only blog, I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, and as I’m not registered on Instagram I can’t comment, but I’m frightened of registering as I don’t want to do Instagram myself. I always enjoy your blog and your lovely floral arrangements. I would say that my blog is totally advert-free. I paid good money to have it designed and be advert-free and I intend to keep it that way. It’s an advert-free zone!
    Margaret P
    http://www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. I think you’ve got it right – stick just to blogging! I hope my blog is advert-free but as I use the free WordPress template, there is a possibility that ads do appear (but I guess that’s how WordPress makes some of its money).

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  5. PS I totally agree above advertising. I simply recommend things of which I’ve had personal experience on my blog, such as a DVD I’ve enjoyed, or a book I’ve enjoyed. I am not paid to advertise, nor do I wish to be.
    Margaret P

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks a lot for your words about Instagram! I feel exactly like you and therefore I copied your paragraphs about Instagram and published them on our blog under comments. We published about 3 weeks ago “Purgatory of Blogging”, a critical article about social media, on https://toffeefee.wordpress.com
    and I published a link to your post here on my Instagram-account. The picture I just published there is combined with a little contemplation about leaving Instagram.
    Anyway, thanks again.
    All the best
    Klausbernd
    The Fab Four of Cley

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    1. Hi Klausbernd, sorry for my delayed response. I read your Purgatory of Blogging which was very interesting, plus the comments. It’s a deep subject and one I’m sure we could all discuss until the cows come home! I am still on Instagram but I look at it less and post fewer pictures than I once did. I think these things naturally tail off but I hope I’ll (and you’ll) stick with blogging for a good while yet. Best wishes, Sam

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Sam,
        I feel exactly like you do. Less and less I look at my IG gallery and I actually will stop being active there when I showed some of my pictures of the Arctic. But the shock of the IG experience made me like blogging very much again.
        All the best to you as well
        Klausbernd
        The Fab Four of Cley

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  7. We moved from where our children were born when they were 11&7. We really missed the friends we had made during that time, more than the children did, I think. We do, like you Sam, still keep in touch and meet up from time to time. I do FB and TW but not instagram. The adverts on FB annoy me. My children tell me I should be on snapchat!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful autumn colours with a hint of summer too. I never really fell in love with IG and like it less every time I look at it for exactly the reasons you write about. It would be wonderful if all the people who abandoned their blogs for IG were to return to blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh Sam I do agree with you on the rant. I feel the same about a few blogs I read – sometimes they go too far down the ‘monetising’ route for me and I just give up at that point. I know we all have to earn a living, but some people seem to lose the original appeal of their blogs in the end. Rant over!
    Love your autumnal photos! Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is lovely to keep in touch with old friends, and what an amazing place you chose for your meeting!

    I have never been in love with IG but I am sure I would agree if I knew more about it. FB is bad enough! I don’t like adverts popping up anywhere really. Sometimes I think I should just stick to books for entertainment but I would probably miss social media friends. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. but even books have started a nasty habit of binding the first chapter of the next book at ‘The End’ I am peacefully reading along expecting the story to have another chapter or two to tie up loose ends. And it. Stops. “Now read this …’

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s tricky, isn’t it? I’d miss a few of the people I’ve ‘met’ via IG which sounds ridiculous as I’ve not met them in real life! Social media exerts an ‘interesting’ hold on many of us.

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  11. Hey Sam,
    I have noticed that posts are popping up several days after they’ve been posted. It’s very annoying. And more adverts too. I’ve just unfollowed an account because it had started to be more and more about flogging freebies and sponsered posts. It just doesn’t float my boat. Having said that I’ve met some fab people there, and we regularly private message and so forth. I guess we all find our tribe!
    Leanne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi there! I love IG, it’s my fav social network. Yea, some ads have showed up with sponsored content these days but most of the accounts I follow are genuine people talking about their lives. Check me out at instagram.com/ishkishmish. Maybe we can follow each other if we like each others’ feed

    Liked by 1 person

  13. No time for cake, what madness is this? Gorgeous photos though, what a beautiful garden. I don’t do IG although I have a handful of people I do follow (you’re one of the very few!) But I can see how infuriating it must be. Hopefully they will take heed and sort it out. Otherwise I’m sure they’ll lose followers. CJ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  14. What an eloquent rant ! Totally agree about the advertising. I unfollow bloggers/instagrammers etc once they start to get sponsored! Lovely photos too – don’t give up on your Instagram posts I would miss them …..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A garden in autumn is lovely, as your photos show so well. I’m a newcomer to Instagram, mainly because a number of bloggers I used to enjoy have migrated to that platform and I want to stay in touch. I wondered about the ads – there seem to be so many of them. Your rant is well-expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gorgeous garden Sam. I love your Insta photos and would miss you if you left. But, I agree. I have been seeing ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds and they are really the last accounts in the world I ever want to be engaged with.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Sam. The photos of that garden are lovely. Looks like a perfect day for a garden trip too. I have never used Instagram, but quite understand what you mean as it can be seen to some extent in blogging too, especially if looking for recipes. Let’s hope that as some things get worse, others will get better, and let’s hope wordpress doesn’t get spoilt too!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. That looks like a garden to go on my To Visit list, Sam. I don’t do Instagram but WordPress tell me that sometimes people might see an advert at the end of a post on my blog but I have to say I have never seen one on a WordPress blog myself

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  19. I started reading this thinking “ooh, Sam’s garden is looking fab” then scrolled down a bit further and realised my mistake as I recognised some of the paths and then the nursery shot clinched it – I was at Great Comp late last month! Like you, I wish I’d had more time to explore; your photos are really gorgeous. Can I ask which camera you use, Sam? I’m curious as I want a good smaller camera that I can take out with me, without having to lug around a DSLR + lens! And, btw, totally agree re IG – very annoying. The ads I can just about put up with but I usually give up if I scroll through tens of photos and still have reached yesterday’s date! I feel I’m being sucked in when I should be getting on with other stuff … 😉 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How funny you were there recently, too! It’s such a lovely garden – definitely worth another visit. I used my DSLR – it’s a Nikon D5300. I love it but it’s fairly new and I’m still getting used to it. Haven’t strayed too far off the auto settings so far! x

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  20. This a new garden to me, looks wonderful.
    I don’t do instagram, in fact I haven’t even sorted out how to do twitter but it seems you never get ‘owt for nowt’. If you have a free wordpress like I do, as Cathy says you are told that an advert may appear at the end of some posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Yes I have to say I do agree about Instagram. When it lost chronology I studiously went through all the people I follow and turned on post notifications and so far, provided I remember to do the same for the new accounts I follow my feed has remained chronological. But the ads – argh! I hate them. As for sponsored content – I understand that for some people (fewer than want it) it offers a good way to earn a living. It’s not for me. I appreciate the authenticity of the IG community and once paid content gets involved I lose my trust in the account. I’m gradually cranking back up my blogging partly because I think there will be a return to the blog community by a segment of IG who feel the same – and certainly your post and other comments here reinforce that feeling. But I do love the visual aspects of IG and have to say I really love the interaction, it’s much stronger than any previous blog community I’ve been a part of, and I do appreciate that. The blog isn’t a straight replacement. So I’m sticking with IG for now and hoping to keep shaping it as best I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about IG/blogging. Worth sticking with for now and hopefully a few bloggers will return. It’s a good idea to turn on post notifications but I’m not sure I want a message every time. I’ll hang in there for a while (yours is one of the accounts I love)! Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Anny.

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  22. Gorgeous photos, as always. I agree with you about Instagram – now that it’s owned by Facebook it’s become increasingly frustrating to use, for the same reasons. Pinterest is even worse. You might take a look at Ello (https://ello.co/) which is intended for artists and does not have ads. It’s not as well known as Insta and therefore less widely used, but a lot less annoying to use.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh Great Comp looks as if it is a fabulous garden to visit in the autumn Sam and yes of course you have to go back in the spring! I’ve never got into Instagram but can understand your annoyance. I’ve been have problems with my blog loading for some time now which I’ve been unable to sort out. Changing to WordPress is one option I’ve considered but the thought of adverts appearing on my blog is putting me off 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear you’ve been having blog problems, Anna. How annoying for you. I haven’t seen any ads on the other WordPress blogs I follow; I know they could appear on mine (WP says they might appear occasionally) but I’m not sure they do. I think you probably have to have loads of followers for that to happen. I’m very happy with WP so far – maybe give them a go?

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  24. Hi Sam, I read this last week and I have been pondering it, with a slightly guilty conscience, ever since. When I started blogging, it was certainly with a hope lodged at the back of my mind that I would find a way to make money out of it. My son, who is terribly wise about these things, warned me that everything loses its soul as soon as it is ‘monetised’. He is probably right. When I post links to articles I have been paid to write, and promote them on instagram, it is only because I have put a week’s work into them and want to show off. I post them as a link to Bookwitty because I think that is the fair thing to do when they have paid me. I am (honestly!) not being defensive – I am (honestly!) completely conflicted about what is the morally right thing to do and truly wish we could meet for a cuppa and thrash it all out.
    All the same, I completely agree that is is the honest peep into our, less than perfectly curated, daily lives which made instagram attractive in the first place.
    As an aside, I get a handful of books from publishers but not many. If I want to read what I WANT to read, I have to buy them. I’ve decided to suck that up rather than spend my life reading mediocre books. I got The Power from Penguin in an Instagram giveaway and, since my less than favourable review (which Bookwitty didn’t want to publish), I seem to have been black-listed and can’t even get an email out of them, let alone a book. Honesty doesn’t get paid.
    The insight I’ve had into the publishing business is disheartening.
    Whew, ranting, sorry!
    I do hope you are having such a lovely break away, with such glorious weather and plenty of wine, that you don’t see this until next week!
    Lynda xx
    PS. You still have bees! I haven’t see a bee in weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sigh. Yes, the publishing industry is like any other, sadly. There is no moral high ground just because they produce wonderful (or not so wonderful) creations. I’ve never found your IG or blog posts annoying and I do hope you didn’t take my rant to heart. I’m delighted that you get paid for reviewing books – you are extremely good at it. It’s the insidious advertising that ticks me off mostly! S x
      PS Still have bees…

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Hi Sam, That’s is an amazing garden you visited those salivas immediately caught my eye. They are some robust in our garden and flower for ages. What a shame adverts are spoiling IG. I rarely use it as it would give me even less time for blogging. Sarah x

    Liked by 1 person

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