So if you follow me on Instagram (or even if you don’t as the case may be!) you might have noticed my posts on ‘Grant’. Grant is the name I’ve given to my frequent story viewer, who is known to me and has been for years, but doesn’t follow me, wouldn’t accept my friend request if I followed him/her and generally I think, doesn’t realise that you can see who views your story.
It’s become a bit of a joke with the people who know me, and even people who don’t. Grant has a following of their own. People message me to ask after Grant, asking if he/she is still viewing, Grant is actually a bit of a legend. And I think, is also completely oblivious.
I’ve done everything I can, in the nicest possible way to make it known that I can see who views my story for their sake. I don’t mind Grant lurking, there’s really not that much to see. But Grant gets up in a morning and checks my story, and then checks again before bed. It’s a typical routine and that’s fine. Grant isn’t offensive, or causing any harm.
Now I get it, everyone loves a creep. I don’t mean everyone loves a creep on me by the way I’m not that self involved, just in general everyone has looked at people’s profiles, and if you say you haven’t then let me know when you emerge from denial. I don’t mean celebs either, as they’re out there FOR the views. But how many people would be MORTIFIED if they realised someone could see how many times they’re looking. The not following is what I think makes all the difference. To me if you follow, viewing is fair game. It’s the knowledge that someone must actively have searched you out, persistently that makes it a bit ‘Granty’. Almost as bad as an accidental stray like when you’re two years worth of posts deep. I’ve had those off Grant too.
Then there’s the people who literally don’t give a shit. Those who don’t know you, have never even met you, but know friends of friends etc and think it’s ok to go on a stalking rampage through your profile, jump like an African gazelle to completely bollocks conclusions, and go telling people a load of shit off the back of it. Those people don’t think of the consequences. Those are the type of people that make other people hate social media. They also get swiftly blocked and thankfully there’s not been many in my life. I left that world of silly bullshit firmly in my early 20s thanks all the same and if you’re reading this it would be great if you could too. Give yourself the day off.
I actually share very little personal stuff on my Instagram. Of course all my photos are my own, places I’ve been and things I’ve ate/drank, but there’s not much else. If I share an #ad then I can 100% guarantee that like anything on my blog it’s because I genuinely like or use it. Fever Tree tonic for example, I chug that stuff back like there’s no tomorrow so when an opportunity came my way to promote it then yes I am on board.
My stories are as personal as I get really, and even that isn’t going to show anything groundbreaking. As someone who works in social media, and has a blog and social channels to promote it, I’m very conscious of what I share and how personal I want to get. I’m not striving to be ‘insta-famous’ (gag) or the next Zoella, I’m just sharing what I want to, in a way I choose. If people like that and want to follow then grand.
Because of the job I do, I learn the latest updates to apps, new developments and hacks very quickly when they roll out. I genuinely like to use social media – instagram because I love photography, and twitter because I love instant news and sport updates. They’re also great platforms for me to share my stuff to an audience that are actually interested.
But it’s not always handy to know so much about social media, you’re very aware of the big brother effect. Every now and then people go crazy when they realise that their location can be seen publicly for example and there’s a mad scramble to turn off that setting. And quite right too. Facebook recently put a stop to an automatic bot it was running because they realised they were developing their own language (!). It’s also very obvious in recent times how much things can be faked. Buying thousands of followers, paying for likes, seriously just stop it. So there is a dark side to it, and by having a bit of a laugh with Grant I’m not trivialising that side of it at all.
People have a love hate relationship with social media because of the way it gets used, and how little they actually know about it. I find it really annoying when people say Instagram gets them down and makes them feel bad about themselves. My answer to that is, then you’re following the wrong people. Why follow someone or something that makes you feel like that? Control how you feel by doing something about it for yourself. If you don’t care about it, and you don’t like it, just don’t use it.
Likewise if you see something on social media, remember it’s there because it’s what someone has chosen to let you see. The ‘my life is perfect because I’m #blessed and such a #luckygirl’ post doesn’t mean it’s actually true. And in some cases, in the name of creativity, digital art and photography is fake necessarily bad?
This instagrammer recently received huge backlash for posting what some thought to be ‘fake photos’. Personally I love her account regardless of its fake or not…
Social media isn’t a monster, it’s not this huge evil of the world, but unfortunately sometimes it’s the people who use it badly that are.
So my final word of advice is, learn what you’re using and how it works if you don’t want to be a Grant.
With that, I plan to share a post soon on the Instagrammers I love to follow! Who are your favourites?
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