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It is no secret that Instagram, or any social media, can drain our happiness, even when we are using it for a hobby we love. My hobby is bookstagram, which is just a community of book lovers on Instagram. But lately I have not been happy on bookstagram. There was some drama this year about engagement groups that left a bad taste in my mouth. I wrote down some things that were making me unhappy about bookstagram and decided to share those tips with you!
Bonus: Most of these tips can apply to any online community as well!
1. Let go of ARC envy
We are all guilty of this! In the bookish community, it hard not to turn into a green eyed monster over the books some people receive from publishers.
2. Don’t overload your wagon with more ARCs than you can read
Since we are talking about ARCs (advance reading copies), don’t feel like you need to read only ARCs each month. And don’t request more than you can read and review because another bookstagrammer may have missed out on that review copy because you got it instead.
3. Read what you want to read
I have talked openly about losing joy on bookstagram. After a string of 2-3 star ratings, I decided it was time to start reading what I wanted to read instead of just the popular books flooding my feed.
4. Don’t stress over unfollowers (especially the follow/unfollow game)
It is easy to get your feelings hurt if you stress over unfollowers. In most cases, people unfollow because a) they were playing the follow/unfollow game or b) they’ve been inactive so Instagram is offloading their account.
5. Don’t feel like you need thousands of followers to be “successful”
For most of us, bookstagram is just a hobby, a fun way to engage with fellow readers and discuss books. Your follower count does not define your success on bookstagram.
6. Don’t feel pressured to write a review for every book you read
In 2018, I decided to write a review for every book I read, and I lost interested in my feed by the fall. Sometimes I didn’t have much to say about a book or it was a negative review and I felt bad for posting it. I’ve gotten better at turning negative reviews into positives, but the point is, unless the book was an ARC, don’t feel like you have to write a review every time you post.
7. Take breaks or set limits when you need to
I started taking weekends off from my account, and I feel like my weekends are so much longer now that I’m not glued to my phone constantly. I also have a time limit for the Instagram app on my phone so I receive a notification when I’ve spent on hour (throughout the course of the day) on the app.
8. Join an engagement group (if you want to!)
Recently there was a hot debate on bookstagram about engagement groups and whether or not you should join them. Engagement groups can be a fun way to find new bookstagrammers and have more interaction on your posts.
9. Make a posting schedule that works for you
Personally, I need to take my photos on the weekends because of my work schedule (the natural light is not good by the time I get home), but if you prefer to make your posts on a whim, do it! If posting everyday is too much for you, then try every other day (or every two days!).
10. And finally..don’t feel bad if you need to unfollow someone
Whether that person is posting offensive content, bullying others, or content that just makes you feel bad, it is okay to tap that unfollow button! I have no problems reaching for that unfollow button because real life is negative enough without seeing it in my feed!
What are some tips for staying happy on bookstagram that I forgot? Would love to hear from you in the comments!