Instagram pods, some people love them, some people hate them, some people may have no idea what I’m talking about. If you don’t know, Instagram pods consist of a group of people on Instagram (maximum 15) who are part of a chat. Each time one of the members posts on Instagram, they notify the pod and each member must go and like the photo as well as comment. There’s usually rule about comment length, if you have to comment, if you have to like the photo, and so on.
When I first joined an Instagram pod I wasn’t working and all of my focus was on my blog (can I go back to those days?). I wanted to see my Instagram engagement increase, and I thought there was no better way than a comment pod! I would be supporting other women who had an interest in beauty and lifestyle, and they would be supporting me. What could be better?
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I joined two pods at once, and while it was a lot, I could manage it. I enjoyed the support I felt from the other ladies and my engagement was becoming better. However, a month ago I started working full time. I suddenly felt all of this pressure to stay up to date with the comment pods, except I couldn’t. I would get home from work and be busy with other blog related tasks, seeing friends, or simply relaxing from a long day at work. The last thing I wanted to do was go comment on a backlog of Instagram photos simply because I had to.
And there’s a key phrase: had to. I had to comment on these photos because I agreed when I joined the comment pod. It was also only fair to the women commenting on my photos. I no longer enjoyed Instagram, though. Everytime my phone lit up with another notification that someone had posted, my stress level increased a little. I follow so many lovely users and accounts on Instagram, however by the time I was done commenting on all the photos in the pod, I didn’t want to be on the site anymore. My time on Instagram became consumed by the comment pods and it was exhausting.
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Another thing I came to realize, was that other people in the group probably felt the same way I was feeling. They were commenting on my photos not because they wanted to, but because they also had to. In my opinion, genuine engagement with my Instagram account is better than forced engagement.
I tried my best to give genuine comments, but sometimes it was hard. Sometimes I would stare at the screen for a minute or two drawing a blank as to what to comment. I was trying to think of something to say other than “nice photo” or “you look so pretty,”. Yet, I will admit that sometimes I would leave a generic comment so I could move on to the next photo where I would try to think of a genuine comment. I also didn’t enjoy or like some of the photos I was commenting on. I wouldn’t have followed the accounts had they not been in the comment pod to begin with. I’m not trying to sound mean; it’s simply the truth.
So, with all of that being said, I have now left both of the comment pods I was in and I haven’t looked back. Yes, my followers went down after I left the pods, but that just proves my point; those people didn’t actually want to be following me. And yes, when I posted on Instagram today I didn’t get nearly as many likes or comments as usual, but that’s okay with me. I’m going to go back to enjoying Instagram and commenting when I feel like it, not because I have to.