[Read an update for this post: Why I launched a separate Instagram account for ANNIE SAID IT.]
I’ve heard social media “gurus” state that if we’re bloggers or have some type of online presence, our accounts shouldn’t be private.
However, I like keeping my Instagram account private (90% of the time*) for two reasons:
(*When is my IG account NOT private? When I share sponsored posts and participate in Huffington Post challenges and want either as many eyes to take a look [in the case of the former] or for HP to potentially repost my pics [in the case of the latter].)
1) I don’t want my exes to be all up in my business (Self-explanatory, I think…)
2) I come from a country where everyone wants to know everything about everyone. My mom, for instance, is not one to gossip. In fact, if it were up to her, we’d live our lives completely ignorant about what the people our family left behind in Colombia have been up to. BUT that doesn’t mean stuff doesn’t get shared with her anyways. Ever since I was little I’ve been witness to her amazing networks and connections–perhaps people trust her abilities to keep secrets?
What I CAN’T stand is gossip and people knowing where I’m at all times.
For example, when I’d feel down b/c I don’t travel as much as or I’m not a seeming jet setter like Jane Doe (>> Thankfully there’s been less of this since I left Facebook), my mom would come back with gems like, “Honey, she makes nothing in that jobs of hers, so she’s most likely relying on credit card after credit card. Remember your ultimate goal of getting a PhD–so you never have to live like that.”
So perhaps I’m a hypocrite in the fact that I just don’t want others to know much about me when I don’t mind getting info about other people. I mean, I’ll say anything in my blog because I’m still at a point in my life where Colombia isn’t among the top handful of countries where most of my readers come from. And if you come here, then it’s because you liked something enough to stay, so I want to give you something worth your while.
But what I CAN’T stand is gossip and people knowing where I’m at all times. So my mom doesn’t share family stuff w/her “sources,” who, btw, are always happy to volunteer info even if my mom doesn’t reciprocate.
By now you’re probably wondering, Why does my mom do all the work and get in touch with others in Colombia but you don’t? And that’s because, well for one, I left Facebook (good riddance). Two, I now feel like my Colombian acquaintances couldn’t care much about me. Sometimes I think they envy us, because when I’d post things in English or about our citizenship on Facebook, NONE of them “Liked” them or commented on them. They couldn’t care less! >> That’s why I didn’t refer to them as my “friends” even though I grew up w/them.
So perhaps I’m a hypocrite in the fact that I just don’t want others to know much about me when I don’t mind getting info about other people.
But I’m not sad they don’t (show that) they care–actually, that’s a relief :)! I don’t have to keep up appearances or give them a better version of what I am. Gossipers sometimes can’t stand to see other people happy, so I try to hide myself (and in turn, hide my happiness) as a service to them.
But back to the main question I posed earlier: I like to keep my Instagram account private because pictures are worth 1,000 words (or so the saying goes) and I like to know who sees the pictures (i.e., thousand^thousand of words) I share. My blog and Twitter are different; unlike my IG, they help me maintain my brand. But my IG, I feel, should be more private b/c pictures are kind of more intimate to me.
I share parts of myself, but not everything. Not only because it leaves something to the imagination, but also because it gives me peace of mind that people don’t know absolutely every detail about my life. (Cupcakes & Cashmere‘s Emily Schuman’s interview on Into The Gloss)
So when “gurus” say, “you SHOULDN’T keep your IG account private,” you can reply, “I like mine to be private, thankyouverymuch.”
How about YOU: Is your IG account private? Why or why not?