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How (not) to become Instagram Famous

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It’s easy to see the allure of being famous on Instagram. It gives you the chance to monetise your photos as well as gain the admiration of thousands of people. Unfortunately for most of us, #InstaFame is hard to come by and is really not a valid career choice.

Despite this, there are literally hundreds of articles aimed at hopefuls about how best to become Instagram famous. From using correct hashtags, to not posting more than two selfies in a row, to developing a ‘style’, the lists of tips are endless. What many of these articles fail to do is warn users of the pitfalls of trying to achieve Instagram fame – like losing all of your money. Instagrammer Lissette Calveiro was left in financial ruin after joining the quest for Instagram fame. Calveiro said finance isn’t really talked about on Instagram and the experience made her worry about how much girls care about their image.

Calveiro was left more than $10,000 in debt after trying to purchase her way to stardom. According to Calveiro, the majority of the debt was accumulated through travel expenses and purchasing clothing in order to create the perfect grid. In an interview with the New York Post, Calveiro said she regretted spending so much money to look good on social media.

“I had a lot of opportunities to save,” she said. “I could’ve invested that money in something.”

Lissette Calveiro. Source.

Calveiro’s story is a harrowing example of how social media appearances are dominating the lives of young women. The quest for Instagram fame has been shown to have a significantly bad impact on mental health. A report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the United Kingdom found that Instagram is the worst app for the mental health of young people. Part of the reason for this is the app’s focus on pleasing aesthetics, which is causing body image issues for Instagrammers globally.

Examples of how people ‘fake it’ continually on social media, by using clever camera angles, lighting, positioning the body in certain ways, and excessively using filters, show just how important looks are on Instagram. It’s no wonder users across the globe are feeling the pressure when there are so many accounts which simply do everything better: better pictures, more followers, better captions.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should avoid using Instagram altogether. Other studies have found that social media can benefit marginalized people, and in some cases benefit mental health. It also gives users an opportunity to express themselves. The trick with Instagram (as with any social media) is to be mindful about how to use it.

Here are our top tips for avoiding the perils of Insta-fame:

Don’t spend money to try and gain Instagram fame

We all wish we had the kind of money we could just throw away. Source.

Calveiro’s story shows that trying to become Insta-famous can come at a cost –

but it doesn’t have to. Instead of spending money on costly trips, stick to your local area. Instead of buying costly clothes, borrow them. You can get a unique and interesting grid without spending large amounts of money.

Stop stressing about followers

Quality over quantity. Source.

Sure it’s nice to get adoration from screaming fans. But obsessing over followers takes away from the fun of social media. Imagine having 20K+ followers to interact with. The opportunities for more meaningful interactions are virtually erased when you’re constantly being bombarded by messages. Having less followers means you get a better opportunity to interact with like-minded people.

Embrace you and stop trying to keep up with appearances

All of us after trying a new make-up tutorial. Source.

Part of the fun of being an Instagrammer is being able to showcase things that you love. Just because everyone else loves wavy eyebrows, it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Showcase instead what you are proud of and what you like. Focus on what makes you, you. If that ends up being cats wearing strange hats, then so be it! This is the internet and you’re sure to find someone else who enjoys the same pictures (even if they won’t make you Instagram famous).

Have a break every now and then

What quitting social media feels like. Source.

Social media is fun. But it often takes away from real life. It’s easy to forget to live when you’re too busy looking at how perfect other people’s lives seem (even though they’re not). Turn off your phone every now and then. Look at the sky. Breathe. Be with real life people for a while. Dance in the kitchen like nobody is watching and embrace everything that makes your life great.

Embrace your Instagram community

Embracing who you are is seriously the best thing. Source.

The best thing about Instagram are the hashtags. Entire internet communities are built around them. By using them, you can find like-minded people. Maybe you have an obsession with #koreanstreetfood or perhaps it’s #cosplay. Whatever you like, you’re sure to find others who have similar interests. Embrace that and you’re bound to get followers anyway (even if it’s not 10,000 of them right away).