Why TF Are We Still On Instagram If We Hate It?

On Sunday, I posted an Instagram post basically unloading my frustrations with Instagram, its algorithm and all of the mental behaviors associated with it. When I really started thinking about it, it almost felt like I was going through some jacked up version of the 7 stages of grief. Denial that IG isn’t the god-like platform we’ve all built it up to be, guilt over having contributed to its rise, anger and bargaining over multiple algorithm changes, and now I’m in the reflection stage.

Why TF Are We Still On Instagram If We Hate It?

1) The Algorithm

I’ve been blogging since I was 15 years old. These years are obviously very formative, and being one of the first generations who really grew up with the omnipresence of social media, I think my being so involved with Instagram and figuring it out as the platform grew wasn’t the healthiest thing I could’ve done? That said, I remember back then, that chronological order was far better for discovery purposes than the new “engagement” based algorithm. I could see my friends, brands and other bloggers I follow all in the order that they posted. Now, I can refresh the page upwards of 4 or 5 times and the same few photos will still be sitting on the top! This is actually why I discontinued my Best of Instagram series. I couldn’t find anything new or interesting anymore! All because IG decided that their “engagement” (like and comments + follower counts) made that photo worth promoting towards the top of my feed. I put engagement in quotes because a lot of engagement these days are inauthentic.

2) Like and Comment Pods + Individual Users

Firstly, you’ve got blogger like and comment pods. I’ll be fair and say I’ve been in a few, but I left because the work involved in keeping up with liking and commenting on a few other bloggers’ posts was never worth the return on your own. Not to mention, half of the people participating in these groups are already in the thousands of followers, so I don’t see why they need our engagement. But basically, a member of the pod will post a photo and then everyone in the pod is required to go like and/or leave a “substantial” comment (ie 4 or more words, no emojiis). I found that while some of the smaller pod members would leave actual comments on the subject of a photo, others would say something like “Love it” and keep moving.

Plus, between F4F (follow for follow) hashtags, spam accounts, and users who “blog” so they can “get free stuff”, blogger Instagram, at least, is oversaturated with those that, it seems, have forgotten about the craft of blogging. It feels inauthentic and as part of a generation that values authenticity in everything, I constantly wonder why we subject ourselves to something like IG.

3) Stories, Shadowbans and Beyond

There are a few other smaller things about IG that get on my nerves but not as much as the aforementioned problems. IG as a platform is shady AF. How on earth we all let Facebook (who owns IG if you missed that) blatantly rip off Snapchat’s stories function, I will never understand. I guess it all depends on who you actually want to see what you’re doing because on Snap, it’s more for your friends, and on IG it’s for your “business contacts”. Regardless, as a business that’s irritating to watch and doesn’t put IG in a great light for me. Add on the fact that only accounts with 10k+ followers can utilize links in their stories (which are often more viewed than photos), and it just seems unbalanced.

Then we’ve got hashtags and shadowbans. It’s bad enough that in order to try and move my photo up, I need to utilize all 30 hashtags that we’re allowed in the caption of a post. But now, if I use the hashtags that have garnered the most attention too much, IG will just stop showing them in the search results! It’s like all of the chips are stacked against smaller accounts as opposed to a platform like Twitter or Pinterest where good quality content is the only thing required to gain a substantial platform.

Final Thoughts

I feel like I’ve let a massive load off of my chest. No, I don’t claim to be “not like the other girls” or “not basic” or whatever some people my age who shun social media claim to be. I just believe that my generation has the power to enact change in most everything we do, so sitting here and subjecting myself to a platform I really don’t like just because it’s what’s there and it’s what everyone else is using. Am I going to keep using Instagram? Yes. Will I be changing the way I interact with the platform? Also, yes. Instagram only has as much power as we the users give it, and I think there are much better ways to interact with it in an authentic way without trying to trick the algorithm or other users.

I hope you guys enjoyed this introspective type post because I think I’m going to be doing more of these, starting with Taylor Swift’s merch marketing! What are your thoughts on Instagram and social medias in general? Leave me a thought in the comments, and I’ll see you next week.

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5 More Instagram Accounts You Should Follow

Hey all! I’ve noticed you all seem to really like my Best of Instagram posts because it helps you find new accounts to follow! So I figured I’d feature five more accounts for you to follow! And you can check out my last Insta Account post right here! So let’s get started!

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  1. Welcome to Junior High (@welcometojuniorhigh)

I just started following this blog, and I’m already in love with it. Junior High is a brand new art space in California for teens to enjoy and create art to share openly and proudly! Their Instagram page has a very pastel Barbie girl vibe, but with punches of neon and pins in between. I recommend this profile for fans of Rookie mag (In fact, the suggested users I found after following them were Rookie contributing artists. SCORE!).

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2. the 90s super models (@the90ssupermodels)

So I am a sucker for 90s aesthetic. Of course, I’ve never been able to recreate it successfully (I’m more of a 20s-50s kind of girl), but I can live vicariously through this epic account which is filled with over 1000 pictures of 90s supermodels (what else?). With pics of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Kate Moss filling your feed, you can’t possibly go wrong.

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3. Tilly Baker (@tillybaker)

So this account is Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat and the Las Vegas Strip all rolled into one. Tilly posts vibrant and colorful creations in the form of makeup, fashion, and epic art edits! This is an account to look up on a rainy day. It’s like having your own personal rainbow.

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4. Juskin (@juskin_a)

This ball of sunshine does some of the best K-Beauty product pics I’ve ever seen. And he has a WordPress blog to boot! I love his content, and it’s very fresh in an oversaturated market of artfully placed products on a screen. He has a small following now, but I have big expectations for this blogger.

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5. Cocoa Swatches (@cocoaswatches)

This one is for all of my melanin boastin’ sistas out there! This account posts various brands’ eyeshadow and lipstick swatches on various shades of underrespresented brown skin tones. There is original content, but you can also tag them and have your swatches featured as well! A definite recommend!

Of course don’t forget to follow yours truly, @thechicmachine!  Be sure to hit that follow button because I’m always looking for more accounts to follow and feature in posts like this one and my Best of Instagram Posts. Also, keep an eye out, because I’m itching for another giveaway really soon…

Have an awesome day!

-Dymond M. <3

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NYFW: Day 1

The time has come! New York Fashion Week is upon us! The shows are more accessible than ever with the new NYFW app. There you can bookmark and live stream the shows from the comfort of your home. You also get exclusive behind the scenes footage, a map with your relative locations to the show (if you’re lucky enough to be in NYC), and an inbox to keep you up to date on all things NYFW.

NYFW is slowly doing just what Black Friday began doing a few years ago. It officially starts on Thursday, but now all of the parties and pre shows are beginning to creep into Wednesday as well,and there’s just so much to keep up with! Luckily for me, a (just turned) 17 suburban girl who lives nowhere close to NYFW, there are several outlets nowadays thanks to the graces of social media for me to enjoy and analyze the beautiful monstrosity that is New York Fashion Week. There is the aforementioned app. I also follow a lot of social accounts to keep up with it all.

My Fave Snapchats

  • teenvogue
  • songofstyle
  • elainewelteroth
  • glossier.irl
  • itsmichellelee
  • sephorasnapss

My Fave Instagrams

  • cfda
  • natalieoffduty
  • bevansburg
  • shopbird
  • voguemagazine

Notable Shows

  • BCBG Max Azria- http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2016-ready-to-wear/bcbg-max-azria
    • The bucket hat is back baby! Inspired by Southern Cali, this show really packed a punch in terms of summer to fall transitioning.  You can see a lot of color blocking,tye dyed shirts,fringe, lots of layers,graphic prints, florals, and floor skimming slip dresses. Absolutely amazing.

Photo 1 from LC Lauren Conrad

  • Creatures of the Wind-http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2016-ready-to-wear/creatures-of-wind
    • The Creatures of the Wind collection was appropriately mesmerizing. The collection was inspired be eras past,and is heavily influenced by the 70s, but it’s also been given a modern twist through the use of grahpics like stars,fishnets,and even some leather pants. My personal favorite was a blue and white floral jumpsuit with a red shirt underneath. Fantastic!

Featured Articles

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2015/09/10/fashion/fashion-week-parties-warm-up/s/10SCENE-WARMUP-slide-24DV.html

http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Lauren-Conrad-Fashion-Show-Spring-2016-Hair-Makeup-38352437#photo-38352437

http://www.racked.com/2015/9/10/9279091/new-york-fashion-week-live-stream-shows

That’s all for today ladies and gents! Check back tomorrow morning for a Best of Instagram for Day 1, and tomorrow evening for Day 2 coverage!

Stay Flawless!

-The Mechanic <3

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5 Instagram Accounts You Should Totally Be Following

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a ridiculous amount of time on your smartphone. And I bet you spend a good portion of that ridiculous amount of time on Instagram. Instagram started out as a place to share snapshots of your life and slowly grew to become the huge marketing platform that we now know it as. I use it to find inspiration for my mood boards and to keep up with things like Fashion Week and the CFDA Awards that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I love sharing my finds with you guys in my Best of Instagram posts (of which there will be one tomorrow!), but today I wanted to share with you 5 Instagram accounts that you may not be following, but you definitely should.

1. Barbie Style (@barbiestyle)

I never really played with Barbies as a kid, but these pictures make me want to RIGHT NOW. Not to be confused with the official Barbie toy account, this Barbie acts like a living, breathing, and fashionable persona. She went to Coachella. She went to the Grammy’s. Just 3 days ago she attended the CFDA awards! Racked wrote an article on how this decades old doll went from drab to fab. With the help of her personal (human) stylists, Barbie will fill up your feed with the world that you dreamed up for her all those years ago.

2. Hot Dudes Reading (@hotdudesreading)

There’s little more that I love more than a good book. Although if you add a cutie to the equation, I just may take a look. Hot Dudes Reading is a submission based account where if you spot a hottie getting his read on in a public space, you can take a pic,send it in, and voila! Hot dudes reading! The captions are pretty funny because it just looks like one big #thirsttrapthursday, but hey, even brainy girls have needs. XD

3. Labels for Lunch (@labelsforlunch)

Americana vibes 🇺🇸❤️💛

A post shared by Fashion For Lunch (@labelsforlunch) on

First off, let me just say that the Fashion for Lunch website is just amazing! The Instagram only takes it one step further. Everything is just so BRIGHT, and it always seems to catch my eye for Best of Instagram posts. Whenever I see a LFL post, my day brightens up, and I start brainstorming all of the ways I can incorporate that brightness into my own wardrobe. Alas, if I only I was as cool as her. <3

4. Total Recall Vintage (@totalxrecall)

Summer accessories: ✔️✔️✔️ #totalrecallvintage #vintage

A post shared by Total Recall Vintage (@totalxrecall) on

I wrote about online vintage shop, Total Recall Vintage, a little while back, and here it is again. I love this shop! Sure I’ve been too broke to actually buy anything from them, but the clothing lust is too real. I enjoy their posts because it’s the perfect mix of 80s and 90s nostalgia mixed with style collages of stuff they sell on their site, and I’m so in love with them. You should go shop with them. Right now.

5. Rookie Magazine (@rookiemag)

My 🌼 vase at the Snoqualmie river. @bethhoeckel

A post shared by Rookie (@rookiemag) on

Rookie magazine is one of my current obsessions. An online zine written by teen girls, for teen girls, Rookie has been my savior on more than one occasion in the last 8 months. Their Insta is what I call my “Art profile”. There are always a bunch of artsy photos and drawings that please all parts of my personal aesthetic, and I bet you could find something to please yours too. And you should go check out their website too. It rocks!

There you have it! 5 Instagram accounts you should be following by now! What’s your favorite Instagram account? Leave it, and your own handle (if you have one), in the comments! Be sure to come back tomorrow for another Best of Instagram post!

Happy Friday!

-The Mechanic <3

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