Ok, this may sound quite harsh, but hear me out. I was a guest speaker at a workshop for House 21 a while back and we were discussing how to get the best out of your Instagram Stories. When I happened to mention that I sometimes skip or even mute people’s Instagram Stories, the looks on people’s faces on Zoom were a picture. I kind of forgot to explain why I do that. It’s not that I’m being nasty or anything like that, I do have legitimate reasons for skipping or even muting Stories.
Some may think I’m being harsh and callous, but Stories are one of my favourite features on Instagram, I want to be able to enjoy them and see the real YOU. People may even think that it may be just easier to unfollow the person altogether, but sometimes their profile photo’s do give me inspiration, so I like to keep following for that reason. I’ve said in the past that the Instagram feed is like a highlight reel of everybody’s life, Stories allows me and your followers the chance to get to know your life away from your Instagram feed.
I swipe through Stories every day on Insta and I love them. Some are really entertaining, some are inspiring, some are funny, some are very creative and some are just totally unique. Like I said, Stories gives you the chance to show off your distinctive personality. Share your likes and dislikes, share your thoughts on trends, throw in some polls, questions and quizzes and tag where you are in the world.
So yes, I am guilty of skipping people’s Instagram stories. However, I do have my reasons –
1) YOU’RE BEING TOO NEGATIVE
If you’re going to be Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Sir/Lord/Dame Negative Pants, then I don’t need those negative vibes when I’m looking at your Stories. I’m all for positivity and/or realism. But negativity, nah. I’ll just immediately mute you.
2) TOO MANY STORIES AT ONCE
I’ll be fair here, I’m guilty of this. Purely because I’ve forgotten what I’ve uploaded previous and I just keep uploading. Oops. But when it’s the multiple and endless stories, it just annoys me. I only like them when somebody is talking about a topic that they’re passionate about or they’re raising awareness for something I believe in and want to learn about. If it’s endless stories talking about their new lawnmower or criticising someone, then I’m not for that.
3) THEY DON’T INSPIRE ME
Whether people find my Instagram Stories inspiring is another matter for another day, but I like to be inspired on my social media feeds, especially Stories. If they don’t inspire me or make me want to keep watching your Stories more, then I won’t watch them. Inspiration, I’m always here for.
4) NON ENGAGING WITH FOLLOWERS
Seriously guys, do a poll or quiz every now and then. Allow your followers to engage with you, engagement is such a key factor in everything we do on social media. I’m not saying do a poll everyday, but just a couple of times a week, do a ‘Would You Rather’ or ask your followers advice on something. Guaranteed one of your followers will have advice for you about a cold sore that has suddenly appeared overnight. If you’re not engaging with your followers, more than likely I won’t listen or watch your Stories. I do love voting in a poll guys, remember that. Even spark a conversation in DM’s about a subject that has been talked about in their Stories.
5) TALKING WITH NO CAPTIONS
I’m all for accessibility on social media guys. I know it can be time consuming, but if you’re going to be doing a load of talking stories on tap – caption them. You could have a follower who has visual and/or hearing impairments and it’s important that we make our feeds accessible to them. I won’t listen or want to watch your Stories if you haven’t put in the effort to caption them. In some situations, I can’t turn the volume up to hear your Stories when I’m working. Unless you want everybody in Sandra’s workplace to know about your infected toe nail or that you ate a banging takeaway the night before.
God knows what your opinion will be of me after this, but I speak the truth. The majority of the people I follow, I pay attention and joyfully watch their Stories from the first one in the morning till the last one they post at night.
What do you think about skipping Stories? Is it something that you have done?