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A Year Without Instagram

Updated: Apr 26

Yes, I'm talking about this again.

an illustration of a wolf in a pink jumper sitting at a laptop on a  desk

It's been over a year since I moved away from Instagram and started to think about more creative ways to share my work. I've learnt a lot over the last 12 months and I thought I'd share a couple of things with you.

What surprised me

Networking without Instagram

In September, I went to a Bee Inspired networking event in Manchester. I was surprised to see how many people were still using Instagram as the main way to stay in contact with someone new. It did get a bit awkward when I mentioned that I had deleted the app and I did wonder if I was missing out on an important connection. I started to think about how else I could stay in touch with people, LinkedIn? Business cards? Could I invent something new?


In April, I received an email from Catherine Booth (a very talented illustrator and someone I've worked on projects with in the past), inviting me to the opening of her solo exhibition in Manchester. As Catherine had reached out directly, it felt very meaningful. I hopped straight on the train and met her there. If Catherine had just posted her event on Instagram, I would've missed it. I felt honoured and very excited and the exhibition was beautiful. Whenever I want to send invitations, I think of how this interaction made me feel.

What I did instead of using social media

Showing up somewhere else

I decided to put more attention into my website, my newsletter and my blog and I started a drawing journal to encourage me to draw everyday too. I still use Pinterest to collect ideas and it's brought in more traffic to my website than any other platform has so far. I feel much closer to those in my newsletter community and by sharing what's inspired my studio practice each month, I can consume inspiration a lot more slowly and intentionally too.

A Shift To Analog

I started to feel a need to keep my important memories and photos somewhere special and outside of my camera roll of nonsense, so I bought a photo album and got some photos printed. I could've just set my personal Instagram account to private and used that, this feels more tangible and personal to me.

What are your thoughts on Instagram and social media? How would you connect with someone new at a networking event without using social media? Are business cards a thing of the past? Do you still use Pinterest?!


More tasty bits:

This TED Talk by Dino Ambrosi is eye opening. I really thought hard about the point he makes when he asks how much would we be willing to pay monthly to use social media channels - How loyal are we to these sites?

Also loved the thoughts behind this Anti-social media policy by Lush



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