Finding my Groove on Instagram

The Lily Cafe has been on Instagram since June. It’s now October and I’ve finally figured out what to do with it.

Before July, my husband and I were working on branding this blog with the eventual goal to try to monetize. That meant getting the blog on all major social media sites: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. But I’m a very introverted mom of two, so I never really felt comfortable on any of them. Figuring out what to do with them has been lingering on my mind. I could delete them. But I already deleted Twitter and then got back on, so you never know.

It kind of feels like every mom is on Instagram. And I get it. It’s a great place to share cute pictures and adorable/hilarious/face palm worthy stories of one’s kids. So, I’ve spent more time trying to figure this one out. I don’t consider myself a mom blogger, but, rather, a mom who blogs. But I am still a mom and proudly own that title.

My problem is that I will not share pictures of my kids without their informed consent. Sure, my son is 4 and can say yes or no, but he really has no idea what I’m asking of him, so it’s not really informed consent. Even though I have a private Facebook account I will never, ever share, I still don’t post many pictures.

So, what was I to do with Instagram, which relies on pictures?

At first, just to figure it out, I posted lots of pictures of my cat. She’s adorable and stays indoors and looks like plenty of regular American shorthair mixes, so why not? Then I progressed a bit to promoting my blog posts and those seemed to get more views and likes, but I was never really happy with them and, as far as I could tell, no one clicked through to my blog. Then my family was hit by heavy losses that had me stepping back and reducing my blog posting. I didn’t log into Instagram for over a month.

Recently, though, I decided to give it another chance. I don’t know why, but I’ve learned that if I spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about something, I’ll never do it. I didn’t think too much about NetGalley before signing up. As a matter of fact, my son was at school, my daughter was napping on me, and I was a little bored. NetGalley popped into my head, so I went to their site and signed up. No thinking. Kind of the same with Instagram. I just decided to post a picture, share a story, and go with it.

Actually, it was kind of fun. It wasn’t really tied to my blog. It was just a plain picture of my Kindle on to the book I was currently reading. I added a bit of text and posted. The next day I did the same thing, and then kept going. It’s been almost two weeks and I’m finally having a bit of fun.

I think I’ve finally found my groove on Instagram. I don’t use it to just promote my blog posts, though it has happened and may happen here and there. Instead, I think of it as an extension of my blog, a bit of a behind the scenes look, if you will. A moment from my day kind of thing, almost like a brief diary entry. A micro blog post.

It’s only been a couple of weeks of posting Monday-Friday, but this is the first time I’ve felt comfortable with what I’m doing over there. It’s a mini Lily Cafe! So what if the blog and Instagram have little to do with each other? I don’t really care. I just care about having fun, finding my voice, and maybe finding a friend (though I have to admit I don’t have much time to scroll through the Reader here, so I have even less time to scroll through Instagram).

So, I’d like to invite you to the mini Cafe.

And maybe one day I’ll figure out Twitter and Facebook.

16 Comments

  • The Haunted Wordsmith

    I left Facebook a long time ago and I don’t really do much on Twitter anymore. My son has/had an Instagram account but the most I know about it is just how to log into his account and see what he’s been up to (yes, I check all his online activity). From what I have seen it is a lot like FB with all the personal photos and stuff. I know writers use it for short, short posts but I’m oblivious as to how it all works. I just figured out Goodreads this week and feeling proud about that lol. There is a world of difference between programming (which I can do) and social media…

    • kat

      Social media is often referred to as a beast, and I certainly see why. It’s massive and not easily tamed. One wrong move and it can hurt you. I don’t enjoy it as many others do and often wonder why I do it, but I certainly like the idea of having some control over when and how much I socialize. Though they all do feel like a repetition of the last. I’ve been on Goodreads for years, but never considered it to be social media, though I’m increasingly shown I’m wrong, just a place to share thoughts on books so future readers can better determine whether to read a book.

  • Ash

    Oh, social media… I left every single platform last year and have never been happier. Unless you count Goodreads as social media? I use that and love it because it adds actual value to my life. I used to have an Instagram yoga account with 10k followers and let me tell you…. It was stressful! And depressing. Everyone is different, but I found myself experiencing a lot of needless anxiety and comparison on there. It probably doesn’t help that I too don’t like posting pics. Anyway. Thanks for sharing your IG story ๐Ÿ™‚ I totally get that “what do I do on there?” feeling. Sometimes I feel that same thing about my blog…what (and why) am I even doing? Lol.

    • kat

      Haha, social media is completely nuts. I often wonder why I do any of it. But, as an introvert, I love that I have some control of when and what I share with others, who I engage with, and how to do it. I’ve read many posts about the comparison game and it makes me sad, but I don’t worry about it as I left the game years ago. I also am guilty of barely engaging with others on Instagram, so I don’t actually pay as much attention to someone’s pictures and stories. I never considered Goodreads to be social media, either, but more and more people do, so maybe it’s changing with the times? Or we’ve been completely wrong.

    • kat

      Thanks. Yeah, ideas are hard to come by sometimes, but I’m convinced they’re simmering somewhere, just waiting to be ripe. Best of luck with your channel!

  • ourlittleredhouseblog

    So many social media sites, it really is hard to keep up. My two grown kids keep telling me to try different things as well but sometimes it is so hard to find the time. I still want to enjoy life in person and social media tends to be all about recording it, so sometimes we miss those magic moments that we can never really share with the world because they were only meant for us or our love ones to see and experience and we all get those little gifts now and then. I will have to check out your Instagram later. Just got online and I haven’t visited a lot of sites in awhile. I know it will be great though, always love your post.

    • kat

      So true. There always seems to be another platform every day, yet the number of minutes in a day never increases. As a kid, my aunts and uncles always told me I would see the value in taking pictures one day. I get it, but I still prefer to be in the moment, living alongside my kids. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone to Disneyland and gotten home to realize we’d only taken one picture. I absolutely agree there are those magical moments that aren’t meant to be shared with the world, which is why I had such a hard time with Instagram. But looking at it as a mini blog lets me reflect on a slice of my day while taking up only a couple of minutes while the kids nap. Welcome back, and I hope you’re doing well!

  • kristinmoras

    That’s the strategy I take too. I haven’t always. For me, I made the decision to only post when I felt like it and most recently NOT to promote my blog/vlog. In the past I’ve always gotten swept up in it and then found myself losing sight of what I really wanted/made me happy (blogging, spending time with my family in an authentic way). Anyways, I look forward to following your mini cafe ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kat

      So many people play social media like a game, but it makes it hard to find the authenticity and easy to lose yourself. I look forward to following your authentic journey as you choose to share it, and it’s nice to be in such good company.

  • New England Mama

    Just want to say I love your new insta activity! Noticed it the other day and was super impressed with how well taken care of your kindle is, (and secretly jealous you still have the keyboard) keep up the good stuff!!!

    • kat

      Thank you! With two toddlers, I’m kind of impressed with it’s condition, too. I’m sad that they don’t make this awesome keyboard version anymore, so I’m definitely not giving it up!

  • Morgan | Barbed Wire and Lace

    I love that you shared this with us. Instagram is a daunting place. I just wrote a post about my yucky experience with Instagram loops…. almost ruined my account! ๐Ÿ™„ we all get a rocky start… but itโ€™s awesome you found that grooove!

    • kat

      Thank you! And a sincere apology for taking so long to respond. Instagram definitely feels like a big, scary place to me and I’ve read so many horror stories, but it really just comes down to finding what works for you and enjoying what you love.

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