Five Reasons I’m Not Following You on Instagram in 2016


On an evening that had extended far beyond my bedtime, and into the abyss that is early morning insomniatic-app-downloading I took a shot on an app called “Instagram.”  Within seconds I posted my very first image – which I had taken and edited with my head still upon the pillow.  The app was still very much under the radar, not even 4 months old, but as I laid there on the morning of January 20, 2011 – I knew that I was hooked.

It doesn’t feel like I’ve spent nearly five years sharing my life’s adventures on Instagram.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes in that time, and just in the past year I have started to tweak what I wanted out of Instagram. For me, Instagram was (and is) always about compelling images, dynamic storytelling, and an incredibly warm community.

I think we all know by now what to do on Instagram – a quick Google search could give us those answers.  But, on a late night purge of folks I used to follow…I started seeing some striking consistencies on who I was giving the boot to.

If you’re guilty of one of these five Instagram taboos…I’d like to say I’ll miss you, but I pretty much already don’t. ?


#1! Selfies.

I’m a fan of the selfie. I take selfies. I celebrate selfies. I even own a selfie stick, you guys.

But holy lord, if your page is 90% your face? We’re done.

How to be better:

Show me there’s more to your life than just your beautiful face. Show me details, colors, expressions, and experiences. The beauty of Instagram is that you really can share 1,000 words in just one image – if you do it right.


#2! Quoting Yourself.

I get that you said some pretty awesome shit. That’s awesome of you. But sharing a “photo” on IG of that awesome thing you said…makes me think your ego sucks.  Because it probably does –  especially if I see this happening consistently. Take your self-promoting-ego-stroking-self back to Facebook where it debatably belongs (and where I’ll likely still unfollow you).

Instagram is a scrapbook of moments and adventures, not a dang QVC commercial where you get to hock your goods at me.

How to be better:

Ahhhh, how ‘bout you don’t quote yourself?  GET PERSONAL. Does that mean you need to share everything? Absolutely not. But hit the moments in life on your Instagram profile and stop marketing to me.  As a rule, try to n.e.v.e.r. market on Instagram.  Even Instagram Ads are less market-y than some people I used to follow.


#3! You don’t have a Bio.

WHO ARE YOU?! Why should I be interested in you? Are you so famous that you need not have a bio like the rest of us normal photo-loving people on Instagram? No Bio, No Follow. I don’t care how cool your photos are. This also goes for your profile image, which I feel like in the year 2016 should be a no-brainer “must” for any account you own.

How to be better:

Get.A.Dang.Bio. I don’t care if it’s a witty sentence, a list of things you love, or even your favorite quote (so long as you aren’t quoting yourself. #WeJustWentOverThis) – tell me WHY I should be interested in who you are and where you’re going.  At this point, even putting in there, “Because Casie said I needed a bio…” would more likely get a follow outta me than having nothing.


#4! You have a Posting Addiction.  

Listen. We need to talk.  I love you, and your photos are (usually) great…but. We have a problem.  You know that scene in Harry Potter where Uncle Vernon thinks he’s soooo smart by destroying Harry’s invitations to Hogwarts and then, even on a Sunday, they inundate the entire house? That’s what some people’s posting style feels like.  I do not need to see ALL the photos you took, ever, for all eternity during my leisurely Sunday afternoon scroll.  Give me the highlights – the best of the best, throw ‘em in a flipagram, spare me the three hours of scrolling. Please. Don’t hold my Instagram feed hostage.

Side-note: This also works in conjunction with that IG to FB conversion that’s so popular right now.  Repeating a few photos is great.  Repeating ALL the photos in BOTH places is Avada Kedavra in my world.  Way to go…you’re basically Voldemort.

How to be better: 

Avada Kedavra, as we all know, is an unblockable curse – save for using the ever-so-powerful magic that is love.  So do that instead.  Show me what you love – like really, truly, madly, deeply love.  I trust we all know the differences between like and love.  Keep it to a minimum of your most brilliant 1-2 images per day…with no more than 3-4 spaced out throughout the 24 hour period of a day if something extremely awesome is happening that can be backed up by equally incredible photographs. Once again, this isn’t Facebook, y’all.  Spare me all 600 images you took between breakfast and bedtime.

#5! You Are Not the Engagement I’m Seeking.

Recently I used the Ghost Follower app to nix nearly 800 followers from my account, dropping me to a “meager” 580-ish followers.  Perhaps for most in the social media industry this would be devastating, but for me it isn’t about the numbers.  So, I danced around celebrating the “loss” of followers who were no longer engaging with me or even active on Instagram – and, let’s be real here for a second – some of whom were probably spam accounts anyway.

How to be better:

If you’re not interacting with my images – a like every once in awhile, a comment when the moment strikes you – then, you’re gonna be in the mix of my semi-annual Instagram clean-ups.  Sorry ‘bout’cha.  I streamline Instagram so that I can interact with those friends who are truly engaged in the story I’m telling, and those who I look forward to seeing on Instagram daily.


Why am I so passionate?

More so than any other account I have, I’m pretty protective over Instagram.  And having adopted Instagram fairly early on, I have seen it grow and transition and gain in popularity.  I fell in love with its simplicity immediately.  It was a place my social-media-loving/photographer soul could escape to and travel through.  From the theme parks I frequent in Orlando to the concrete jungle of New York, and even as far as India and Japan — I have met some incredibly beautiful people around the world I otherwise never would’ve known existed if it weren’t for Instagram.

I’ve learned a lot in these past five years on Instagram, and hopefully that helps me to continue sharing the best snippets into my world as this adventure unfolds.  What Instagram has ALWAYS been is a place of true community and experiences and storytelling, one that I am proud to be a part of.  If for some reason you’re using it as anything but?  You’re doing it wrong.  And I, for one, want no part of that.

Interested in connecting? Follow Casie on Instagram or Twitter!

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  1. Ben Phillips says:
    December 11, 2015 a 6:10 pm

    This is the best thing I have read all week. Simply amazing and I could not agree more!!

    • Casie Shimansky says:
      December 11, 2015 a 9:00 pm

      Thanks, Ben! Through our powers combined maybe we can change the course of Instagram. 🙂


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