Why changing my Instagram theme/style/order/whatever actually means a lot to me.

Ooh yes, I’m hearing some of y’all sighing and picturing you rolling your eyes upon reading this title! And I can only apologise – you see, it turns out, Instagram means a lot to me. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

Yeah, my millennial status has officially peaked. My favourite breakfasts are either a fresh acai bowl or avo smash toast with chilli flakes, I am currently using a 16-25 railcard that's technically valid until I am 27, I can only dream of someday getting a foot on the mythical property ladder, and I recently had a sex dream about a YouTuber. Now, this: I am officially an Insta obsessive. I almost value double-tap likes from strangers as much as I do IRL hugs from loved ones. I have a note on my phone containing every grouping of hashtags I could possibly need, that I copy & paste into a comment immediately after posting something. I have two separate editing apps, one of which lets me plan my grid weeks in advance. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I remember being in first year of uni, stuck with a modest Samsung Monte, my first smart phone that did absolutely nothing smart. I envied all my peers who could tweet on an actual app, rather than having to text Twitter’s number like I did; Facebook on my phone would never load unless I was connected to the strongest WiFi in the land… and I was fascinated by Instagram, this shiny new iPhone-only app, and the many magical features and filters it offered its users. I bit the bullet and joined the Apple gang in second year, and Instagram was the first app I downloaded. It was every bit as fabulous as I’d thought it would be. I was suddenly taking photos of everything, beautifying them with every filter (my faves back then were Amaro and Sierra… these days if I bother to use them, I’ll only ever go for Clarendon’s cool tones) and sharing them proudly on every other platform. I’d post snaps of my flowery patterned Docs, my fancy dress outfits for team socials, the sky on a crisp wintery morning as I walked to campus… but also every disgustingly sweet latte I consumed, the screen on my laptop when it was taking half an hour to download an update, and blurry drunken selfies taken in the kebab shop at 3am when I was clutching an enormous polystyrene box of cheesy chips. I was not selective with my uploads, back then. But now, I almost agonise over what I share with followers.

Contrary to what you may think, that’s not because I’m trying to put out a super cool, squeaky clean image of my life – it’s genuinely because I like to keep things in a nice order, and make my grid look neat and tidy. Also, my love for themes and challenges has a big impact on how I style and arrange my uploads – like, for most of last year I kept a vertical line going through my grid that was just photos of me (usually taken by the one and only Ms Veness). Before that, I’d been through a phase of posting a solid line of quotes/illustrations against white backgrounds – and when that proved a little limiting and forced, I made it one QOTD post for every 5 photos. Did anyone else notice these very precise styling techniques? I doubt it. But it made me happy.

(Photo: Erin Veness)

So, for the best part of a year now I’ve been posting photos with white borders around them – and they’ve been specifically organised portrait-landscape-portrait-landscape. It’s not an original idea (in fact, as is the case in all art forms, I definitely nicked it from another account I saw) but I liked that it was my ‘thing’ and I weirdly enjoyed the challenge of keeping it consistent for many, many months. But then when that challenge slowly became frustrating and, in the end, not fun at all, I decided it was time to make a change. Also I felt I wasn’t doing a lot of my photos justice; certainly the professionals’ pics needed to be posted fully and properly absorbed by followers – I hated the idea of anyone having to pinch-zoom in if they wanted to really appreciate them.

The funny thing is, yes, I am completely aware of how dumb this post may seem – ooh, she’s changed her Instagram layout, who the hell cares!? and when I first considered changing things up, I posted a poll on my story to see if anyone else cared, or if I was being silly. Amazingly, over 300 people voted as to whether or not I should change my ‘theme’. And even more shocking than that (imo), the people saying ‘mix it up’ only beat the ‘keep as is’-clickers by 16%!? I had no idea people had an interest in – and opinions on – something that was a fun project for me to begin with (and later became too much of an obsession, oops).

Do you find yourself putting a lot of thought and effort into your Instagram profile? Do you obsess a wee bit over your grid styles and colour schemes? Comment or tweet me with your handles, and let me admire your Instas! Oh, some tips on how to stop worrying about how my snaps look would be fab too…? Ta. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

Can’t get enough of my Insta-related rambles?
You can read my Instagram Honesty posts HERE!


  1. Your insta-theme, or whatever it is, is something that I've always enjoyed - not least because I tend to see your feed as a whole, when I'm clicking over from the latest blog post I'm reading. Your dreamy photoshoots are just gorgeous.

    Lis / last year's girl x

  2. Thank you so much, you angel. x


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