Why I Reunited With Instagram, But I Won't Be Following Anyone (And Why You Shouldn't Take It Personally)

Friday, November 8, 2019
My dear friends, 

I know most of you dear readers aren't huge advocates of the ol’ Instagram, so if you find this subject boring to the Olympic degree, I'll understand if you'll want to skip this post.

However, before you go all ”hot foot” (such as Maggie from Downton Abbey would say) on me, I shall notify you that there's a great lesson I learned with this seemingly minuscule social media platform.

Sure, ya wanna leave me? Huh, are ya, are ya? Don't leavvvee me...

(Okay, I got that outta my system, I'm ready to resume now.)

So-like I was saying, I have a lovely little message about social media.

As many of you know, that back in the day (I know it was a short year ago, er but hey, I'm trying to make you laugh here) I was all hell-bent on the ol’ Instagram. I did all there was to do to try and get followers. I would comment, like, hashtag, engage, blah, blah, blah, and all that malarkey the folks swear to that if you do you'll get people to follow you, and you'll get all sorts of feels, because, isn't that what makes us as women feel loved and accepted? When some jack-o-lantern likes and comments on your photos. It's official! Raquel has been accepted into the elite club. She's no longer in the land of ’misfit toys.’ Just look at her Instagram following! Just look at it, Linda!

{FYI: I don't have any friends named Brenda or Linda, I just find it amusing to randomly say names when I'm attempting to make a snide remark.}

Here's the DL (that's ”down-low” for those of you that aren't up with the young folk's lingo... Heh), ladies, there are still women that are losing their minds when they can't seem to get a big following list.
I'm going to come flat out and tell you what happened to me, and the lesson I learned from this hot mess called Instagram.

Back in 2013,-I was behind time to the party called Instagram- who are we kidding, I'm late to most parties, especially ones that involve anything to do with social media. Honestly, I can't keep up with em’ all. When Instagram came on the scene, however, I was all excited and soon realised how much I liked the app because it was about pretty photos. I love having a uniformed gallery of pictures, all planned out and beautiful to look at. After all, that's what Instagram was created for is photography. So I began posting photos and enjoying myself. I found many like-minded women, and I was inspired. This progressed for several years until I ”thought” I had begun to develop real friendships through Instagram. This made me all happy inside. Finally, I was becoming a girls girl. I had ladies that I liked, and that liked me. So I thought.
Then, one day, I received a DM (direct message) from my "friend", basically questioning me about a travelling apron (long dang story and I'll save it for another day). She then proceeded to go on a diatribe about a YouTube video I had shared about when my father took back a truck, he had given to me. The way she worded it was that God is basically showing me, tough love. That why I had a few contrasting life issues was becasue I was no longer a religious woman and had turned to the law of attraction. She then went to her Instagram and inadvertently spoke about 'women' that are writing childrens books with the law of attraction messages are wrong, and no one should support that kind of sorcery. I wonder who she was referring to? Me. Ya think! 

Go fly a kite, why don't cha, Brennndddaaaa!

Not only that, she began saying to me that I was using her for her design ideas, and that's the only reason I was friends with her, is to get her resources as to where she buys certain products. Now, the Raquel today would say something like, ”Look here honey, I'm the one that has a REAL degree in Interior Design, and you don't! So if there are any resources I want, I have a Rolodex of the best designers in the business, that ACTUALLY have shows on tv, like HGTV and the DIY channel — Geeeezzeee! So, if any stealing is going on, It'd be YOU stealing from ME! To say that is actually proving to me that you're a jealous ol' Betty!"

Nanny nanny boo boo...I know you are, but what am I?

Now, hang on. That entire paragraph was mean and hurtful, and if I were in alignment, I wouldn't say it, nor blog about it. But guess what. I'm tired of women placing blame onto me when It's their issues, not mine. I will admit because I own my crap, so let me preface by saying that, yes, it's true, I attracted her into my life. I learned what I needed to, and now I have moved on. I just wanted to spend a moment here attempting to inspire you that most things in life can be put to bed. Or like my momma always says, "Let the sleeping dog lie." I won't, however, roll over and pretend things don't bother me, or actually refrain from speaking my mind. Being a person with self-assured traits is not a negative thing. It's very healthy. I spent too many years of my life letting folks talk to me any way they wanted, and I never said anything back. Well, that is no longer me, and If people aren't kind to me, I am now confident enough to speak up. 

Anywho, I had a few other women come for me from Instagram, too, but I won't go on about it. I know now that I left the social media because it was something that I was running from. It may sound weird, but I learned some valuable lessons from Instagram. I know many people loathe social media and think it's awful. However, I am no longer running from things because they become uncomfortable. I want to face things, and I am positive God/Source/Universe was allowing me to feel my way through that experience. We are being taught in many forms, but we must become self-aware enough to recognise them when they appear. 

(For the record, I have no ill will towards ant of those ladies, however, I won't be asking them to supper anytime soon. And that doesn't make me a second-rate person, either Brenda!)

So why am I adamant about not following others or viewing the platform from any other way than a business perspective?
Okay, so what really hurt me deeply. When I left Instagram, I would soon after discover my son was murdered and leaving the platform was actually a way of disappearing. And do you know, only one, ONE PERSON, sought me out off of the platform to inquire of my whereabouts and if I was okay? One person! I know the world isn't focused on me, I get it. Most folks are concerned for themselves, I know this, however, to realise that over a few thousand people and a dozen women that I really believed were my friends could have actually cared less.

I knew then I needed to reevaluate Instagram. And to come back when and if I ever felt like I wanted to, but that I needed to get my heart straight and learn to love myself. I speak about self-worthiness and the issues about it because I, myself, struggled with it quite severely. So, I know if I struggled, perhaps someone else in the world has too. Now, after having left and come back, I noticed that a rare few of them wouldn't follow me, because I didn't follow them. Today, I'm perfectly fine with how things transpired, but at the time, when I could've really used friendly support, no one on Instagram could give two flips.

Live and learn. Live and learn.

The reason I don't follow anyone now isn't anything personal. It has to do with my inability to stay focused. Lookie here, if I were to support everyone, I'd spend all of my time scrolling and never get a thing done. (huh hummm, cough cough, I'm in the throws of writing and illustrating three books right now), so I must keep my energy in one straight direction. I also think that I love all of the ladies on my Facebook and my blog. That's where I know I'm truly loved. And furthermore, these days {and as a rule} I don't need anyone to like a dadgum photo for me to feel good about myself. I'm actually really and genuinely pleased about how far I've come from those days of being all tied up and thinking that I needed to post or else be forgotten.

If we are at the age of finding our self-worth from an app (where, by the way, many of those feeds are faking their way through- all kidding aside), we really need to look inside ourselves. Perhaps a deep dive to find what's really at the helm of why we are placing such importance on likes and follows.

So, all in all... Is Instagram like hotel California? You can check out, but you can never really leave. Ha! I'm starting to think so.

Are you on Instagram, and if not, why? I'm curious.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Not on Instagram- I just don't have time to keep up with various platforms. I would rather spend my time in the garden or stitching or living and being a part of the community where I live.

    1. Joey, I completely understand your sentiments, It's true keeping up is nearly a full time job-If I were to let it be. Muahhh. I hope you are well and the house selling is going along. Love Raquelxxx

  2. I use pinterest to sort my ongoing projects, whether that be yarn or how to tile a shower or flowers for the front yard. My instagram is super sparse - after finding that people's highly curated lives made me susceptible to discontent, I pared down to a few inspiring food instagrammers and a few home interior feeds. It was getting off Facebook that was my equivalent of your experience. I'm sorry you experienced that - the lack of basic empathy is so troubling to me since it seems culture-wide and shows up in so many ways.

    1. Kimberly, May I just say that after you comment on each of my posts, you are the most exceptional writer. The words and the feelings that you express flow so very easily form your mind. I truly want to be a writer such as yourself. Boy, You are amazing!Kimberly The exceptional writer! I love you, Raquelxxx