A few weeks ago I launched a challenge over on Instagram to try and bring back some of the fun and freedom I felt was missing from our favourite photo app. I wanted to kick back against the pressure to post the perfect picture and instead motivate people to share more random moments of everyday life without overthinking, planning and curating every post – like this photo of me, snapped by my other half and shared on insta without a second thought! (not always easy I know but you’ve gotta practice what you preach right?) And funnily enough it was one of my most liked pics ever, probably because it captures a natural impromptu moment in time… just like old skool insta used to be, how novel is that? ; ) You can read a little more about the thinking behind the project here and here.
Unlike other challenges and hashtags that encourage you to share a certain type of photo to fit in, #freeupmyinsta was designed to do exactly the opposite, I wanted to give you the confidence and inspiration to be brave enough to stand out.
I thought a few people might like the idea but I wasn’t expecting the response to be quite so crazy! Overnight my insta notifications literally went NUTS and the challenge picked up pace faster than you could say “anyone seen enough of peonies yet” ; ) the word was out and people were jumping on board the #freeupmyinsta freedom train in their hundreds.
Within a couple of days, a few thousand pics had been shared and it wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down, except ‘ironically’ when there was an insta glitch with the hashtag halfway through and some pics weren’t showing up at all… [insert major eye roll here] I like to think the overwhelming response to the challenge (and a ton of folk sticking two fingers up to the algorithms) may have broken the internet! Whatever was going on, it certainly didn’t stop our fun!
The #freeupmyinsta challenge has been so fresh and liberating, here’s what a few people who joined in had to say…
“I’ve loved every minute of the prompt words by Allison Sadler and hope to continue long into the future with a more spontaneous, honest and real life feed”
“Something else I’ve loved about this fabulous initiative is to let our hair down on Instagram and take the pressure off having to stage and overthink everything”
“It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap, it feels much better to keep doing your own thing”
“Ace idea from Allison Sadler to get personality back into our feeds”
“I started with posting a Boomerang to my feed, that would have been sacrilege before”
“I had fallen out of love with Instagram as was so worried about what post, time to claim it back”
“Thank you Allison, for this insta challenge, it’s really helped me come out of my comfort zone and stop hiding behind a curated feed”
“Such a breath of fresh air and you’ve given me the confidence to be me again”
“I never felt good enough before or felt I had anything worthy to share, you’ve changed that for me Allison , thank you”
See, told you there was a whole lotta of love going on for this project! And these are just some of the reasons why I want to keep the #freeupmyinsta vibe alive, it’s giving people the confidence to be themselves in a social media world where rolling out a recognised formula has become the norm.
Real engagement and connections (the sort algorithms don’t understand) are being made through this hashtag and it doesn’t matter how many likes you get because you’ve gained so much more by sharing something that’s true to you. This was a challenge about embracing the joy of sharing whatever you like, whenever you like just because it makes you feel good! And if your followers are happy to stick around for the ‘unedited’ version of you too, then you’re winning!
After the challenge had finished I received a phenomenal amount of requests to do it all again because it seems a gentle nudge had helped so many of you to claim back your feeds. Not one to disappoint, you’ll be pleased to know that #Freeupmyinsta part 2 begins again on Tuesday 1st August, so if you missed it the first time, pop the date in your diary folks, I promise you won’t want to miss out this time and if you did it before and you’re ready for round 2 hold onto your seats coz it’s gonna be a good un, with a few exciting twists along the way! follow me here for more updates over the next few days.
Oh, and massive love and thanks to everyone who joined in (especially Betty Magazine for all their support) it’s been gorgeous getting to know more about you all, eeek .. I can’t wait to do it all again!
Big love for now