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An Instabreak: How It Made Me A Better Blogger

Instabreak: a break from Instagram.  It’s not something I planned on taking, but it’s something I was unfortunately forced into!  After arriving home from a 12-hour drive from vacation, I flopped onto my couch and opened up my Instagram app.  Immediate annoyance ensued when it opened up to the login screen and I had to type my username and password in.

“Incorrect password for thisisabourbonhousehold – The password you entered is incorrect. Please try again.”

Okayyy, well I knew what my password was, but I tried again anyways.  Same error message.  I ended up trying every other password that I could think of.  Nothing.  I finally hit “Forgot password?”  This is when I really started freaking out…I typed in my email address to do a password reset…user not found…typed in my cell phone number…user not found.  At this point I’m screaming in my head, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!”

So I checked my email…thank GOD…Instagram emailed me saying there was suspicious activity and they secured my account and sent a password reset link (although I’m pretty sure that suspicious activity was when I was trying to make my account shopable).  Clicked the link and a new window popped up…”Oops, an error occurred.”  Okayyy, well maybe it just won’t work on my iPhone.  *Heart rate increasing*  Tried it through my iPad…nope!  *Heart rate increasing more*  Tried it through my laptop…NOPE!  Googled my issue…found that the email Instagram sends you with a password reset link expires after a certain period of time.  Tried to reply…can’t reply because it’s a “no reply” email address.  AHHHHHH!  Now my heart was racing, my brain was scattered, my stomach was in knots, I was laying on the couch with a pouty face, it was the end of the world.  I worked way too damn hard to get to my 1,170+ followers just to lose it all.  There’s no way I could start over.  It would take me FOREVER to get that kind of a following again.

My sweet & supportive fiancé, Christopher, then reminded me that I could direct message Instagram by going to their Facebook page…so I did, and he did too.  Between Saturday and Monday, I sent 13 emails.  Call me crazy…because I actually was going crazy.  I was going to overtake their inbox until they answered.  FINALLYYYY on Tuesday, I received a reply asking me to send a picture of myself holding a piece of paper with the special code they sent in the email, my full name, and my username.  Done!

Finally a sigh of relief, even though I had no idea if I would get my Instagram account back the way it was.  But I felt better at least.  I had more hope.  That’s when my mindset started changing a little bit.  Now that I wasn’t freaking out about my account and hard work just being completely gone, I started thinking about what I would do when I got it back – how I would post, the types of posts I would make, how I would edit my pictures, what items I would purchase so that I can start creating beautiful flat-lays, how I would interact with my followers and the other bloggers that I follow.

Check out these fun items to create your own flat-lay:

I’ve tried thinking about these things before but then I hurry to get a new post up just to have something there, even if it means I don’t put my ideas into effect.  My forced time away from Instagram actually helped me clear my head and really think about what I do and do not need to do.

If I were just using my Instagram for personal use it might be easier to not be on it all the time, but I use mine to grow a following & promote my blog, so I kind’ve NEED my Instagram.  I needed to be on it as much as possible every day.  What I didn’t know I needed was a break from it to really think about what’s working and what isn’t.

Fast forward to this morning…this rainy, Thursday morning in Kentucky.  A dreary morning with traffic out the ass because it’s the second day of public schools starting back and everyone is on the roads.  I opened my email…praise the social media gods…Instagram sent me a link to rest my password, and this time it WORKED!  I felt the urge to just post something right away, but I thought about everything that went through my head this week, and I stopped.  I simply told myself – Post smart, Ashley.  The best thing to do is post during one of the peak times according to your Instagram business insights.  According to my insights, most of my followers view my posts around noon or 9pm on Thursdays, with 9pm being the best.  When I post around these times, I get the most interactions with my followers and many, many more likes.  So, although I’ve waited to post all day and I finished this blog post during my lunch break, 9pm-ish it is!  I’m so glad I got my Instagram account back (& Christopher is too) and I’m now looking forward to smarter and better posting!

Comment below with your answers:

Have you ever been locked out of one of your social media accounts or purposefully taken a break?  How did you feel during and after the process?

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