How to (not) get Insta-famous

September 15, 2018

The pitfalls of Insta-fame. This human was left $10,000 in debt after trying to purchase her way to stardom.


It’s easy to see the allure of being famous on Instagram. It gives you the chance to monetise your photos as well as gain the admiration of thousands of people. Unfortunately for most of us, #InstaFame is hard to come by and is really not a valid career choice.



Despite this, there are literally hundreds of articles aimed at hopefuls about ‘how best to become Instagram famous’. From using correct hashtags, not posting more than two selfies in a row, to developing a ‘style’, the lists of tips are endless.


What many of these articles fail to do is warn users of the pitfalls of trying to achieve Instagram fame – like losing all of your money. Instagrammer Lissette Calveiro was left in financial ruin after joining the quest for Instagram fame. Calveiro said finance isn’t really talked about on Instagram and the experience made her worry about how much girls care about their image.


Calveiro was left more than $10,000 in debt after trying to purchase her way to stardom. According to Calveiro, the majority of the debt was accumulated through travel expenses and purchasing clothing in order to create the perfect grid. In an interview with the New York Post, Calveiro said she regretted spending so much money to look good on social media.


Calveiro’s story is a harrowing example of how social media appearances are dominating the lives of young people, women in particular. The quest for Instagram fame has been shown to have a significantly bad impact on mental health.


A report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the United Kingdom found that Instagram is the worst app for the mental health of young people. Part of the reason for this is the app’s focus on pleasing aesthetics, which is causing body image issues for Instagrammers globally.


Some ways in which people ‘fake it’ on social media include: using clever camera angles, lighting, positioning the body in certain ways, and excessively using filters. It’s no wonder users across the globe are feeling the pressure when there are so many accounts which simply do everything better: better pictures, more followers, better captions.




Of course, this doesn’t mean we should avoid using Instagram. Other studies have found that social media can benefit marginalized people, and in some cases benefit mental health. It also gives users an opportunity to express themselves. The trick with Instagram (as with any social media) is to be mindful about how to use it.


Here are our top tips for avoiding the perils of Insta-fame:


Don’t spend money to try and gain Instagram fame


Calveiro’s story shows that trying to become Insta-famous can come at a cost – but it doesn’t have to. Instead of spending money on costly trips, stick to your local area. Instead of buying costly clothes, borrow them. You can get a unique and interesting grid without spending large amounts of money.


Stop stressing about followers


Sure it’s nice to get adoration from screaming fans. But obsessing over followers takes away from the fun of social media. Imagine having 20K+ followers to interact with. The opportunities for more meaningful interactions are virtually erased when you’re constantly being bombarded by messages. Having less followers means you get a better opportunity to interact with like-minded people.




Stop trying to keep up with appearances


Part of the fun of being an Instagrammer is being able to showcase things that you love. Just because everyone else loves wavy eyebrows, it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Showcase what you’re proud of and what you like.


Focus on what makes you, you. If that ends up being cats wearing strange hats, then so be it! This is the internet and you’re sure to find someone else who enjoys the same pictures (even if they won’t make you Instagram famous).



Have a break every now and then


Social media is fun. But it often takes away from real life. It’s easy to forget to live when you’re too busy looking at how perfect other people’s lives seem (even though they’re not). Turn off your phone every now and then. Look at the sky. Breathe. Be with real life people for a while.


Embrace your Instagram community


The best thing about Instagram are the hashtags. Entire internet communities are built around them. By using them, you can find like-minded people. Maybe you have an obsession with #koreanstreetfood or perhaps it’s #cosplay. Whatever you like, you’re sure to find others who have similar interests. Embrace that and you’re bound to get followers.


This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Chattr.


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