Is Instagram creating a new breed of social climbers?

A social Climber

A Social Climber is anyone that becomes friends with someone if they have something that they want. They become ‘friends’ with people in particular who ‘know people’ that can be of use/benefit to them. In turn, they become (or attempt to become) friends with that first person’s more ‘popular’ friends, then leaving the first person behind. They repeat this cycle to get to the ‘top’ as they see it.

This is something which has been playing on my mind a lot recently and I’ve been noticing the trend of this happening around me quite a lot. I know I can’t be the only one experiencing this so I wanted to write this blog post to put it out there that social media channels, particularly Instagram, is encouraging a new breed of social climbers. 

I love Instagram as it’s so visual and great for inspiration. I personally really enjoy using it for picking up on new emerging trends and seeing how other bloggers or Instagram models put together outfits, looking out for the latest bars or restaurants that are opening and also for home styling ideas. It’s great though for anyone, whatever their passion or interests might be. I wrote a blog post a year ago about my thoughts on Instagram HERE  which you also might like to take a look at.

Follow/Un-follow culture

Instagram has always had a problem with the follow/un-follow process. If you are not aware of this, what happens is that the account will start following people to get them to follow them back. Once they follow back, they then hit the un-follow button. Usually they never notice that this person un-followed them and they have essentially got away with it. The reason they do this to boost their follower account and there are even companies that you can actually pay to do this for you as a ‘bot’ which is craziness!

Fake Instagram friendships

When I first joined Instagram there were girls that would comment and engage on my posts all of the time. I was happy to be networking with some really lovely people, (or so I thought) and I genuinely loved supporting them back with their posts. However, a while ago, two of them stopped leaving comments as regularly and then stopped following me all of a sudden. It made me slightly paranoid, making me wonder what had changed. Did they no longer like my content? Had I done something to offend them? Had I missed any of their posts lately and it had annoyed them? 

It really bugged me for a while and then I realised – they didn’t need me anymore and I was someone they could drop now that they were climbing up the ‘Instagram ladder’ with more and more followers and they had used me along the way to get there. After thinking about it, the whole thing is really quite stupid and just confirmed to me that these girls were not my ‘friends’ at all – I hadn’t even met them in the real world! I had to give myself a talking to and not to be so silly to even worry about such a thing. That’s what happens sometimes with Social Media though – it can be a funny old place and no wonder why so many people struggle with it. On the plus side, I still have a lot of interaction with some girls that have been there from the beginning and they are really lovely. 

Moving forward

This has really opened my eyes though. I’m seeing Social Climbing happening everywhere, not just on Instagram and it’s definitely something to be aware of.  I’m not saying that you need to be suspicions of everyone that you meet, wondering what it is that they want from you, but I will be a lot more conscious that this sadly is a thing now.

I think that this will also really make me pay more attention to how I interact with other people. My Instagram account has grown since I started blogging last year and I still love interacting with a lot of the same people that I did back in the very beginning as well as new people I have come across along the way. I would never want anyone to think that I didn’t have time for them and that the number of followers you have makes you more ‘important’ than anyone else – it’s a nasty way to behave and people will always see through it in the end. As they say, Karma will always find it’s way to those who deserve it.

Have you had experiences with this before?

Leave a comment below if you have!

Elan Café: An afternoon at one of London’s most beautiful coffee destinations

If you have an account on Instagram and you haven’t heard of Elan café then where have you been?! I have wanted to visit Elan for quite a while and finally got round to it last week. It almost feels strange to call this a café as that word makes me think of greasy spoons selling ‘all you can eat’ fry up breakfasts and this couldn’t be anything further from that!

Elan is known for their stunning interiors and their success continues to grow. There is now a store in Knightsbridge, Park Lane, and a brand new location just off of Oxford Street. They are also in the process of opening as a concession in Selfridges.

The Food

Elan serves breakfasts, brunches, lunches, cakes and coffees in a beautiful pink and floral paradise. The breakfasts consist of colourful and elegant dishes such as chia porridge with almond milk, gorgeous waffles decorated with flowers and with blueberries as well as bright fruit bowls that look almost too pretty to eat!

For savoury day time options you can choose from delights such as flat breads with grilled peppers and chicken, avocado topped sourdough bread and lamb or feta Shashouka.

The cakes

The cakes are what I was most excited about though and there was a gorgeous selection as expected. The brightly coloured croissants looked amazing and really stood out on the counter. I finally decided on a pretty little cake called Pearl and Groove in the salted caramel option. It had a little piece of popcorn on the top and a rice paper disc with it’s name on which was a cute touch. All of the cakes are decorated beautifully and it was a difficult decision to make!

To go with this I ordered a Flora tea called Lily Fairy which came in a rose gold cafetiere and the flower bud sat inside. The waitress explained that once you have lowered the press, you need to wait for a few minutes so the flower bud can open and give out the flavour. I’m not sure I did it right though as it didn’t taste of anything other than hot water which was a bit disappointing. There wasn’t a fragrance to it either which I was hoping for. I wouldn’t recommend ordering this type of tea – the fruit tea option would have been much nicer.

image: Elan

Interior and ambience

This was the other main reason that I really wanted to visit an Elan café as you cannot deny how stunning they are! From pretty blush pink seating, to marble tables, Instagrammable flower walls and huge displays of blooms. They have it all and you are surrounded by such a gorgeous environment. As it was Halloween recently, they had a beautiful wreath outside which was decorated with skull heads and pink flowers. Inside there were also pumpkins with a girlie twist and cute slogans dotted about.

Final thoughts

Elan was every bit as beautiful as I had hoped and I really enjoyed visiting. It is not the cheapest of places but it was worth going for the overall experience. The cakes were delicious, I was just a bit disappointed with the hot water (tea) that I had but don’t let that put you off going as it really is a fabulous place to go to!

Have you been to one of the Elan Cafes? Let me know which one you went to and what you ordered in the comments below!

 

 

A morning spent at The Biscuiteers boutique, Notting Hill

I first heard of the Biscuiteers company around 5 years ago after reading a magazine article about them. Since then, they have become hugely popular and their Notting Hill branch has been voted as one of London’s most Instagrammable places so I just had to go and visit the store for myself.

Based near to Portobello market, the boutique is in a pretty little street and as soon as you see the outside you just know you are in for a treat. This is not the sort of store that you get to see every day so I was so excited to have a look inside!

The perfect gift..

One of their mottos is ‘why send flowers when you can send biscuits?’ and I couldn’t agree more. They literally have a biscuit design covering all themes and occasions, from birthdays to weddings to sport events such as Wimbledon, fashion themes, animals – you name it, they have it all covered, and there’s something for everyone. Imagine receiving a beautiful box of luxury hand iced biscuits – it would be such a lovely gift to open (and to eat of course!)

The designs..

Walking around the store looking at all of the biscuits was so much fun and I felt like a big kid. Children and adults would definitely both get a lot of enjoyment looking at everything in this store and you cant help but get excited. I just love all of the colours and quirky little details and everywhere you turn leads you onto a new design that makes you smile.

Towards the back of the store is a small seating area so you can have a drink and a biscuit while you are there. We were lucky enough to get a table right outside the front of the store and I had a pot of tea and a little Dalmatian biscuit which was divine! The biscuits kind of have a slight chew to them with a sweet crunchy icing. Downstairs in the store they host icing workshops where you can learn how to ice your own biscuits which sounds so much fun, as well as a high tea experience.

A little treat for myself..

I had to treat myself to a box and chose a selection of 4 biscuits in the shape of some of my favourite ice lollys. I am obsessed with lollys all year round so I had to get these as I fell in love with them! The biscuits and gift sets are quite pricey but when you see the level of detail that has gone into making them and the quality of them, this really does justify the price. I think the most expensive tin that I saw was £50 but there were a lot of biscuits inside and it would make such a luxurious gift for a special occasion. I would keep the tin afterwards to store things in as even the boxes are gorgeous and I don’t think I could bear to throw it away.

I highly recommend paying them a visit as I had such a fun experience. They have 2 boutiques to choose from. The one I went to in Notting Hill and another one based in Battersea South London. Let me know in the comments if you have been before or if you do decide to go. I would love to hear your thoughts and of course to find out what you bought as you won’t be leaving there empty handed I promise you!

  

Instagram – The good and the bad and the addictive

Instagram has literally become one of my biggest addictions. When I wake up in the morning one of the first things I do is check Instagram for the latest news. I will then find myself scrolling through my feed during the day and even before I go to bed. That’s right, my name’s Hannah and I am literally an Instagramaholic!

They say that on average us Brits checks our phones 28 times a day. That’s at least once an hour… and more than 10,000 times a year! I personally think the figure is actually a lot higher than that for most people though and it’s undeniable that many of us would struggle to live without our smartphones and apps. 

Instagram has given us a look into the personal lives of celebrities in a way that we never had before. We get to see their rants, their sad times as well as their fabulous luxury lifestyles and I find it really interesting as they are just like the rest of us – apart from the millions of pounds in the bank part obviously.

In June 2018, Instagram reached over 1 billion active users which is pretty impressive. What is also crazy is that certain celebrities have a following figure that is almost as high as this. The most followed person at the moment I believe is Selena Gomez with over 140 million followers. Imagine that many people knowing who you are – that’s pretty insane!

Here are the things I have learned about Instagram over the years:

Networking & New friendships

Since I started my blog back in June, I have found that a large percentage of traffic is driven from my Instagram account. I have quite a few followers that have been really supportive of my content from the beginning and regularly leave likes and comments which is so nice and I am really grateful for this. I have started to meet some really amazing girls through Instagram and it has been a great way to find people with similar interests as me which I never expected.

Trends

Instagram is such a great place to quickly gage the latest fashion items of the moment and I get a lot of inspiration through using this app for fashion trends.

You will notice certain trends in how people style their Instagram pictures, for example the way in which people are filtering their images. Some accounts have a yellow sepia tone to all of their images or others where the backgrounds are abnormally bright and deliberately made to look this way. A new trend which is quickly emerging is to have 90s polaroid, blurry style photographs which have the date on them.

You will see hundreds of the same image of places to visit also – especially in London and once a few people catch on to a good photo opportunity then everyone else wants to visit the same place too. I saw an article on the news the other day that said pubs in London are spending up to 50 grand on huge flower installations to draw in the crowds of people looking for that perfect Insta worthy shot.

Creative content

I love finding Instagram accounts that are creative and different. This can be tricky as I find that once people discover them they try to imitate the same style and before you know it there are a load of accounts that all look the same which is a shame. I personally see Instagram as my own platform to add images that are in my own style and as a mood board of my life. Here are some of my favourite Instagram accounts for unusual, pretty and creative content

  • @meganhess_official for dreamy feminine fashion illustration
  • @sean_charmatz for a cute and quirky take on every day objects
  • @shopvioletvoss for beautiful eye make up inspiration
  • @jodiehulme for gorgeous and unusual makeup looks
  • @vladmua for insane lip art which is absolutely stunning.

Promotions and adverts

You will find that some blogging or celebrity accounts will advertise a tonne of brands, and don’t get me wrong, that is fantastic and a great way for their followers to find out about new products on the market. This is the way that many brands get their name out there now through the use of social media and influencers. However, there becomes a point where it becomes slightly obvious when an Instagram account turns into a purely promotion driven machine. You start to question if they really did like or use the products that they are plugging or if it was purely for the pay cheque, This kind of turns me away from their accounts as it all becomes a bit fake for my liking. For me personally, I wanted to start this blog, talking about the products, stores brands etc that I am genuinely loving and I wouldn’t ever endorse something that I had no interest in or love for.

Insecurities

With the plus sides, there are always the negatives and Instagram can defiantly cause insecurities with how we feel about ourselves. How many times have you seen people going away on what seems like 10 holidays a year to stunning destinations while you are sat at your desk at work feeling rubbish…and how many times do you see girls with perfect toned figures and flawless make up that make you look in the mirror and feel like a wilderbeast. We all do it.

I’m sure even the prettiest and most perfect of girls have these same insecurity feelings which stem from looking at other peoples images. What we need to remember is that Instagram is a showreel of people’s lives. It is certainly not every day life. No one is going to put up a picture of themselves looking like they have woken up in a bush as nobody wants to be seen like that. Not only this, but the majority of people use filters on their images now which is altering our perception of reality which is quite scary.

Follow/unfollow

My last point to mention about Instagram which is probably my biggest annoyance and that’s the follow/unfollow strategy that many accounts are using. This is the reason that some accounts have grown their follower count so much in a short period of time. If you are not familiar with this method, it is basically when someone follows you on Instagram – usually they are of a similar niche to your account and you are likely to follow them back. Then, after a couple of days they will unfollow you and you probably wont even notice, but this means they have gained a new follower by doing this and reduced the number of people they follow back. There are companies you can even pay to do this for you. For me, I feel like this is cheating – if you follow someone and they follow you back that should be the end of it. I don’t like the sneakiness of the unfollow tactic!

I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts on Instagram – the good and the bad points. My addiction wont be going away any time soon I’m sure. Do you love using Instagram? Leave comment below to let me know your favourite accounts that you follow!

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