How Instagram Stories Changed My Life

Kate Hall

There were 1000 people sitting in my kitchen, watching me pour my plastic-free milk this morning.

This may be a slight twist of the truth, they weren’t sitting there (I don’t think even 30 people would fit in my kitchen), but they were watching.

Instagram stories have changed my life, and I’m sure it’s changed yours too.

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories have opened up my communication and connection in a big way. As long as my phone is beside me, I’m never alone. I can tell the world what I had for breakfast, that I’m brushing my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush, going for a walk with my husband, or applying chemical-free nail polish.

I realise how weird this is yet at the same time, a true reflection of our tech-driven society. Complete strangers know the most intimate parts of our lives, our small day-to-day habits, what we’re wearing, and who were spending time with.

Just the other day I caught up with an old school friend and, naturally, I was telling her about the sunflowers I’m growing. Wait a second… stop the convo, save your breath Kate…  she already knows all about them; she’s been watching my Instagram stories.

I don’t just share on Instagram stories, I’m a watcher too.

I’ve seen complete introverts who I know in real life, share their deepest secrets and most personal moments, on Instagram stories. I’ve attended countless weddings and birthday parties of people who didn’t send me an invite and have no idea I was watching their first kiss. I’ve heard children’s first words, watched waterfalls all over the world, seen an overwhelming number of smoothie bowls, traveled on yachts and cruises without paying for the views, and shopped with strangers.

But, like any social platform, Instagram stories has its pros and cons.

Pros of Instagram stories:

  • I spend less time on Google or researching: I can simply ask my followers through Polls and Questions.
  • I always have a social life: This is especially ideal since I’m an entrepreneur and work by myself in a small office.
  • I have friendships and connections all over the world: When I traveled to Australia last year, several followers messaged me and showed me around. Free (and lovely) tour guides!
  • I spend less time having small talk with friends: When we meet, we’re already clued up on what we’ve both been up to. This leaves room for a more important chat.
  • I can use my creativity freely and openly: There is a lot you can do with Instagram stories; it’s a fun and creative outlet for an artsy person like me.
  • I don’t have to worry about my Instagram stories being beautiful and intensely curated: My stories will be gone in 24 hours anyway.
  • I can have a positive impact on someone within a few seconds: Whether it’s an encouraging quote or an eco-brand recommendation, Instagram stories give me the power to change the world positively, with little effort.

Cons of Instagram stories:

  • I’m always switched on: Whatever I do, my mind jumps into Instagram story mode, and I begin thinking about what would be interesting and beneficial for followers to see. This is tiring.
  • I open myself up to criticism and disagreements: If I’m doing something someone doesn’t like, they’ll often send me a message and tell me about it. I hate conflict.
  • Nothing is private: I’m constantly vulnerable, and also have to restrict what I say, so not to offend or insult certain people who may be watching (sorry if I pop out a swear word, Mum).
  • Anyone can watch my life: Clients, employees, family, or past boyfriends… they could all be creeping on me!
  • It can easily turn fake: I bare the risk of making my life look consistently idyllic when that’s not reality. It’s full of ups and downs.

Letting strangers into the intimacy of your life is weird, I get that, but Instagram stories aren’t all bad. They unite us with people we would never usually meet, and spread messages we would never have heard of.

Instagram stories can inspire, motivate, challenge, encourage, move, and help. As long as we use Instagram stories positively, and control our usage (something I’m working on: I’ve checked my Instagram stories three times since writing this article), I hope it’s here to stay.

Instagram stories have changed my life, and it’s quickly changing the world as we know it.

Kate Hall

I live and breathe sustainable living and ethical fashion. This alternative way of consuming and existing dominates my every waking moment- and sometimes more. Ethical fashion and living are no longer my hobbies, it has become my mission... to change the future of fast fashion and the way we consume. My husband and I strive to live a zero-waste lifestyle, live at thrift stores, and always look to 'up-cycle' rather than throw out. Eco-living is not a choice for me, it's in my blood, and I am trying with all my power for it to be the new 'norm'.