lego trouble with instagram

My trouble with Instagram

Time for an explanation…

As many of you noticed, I hadn’t updated Foolish Bricks for quite some time. I realise this might have looked as if I abandoned the site al together, but, I did not. I simply needed a longer break than I expected.

So, what happened?

Well, not that much actually. However, it was enough to bring my productivity to a full stop. It all started when a few people advised me to invest more time in social media and to be more precise; in Instagram. As some of you might already know, I am not a fan of social media, especially not Facebook. I’ve never been on Facebook, had never used Instagram and deleted Whatsapp the day it was bought by Facebook. However, I already was a moderate user of Twitter and had used Flickr in the past.
Anyway, at first I was reluctant. Mostly because I feared the time that would go into maintaining social media outlets. Nevertheless, people kept insisting and at some point, I gave in.

Instagram madness

I started posting on a few social media - Flickr, Google+, Twitter and Instagram - and actually thought it was fun at first. It was engaging and I found some nice work of other artists on there. On the other hand, I spend an ever growing amount of time on there. Especially Instagram turned out to be very, VERY addictive.

What is the deal with Instagram?

First off, I’d like to say that I don’t believe Instagram is wrong or something like that. I just came to realise It’s wrong for ME personally.
And even for me, it was fine at first. It is nice to get a little exposure. Simply post a few images add a couple of hashtags and wait to see if anyone takes the time to like, comment on or follow you. Then, i noticed accounts with (tens of) thousands of followers and less than five photo’s. There were accounts with equal amounts of followers and not that exciting content (though that is a very personal opinion of course), and it showed because there were only a few 100 likes per post and nearly no comments. This was the first clue that Instagram for a significant part is not about the quality of content. Because i’d gotten intrigued by this phenomenon i started looking into Instagram etiquette and found several sites with tips on how to grow you following and such… and that is were things started to go wrong.

Rules, tips, tricks for growing your audience

There are so many site with all kind of rules, tips and tricks for growing an audience.
Some examples of these rules are:

  1. Post high quality content.
  2. Follow many people
  3. Like and comment as much as possible, hoping you get a follow in return.
  4. Use a maximum of 10 hashtags in your post (while other sites urge you to use all 30.).
  5. Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again because it’ll be seen as spam.
  6. Use hashtags of large accounts in the hope they notice you and re-post your post.
  7. Create Instagram stories on at least a daily basis.
  8. Post multiple times a day. And post strategically, find out what the best times to post are.
  9. Buy a few followers and likes in the beginning (very controversial) to get your account going.
  10. Ask for shoutouts by large accounts.
  11. Post personal stuff.
  12. Do give-aways, run contests and such.
  13. Tag other accounts in your photo.
  14. Call-out to other large accounts.
  15. ETC!

Well, you get the picture, a few ‘rules’ are great and promote high quality content, others are far from great and are only focused on spending more and more time on Instagram and again others are simply mwoah…

And then… it became an addiction.

I started to experiment a bit with #1 through 9 and since then Instagram rapidly became very frustrating to me. It was so much work! I tried to post as often as possible (once every few days) and tried to be an active participant. I experimented a bit with the hashtags and created a few stories. My account grew steadily and I got nice and welcome comments and likes.
However, Instagram turns out to be carefully constructed to be very, very addictive! Of course I already knew that before I started, yet I never thought it would influence me as much as it did. Before long it suddenly was all about follows, comments and likes…. And not about the content. I was following people I didn’t want to follow, I was liking posts of everyone around, without even looking, because that was the right thing to do…. etc. Constantly checking for new posts, new accounts to like and comment upon, etc…
Instagram can be as addictive as a harddrug. I knew something was wrong, yet, I could not stop. I felt i needed to spend more time and energy on Instagram, I needed the follows and likes. So, I waisted even more time on there, whilst progressively enjoying it less.

Lego chains of time

Time, time, time

It was so frustrating and it took so much time! People who know me, know I just don’t have that amount of time. I was constantly trying to create new, high quality content, liking, commenting, following to get that very temporary rush each time one of my posts got liked or commented upon. Even when I got a follow I was excited, however, many accounts only followed for a follow back and even if they got a follow back, they were quick to unfollow again, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed. As a side effect, i kept comparing my work to the work of others, wondering if I should change my style to get more likes from the masses… Yikes!

“What am I doing?”

Anyway, I let Instagram take control of me and for WHAT! A few likes? A few follows? Why is that important? Well, it isn’t! For the most part, the amount of likes you get on Instagram is not related to quality of content (with a few exceptions of course!), it’s largely dependent on the amount of followers. And the amount of followers you get is all about quantity of post and time you spent on Instagram. And the more followers you get, the less engaged people are with your content. For example, there is an account with 90K followers, each post is liked 5-7 thousand times…. an engagement-rate of maximally 7%!
Here I was, trying to create high quality content but I didn’t have the time to promote the account, or create more content with fewer time between posts. And my account did grow within these few months, and my engagement was around 50-60%, but it took too much time.

Epiphany

Then I realised the amount of time I DID spent on Instagram was not spent on other important things in my life; family, friends, work and Foolish Bricks.
Another important realisation was that I lost the joy of working on Foolish Bricks. It was not relaxing me anymore. I was addicted to short-lived dopamine-shots provided by Instagram and lost track of what was important to me. I got behind on all kinds of obligations and I lost my inspiration and drive to create.

Cold Turkey

It really got to me and I STOPPED! I stopped everything. And since I stopped I’ve been trying to find the fun in creating for Foolish Bricks again. And finally, this past week, it started to itch a little again.

The return

I started again January first 2019, with a new episode of the Foolish Lego comic. The rest of the site will follow. All my energy will go into the site again. Social media will be very low profile…. And Instagram? I don’t know if I will return there. Maybe I’ll start posting the old comics, I don’t know yet.

Of course, this is my personal story. Instagram is a great medium and fun and relaxing to many people out there but for me it turned out differently.
I know now Instagram made me lose track of what was really important and I let myself be lured into the trap of spending my time, more time, and even more time than that. Time equals money! My time is limited and I’d rather spend it here, on Foolish Bricks.


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Bunny reading books

The ultimate list of Lego brick comics

 

Bunny reading books

Complete list of Lego comics on the Internet.

Last updated: January 6th 2019

Lego comics  (brick comics) come and go. Over the years many brilliant Lego series have been published. And it would be a shame if some of these exceptional comics are not read anymore by newer generations.

Table of contents

 

1. Lego comics with their own website

The bulk of brick comics, are published on their own website. A home where the comic creators are completely in charge, not dependent on how others believe their creation should be treated.

There are a few gems amongst them. So, if you have the time, be sure to head on over and read them

1.1 Ongoing Lego comics

  • Legostar Galactica 
    • Currently on a 1 year hiatus, will be resuming August 25th 2019 
    • Started: 25-8-2002
  • The odd bricks 
    • Started: 13-5-2014
    • Hiatus: 24-12-2017
    • Resumed: 28-5-2018

1.2 Concluded Lego comics

Sadly quite a few brick comics have ended or their author (suddenly) stopped updating without notice. However, the websites of many of these comics are still available to read. So, as long as these links keep working, they can found here.

Ended in 2018

Ended in 2017

Ended in 2016

  • Mythrala 
    • Started: 12-2-2014
    • Ended: 12-12-2016

Ended in 2015

Ended in 2013

  • News 6 
    • Started: 27-4-2011
    • Ended: 7-7-2013

Ended in 2012

Ended in 2011

Ended in 2010

Ended in 2008

2. Lego comics published on social media

I managed to find a few brick comics on Instagram. Amongst them, one of my favorite soap opera comics (Brickland). Yet, I wish there was an easy way  to read that whole comic from the beginning.
Furthermore, i was made aware of a comic published on Flickr (Thank you Bill!)

Brickland lego brick comics
Examples from the Brickland comic published on Instagram

2.1 Ongoing Lego brick comics

2.2 Concluded Lego brick comics

  • LLworld  (Instagram)
    • Ended: 4-9-2017

3. Lego comics published in a forum environment

I am aware of only one forum wherein brick comics are published; the Eurobricks forum. I won’t be linking to the individual comics as navigation throughout the forum is a bit confusing, and there seem to be many broken links. All in all, I am not familiar with the comics to be found on there. But, who knows, there might be an undiscovered masterpiece amongst them!

eurobricks lego brick comics
The main menu of the brick comic forum at Eurobricks

 

4. How to keep this page up-to-date

I will periodically check the links on this page. However, if you discover any mistakes, broken links or Lego brick  comics that should be on this list, but aren’t, please let me know in the comments. Did I miss your comic? Let me know too!

 


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