Why I'm Making My Instagram Red

Some people might say I’m passionate about Instagram. Okay, that’s the understatement of the century. Everyone who knows me undoubtedly knows I live my life vicariously through VSCO’s filters and sarcastic captions.

I started getting serious about my Instagram feed in July. I read a Cosmopolitan article that said blue toned photos receive more engagement, so I took it a step further and banned all red from my feed. I not only turned the temperature down on every new photo, but I refused to post any pictures with red that didn’t include blue. In my mind, red objects were as bad for engagement as red tones.

I went through my feed every week and deleted pictures with too much red. In a matter of a month, I went from over 500 posts to less than 150. I wanted my virtual life to be perfectly blue and everything in it to be Instagramable.

On January 11, I went to bed early with my makeup on. Apparently, drinking venti lattes every night the week prior caught up to me. On January 12, I woke up to what felt like someone squeezing lemon juice in my eyes. When I stumbled to the bathroom to assess the damage, my red-eyed reflection basically screamed “Instagram.” Admit it, you’ve seen the red-eyed pictures on your explore page too.

My Instagram obsessed self harnessed my searing eye pain into the selfie of all selfies. One problem: there was no blue in the picture to combat my messy red lipstick and burning red eyes. I wasn’t about to relive the pain for a new picture in a blue sweater, so I swallowed my cerulean pride and posted the picture as was.

Silly as it sounds, I spent the next weeks scrolling back to the photo and debating whether or not I should delete it. I upped my Tylenol P.M. intake to avoid thinking about it at night. Seriously, when’s the next Dr. Phil open call? Because I have some issues.

Long story short, I discovered that I put all my type-A tendencies into my Instagram feed, and something needed to change. In lieu of Valentine’s Day and roses and red lipstick, I decided to spend a week posting at least one red thing per day. I wanted to show myself that my feed could look just a cohesive with an untrodden color. As with any new challenge, I set a goal to make my new red pictures look as Insta-worthy as possible, and I couldn’t be more in love with the result.

Before anyone accuses me of being super shallow, let me assure you: everyone has something to control. For me, that something was my blue toned Instagram. For others, it might be the way they take their coffee or the route they drive to work. Either way, your control is holding you back. You might like stevia more than sucralose or I-25 better than Speer, but you’ll never know unless you relinquish control and try something new.