Why I Stopped Using Hashtags on Instagram

I Finally Realized Why I Was Doing It

Jonathan Greene


Photo by Jerin J on Unsplash

I wanted more people to see my pictures. Why?

My Instagram isn’t a personal brand or some call-to-action for a business. It’s just a well-curated compilation of things that I think are beautiful. Why would anyone else care? And why do I care if they do or not? I decided that I don’t.

What is a hashtag? Merriam-Webster defines a hashtag as:

a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)

But why do I need to classify or categorize my photos on Instagram? Short answer: I don’t. Who am I to need to organize my photos for easier consumption by complete strangers? I am absolutely nobody. And I like it that way. So why did I ever use hashtags in the first place?

I just wanted people to like whatever I was putting out into the universe. But why? I literally use Instagram for myself. All the photos I post I want to look at again and again. I want to see them all curated together. I don’t know how I got into the mode of expectation-based posting.

And while I got wise to this during my self-exploration, I’m worried most people haven’t. When I see someone post a random selfie and then hashtag it #maninsuit, #coolman, #manly, I just wonder to myself, what is the point? Are we so self-absorbed these days that we clamor for a single like from an anonymous account on the Internet?

And let’s be clear, I’m not talking about a business account. But I think too many creatives are confusing their writing for a business. Yes, we all want to make it a business, but at some point, you have to take a giant step back and look at why you are doing this stuff and whether or not it serves your greater good as a creative.

I wanted people to like my photo. I wanted people to follow me. But for no good reason. If I write a book one day, I am not counting on my Instagram to sell that book. That’s small thinking. Celebrities use their Instagram to sell their books because they are already famous, it rarely works the other way.

We aren’t influencers. That’s who I’m talking to. If you were on The Bachelor and can parlay that into…



Jonathan Greene

Father, podcast host, poet, writer, real estate investor/team leader, certified life coach. Curating a meaningful life. IG: trustgreene | trustgreene.com