So, if you haven’t noticed, I took a little break…

After some extremely low engagement on my IG page, I did a little research and realized that I had been shadowbanned. Basically, that means that there is suspicion that you may be a bot because of your frequent activity so IG virtually bans your posts from everyone…without telling you, of course. This is obviously very frustrating to someone that is trying to build a following and needs as many people as possible to see their content. It’s also frustrating because you usually get shadowbanned after you’ve posted often, commented often and basically have been super active on the platform. But, isn’t that exactly what they say you should do to get noticed?!? Ugh. So annoying. First world problems, I know.

Through my research, I read that the best way to combat this is to go dark for a little while. Apparently, this helps “reset” your account and makes IG’s algorithm realize that you aren’t a bot just spamming people’s pages. I actually just thought about the fact that there are SO many bots that comment on my pics everyday and I’m wondering why the hell IG can’t seem to target them and ban them properly. SMDH. Just got pissed all over again lol.

Anyway, I figured that maybe this little break could be good for my mental health as well. I took the opportunity to rest a little from posting on my feed and my blog and it turned out to be the perfect break for me. Although, we all like to say we don’t get tied up in the frivolity and excess of Instagram — the pretty pictures that don’t always portray reality, the likes and comments that boost your self esteem, the need for validation from strangers — let’s be real, we all get caught up from time to time. Blogging is a tough gig because your business is basically based on those things. You try to inject some seriousness and gravitas in the mix, but it’s largely about taking cute pictures and sharing your love of fashion and clothes with the world. So, I decided to take a 3 day break from posting on my timeline and commenting/liking pics (which was the recommended amount of time from the sites I read). And then, that three days turned into several. And everyday, I realized that this break was MUCH NEEDED. Social media can really drive you a little nuts if you let it. It felt really nice to not have to worry about optimal posting times and editing pics and constantly engaging online. To be honest, I actually started feeling a little overwhelmed just by the thought of getting back on. And what does that tell me? That it’s a good idea to step away sometimes and just live in the moment as much as humanly possible.

So, after my little hiatus, I decided to post again last week and I think it’s actually possible that my account might still be shadowbanned. But, I’m trying not to care so much. For now, I’ll just keep posting things that make me happy, pictures that I enjoy and things I hope you’ll enjoy too. I’ll keep talking about my love for fashion and street style and maybe one day, I’ll have organically built a substantial following that feeds me just as much I hopefully feed it. I want people to watch me and know that they can step out on faith and do things that scare them a little too. I’m not special, just willing to take a few risks. ;) Love yall, mean it. Thanks for reading.

xo - Ash

P.S. This post was supposed to only briefly touch on the shadowbanning/IG hiatus and then go into my recap of the Essence Beauty Carnival but the words just started pouring out and here we are lol. I will say though that the Carnival was pretty cute. We saw beautiful, stylish women of color at every turn, browsed some goodies (jewelry, clothes, candles, etc.), ate some tasty food from the food trucks and took cute pics in front of several IG-worthy backdrops. Most importantly, we had the pleasure of hearing legends like Dapper Dan, Misa Hylton and IMAN speak about their experiences in the industry and how they overcame the adversity that ultimately propelled their careers to where they are today. Seven Streeter performed and had us all rocking. All in all, it was a good time. ;)

Outfit deets:

Crop top: Forever21

Jacket: FashionNova

Skirt: Shein

Sneakers: Adidas

Bag: Zara

I met my IG friend Joyce! So sweet!

I met my IG friend Joyce! So sweet!