Instagram Accounts I Follow (and Why)

There are many reasons you might follow an Instagram (or any social media) account. Here are three that I use:

  • Learn about life.
  • Learn about using social media in new, better or different ways.
  • Help people.


One of the things that I think we don’t do well as researchers is make conscious decisions about the accounts that we follow or that we interact with on social media. So, this vlog is all about making those conscious decisions. I’ve taken the opportunity to tell you a little bit about the accounts that I follow, and why I follow them as a way of kind of showing what you might decide is useful for you.

So, one of the first accounts that I like to follow is all that I want to talk about is @whiteboardlessons. This is all about my Instagram accounts. So, my understanding of his account is that it mainly talks about life advice from the perspective of a former personal trainer and a gym owner. I guess his idea mostly what that he tries to get across in his social media is that everyone is different and that we all have our own journey to be on. There’s lots of stuff around. Being motivated doesn’t necessarily mean that you always get the work done. That you need to get work done in the absence of motivation. So, a lot of those things I think resonate. Although he was a gym owner and was a personal trainer, those the idea of training in the gym or diet and exercise they’re only in there in the context of having a holistic life. It also talks about being mentally well as well as having a balanced life that includes lots of different diverse activities. So, I follow @whiteboardlessons for the advice that he provides to potentially share content with some of my followers as well, as well as my clients. But I also like to follow this account. In fact, most of the accounts is a common theme that I like to follow them to see the kind of content that’s working for them and how it’s working for them. So, the kinds of interaction they get. How they engender that interaction. The different techniques that they use to share content.

The next Instagram account that I follow is at @silli_scientist. That account focuses on the science journey of research. The person is based in North America. There are some really interesting and funny rants that they have. Some are also serious. So, it’s for me it’s a learning experience about the research student experience. I think they’ve recently graduated. So, it might be more like a postdoc experience now, and how they’re balancing career and study. I’m also learning about the North American research journey. Again, like I said before with @whiteboardlessons, I like to follow @silli_scientists because the content that they produce is really useful, and I like to see how I could apply some of what they do to the content that I do.

The next scientist that I follow is at @scientist_rhi. So, she is a former PhD student based in Australia. So, it’s useful for me to see the PhD student journey from an Australian perspective which is where I’m based. So, I’m learning about research life in Australia. I’m getting the female perspective which is something that I also get from @silli_scientist. Again, with scientists read, seeing the kinds of content that she’s posting and how that relates and how that gets across to other students, other academics, other postdocs, what kind of things work?

The next account that I follow is probably a pretty big one for social media which is @garyvee. So, he does business advice, business of social media venturing into general life advice at times as well. So, I follow him to learn more about social media, to learn more about business, and also I mean he’s a massive content creator, massive influencer. So, I wanted to know how or the advice that he’s giving out to others so I can see how others might move in response to his advice. One of the things that I think is relevant for researchers or perhaps relevant for universities is that Gary’s life advice is to make a deliberate choice around university. So, don’t just do it because you think you’ll get a better career. Know what career you’ll get as a result of doing it, and he even says to make a decision about university based on international rankings. Something that I had not heard pretty much anyone mention other than universities to this point. So, interesting in terms of following trends and picking up trends. Of course, because he’s an influencer, watching what he does and trying to emulate some of it on social media as a way of improving my social media account.

The following sections cover the hashtags that I follow on Instagram. So, one is #careers. It usually involves the kinds of content that comes up is some kind of biographical piece. So, that’s useful for me when I help people with career coaching but to see different kinds of careers. I get to read different advice about careers. Learn who might need help. And then obviously, one of the things that I like to do on social media is to help people. So, only when they ask for help. So, if they don’t have a question in there that implies that some people should answer then I don’t provide advice. That’s one of the key things that I do on social media or don’t do on social media. So yeah, I’m looking at the careers bit seeing who would like help and what kind of help they’re seeking and trying to help them out if I can on the channel that they’re on.

Then there’s another two hashtags that are synonyms #thesis, and #dissertation. So, #thesis tends to be used in Australia. #dissertation tends to be used in North America. So, I follow both of them and obviously it covers people providing advice around writing those things, as well as people asking questions. As well as students just generally talking about their thesis, and dissertation writing journeys. So, I’m there to learn about those journeys. Again, understand who might need help and offer help where I can.

The final hashtag and the final thing that I’ll talk about is #researchers. I follow this just to see what kinds of content is coming up in this tag. It’s often the content on Instagram for researchers. Hashtag is market research which I find really interesting. It does also kind of let me know the kinds of jobs that people have that involve research that might be a good transition for someone with a PhD. So, there you have it. Some ideas about how you might make a more deliberate choice around the accounts, and hashtags that you follow on Instagram.

As usual, if you’ve got questions or comments, leave them down below or get in touch with me, and I’ll do my best to answer them.