OUT OF INSTAGRAM JAIL: RELEASE DATE 3-24-2022

by Michel Van Devender

I’M OUT… WOOHOO!!! YES… it finally happened… I got my disabled Instagram account reactivated and back live! I’m getting my favorite sequin dress back out… it’s celebration time!!! But, it’s been a while so please allow me a moment…

After almost 2 1/2 months, I got an email from my friends over at Meta (we’re BFFs now) stating my Instagram account had been disabled by mistake. That’s right, by MISTAKE! The email didn’t come out of the blue either, it came after nearly 2 1/2 months of trying EVERYTHING to get my account back. And, it seems to be nearly impossible to get customer support for a disabled account.  I get it as I’m sure pandemic employee shortages impact the services provided. But really, there’s no Instagram number, and it is a crazy process. I am  grateful someone finally helped me!

In terms of recovering my account, honestly I’m not sure what worked. I know the process I followed, and what DID eventually work for me (after the 5th or 6th time). Perhaps I’ll pen a separate post outlining the steps I took. Much of what I found online on the topic of disabled accounts was either outdated or didn’t work for me. I’m sure the process is constantly changes as the platform changes. I do believe I was eventually able to get assistance because it had been over 60 days. So unfortunately, time out (literally) may factor into getting customer service help. Nobody was willing to help prior to that point.. I do know it’s a SUPER frustrating process. In the end, I do think persistence, patience, time and luck played into my success.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE… Unfortunately, this is occurring more and more with  Instagram accounts as I’ve learned from this experience. It happens to small, medium and large accounts so ANYONE is at risk. That means if you use the platform, you could also be impacted. Per the email I received, my account was incorrectly removed by their automation system. Remember, the bots do not discriminate and are wrong a lot. 

I know, I know, why be so dramatic… it’s just Instagram. So so true. I’ve said it before too, even in a previous post…lol! It shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Perhaps you’re one of those people who would care less if your account got disabled, and good for you! I’m not that person. Maybe many of you aren’t either. If you’ve grown an account for a brand or business or maybe you just enjoy connecting with other people near and far, you most likely want your account active. I know I do. And did I mention when your account is disabled it completely disappears as if it never existed? All of your followers, all of your images, all of your content…A L L.  O F.  I T!  It all belongs to the powers that be at Meta. I would take note of that too as it’s caused me to pause and reconsider the platform.

But, then there’s the reality of technology, marketing and branding in 2022. If you’re looking for a wider reach to connect, help and inspire others, you’re a creative wanting to share your gifts, creativity and products and/or you want to establish a brand and build any kind of business, it’s kind of necessary to use social media. I don’t always love this fact, but I do love the creativity, inspiration and community Instagram provides. I’ve really come to realize this even more during my jail time. Of course it’s not the only way, but social media is a powerful tool nonetheless. AND honestly, what I love most about Instagram is I’ve been able to connect with some really cool people out there I may not be able to connect with otherwise! The community is the best!

And speaking of community, thank you to everyone out there who tried to help me with my disabled account, sharing your experience or the experience of someone you know! I even got leads from friends and connected with other kind, helpful people. They were all willing to share and offer their assistance. I’m so grateful! Also, thank you to those friends out there who noticed I was MIA + reached out. You’re the BEST! 

All of this to say – I’m happy to be back on the platform, connecting with so many of you!  And yes, I’ve learned a thing or two as a result of having my account disabled. Me and Instagram may or may not have kind of a love/hate relationship now! I’ll probably use the platform a little differently going forward. And, it’s all good. I hope you’ll continue to follow and connect with me here and over on Instagram!

🖤💙,

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