I think I’d be pretty spot on in saying that a lot of us have had it up to here *gestures vigorously to forehead* with Instagram. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s the most toxic social platform I personally have. In short, I got the hump with it & decided about two weeks ago that I needed to step back; it was time to deactivate.
I realised that I’d been literally living through Instagram.
I cared a lot about what people said, about getting the filter on my images just so. I found myself getting upset if I lost lots of followers or if a photo didn’t receive so many ‘likes’. What I let get to me the most though, was that I was always trying my best to be real. I filtered my images – yes – but what I was putting out there, the messages I tried to send, the advocating for mental health awareness & wearing my heart on my sleeve – well that’s really me. & I think the fact that so many folk aren’t being real but getting somewhere whilst I didn’t feel like I was – I dunno. I wondered what I was doing wrong & it was getting me down.
Add all that to the fact that there are people who’ve previously bitched or made judgments on my mental health suddenly becoming advocates themselves & you’ve got a pretty befuddled Katie! I know. It feels daft to get upset over something like that, but it takes so much for me & those of us who talk about our mental health, that to think there are people who treat it like it’s a ‘trend’ to jump on is… well, sad.
Anyway. Here are some other factors that led to my Insta (possibly-temporary-but-I-really-dunno) farewell:
The comparison game
I think the fact that our lives can be so easily filtered says a lot about why so many of us are so insecure. Imagine what young girls are thinking when they look at photoshopped images of the ‘perfect’ woman; you can’t live up to an edit. We end up comparing our lives to someone else’s and thinking we don’t measure up – that we’ll never be that beautiful, that lucky, that happy; when the truth is that we all have imperfections – we all have things we don’t want people to see. When did it all become pretend? Can we have a spot o’real life pls?
The mindless scrolling thing
The ‘deep stuff’ aside (lol Katie), need we delve into the realms of mindless scrolling? Is it just me that infuriates themself with it? It takes up so much of our time and we let it! It’s like an addiction. I don’t even really want to look half the time, but I find myself unlocking my phone, clicking into the app and looking anyway – and for hours. Yikes.
It’s not a competition… – …but it certainly feels like one
sometimes doesn’t it? *eye rolls*
The need for clarity/attention – I know we’re all guilty of needing this. We’re only human. It’s just sad that it seems to have gone crackers with the increased use of social media. We care more about what strangers think than the real folk in our lives – than what we think of ourselves.
The follow/unfollow game – Ah boy. Can we just stop with this now pls. Srsly. I’m talking to you Belinda*.
I’m not tryna speak for all of us by any stretch. I guess I just wanted to say that we could all use a social media break now & again – whether that’s from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or the whole blinkin’ lot. If we’re not careful, the internet world takes over and makes it a little hard to breathe – metaphorically speaking obvs.
As for me, since deactivating my account, I’ve genuinely felt lighter. I’ll not lie, I’ve missed it a little – for the good people I found there, but also because it’s good for stuff like sharing these here blog posts! Mostly though, it’s been the best thing I could have done. My mental health has improved; I’m feeling better about me, caring less what strangers on the net might think, and I’m not forcing toxicity on myself. It could just be me, but us humans have a funny way of looking at things we don’t always want to see. It’s like telling our brains to stay away, makes the curiosity grow taller. With it not being there right now, I feel kinda more able to live in the moment.
In a nutshell, I’ve stopped investing my happiness into something that essentially will never make me happy. I’ve found my feet, I’m looking up more & I’m a lot more present. It feels good. Will I ever re-activate the ‘gram? Ah I dunno. Maybe, probably. But right now, I don’t feel the need.
What’s your feelings on Instagram? Or social media in general? Could you do with a break?