For the last few weeks, I haven’t been able to use Instagram like I used to. I’ve lost any will to engage with accounts that I follow or people who are commenting and following me. Posting pictures feels like a cumbersome obligation. If it weren’t for the scheduling app and pre-made pictures, I wouldn’t have posted anything for a while now. It might not be that important for many people, but I used to like doing that.
It finally came up to the boiling point when I can no longer to scroll absentmindedly through my friends’ insta-stories and feeds without feeling absolutely drained. I finally got sick with all of that and decided to delete this app for now. I’ve actually done it before, deleting Instagram, but that was more a conscious decision to detox myself from social media. This time, I’m not so sure if it was done consciously.
My mind grew tired of watching other people’s successes and happiness. Call me bitter but that’s the truth. It’s not that I don’t know that it’s all just a tiny sliver of everyone’s life. That what I’ve been seeing were merely their highlight reels. I know and I’m fully aware of that fact because I too have only been showing the highlight of my life on social media. I guess sometimes when your mind is too convoluted, logic simply fails.
“The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel,” – Steven Furtick
The other thing that I’ve been feeling on Instagram is anxious. I don’t know where it came from but I grew anxious about the content I’m putting out on it. I always get this feeling that people are judging me and even mock me for the kind of content I’m putting out. “Oh what if they don’t like this picture”, “does this caption makes me sound pretentious”, “do they think I’m trying so hard to be a so-called influencer?” are the kind of thoughts I keep having. Having people teasing me about that doesn’t help either.
Numbers also concerns me from time to time. I really don’t want to be the kind of girl who worries about the number of followers and likes I get, but I couldn’t help but notice. And being a competitive girl that I am, I can’t simply ignore it. Not consciously, at least. I felt “forced” to do faux engagement with people whose photos and feed I don’t particularly enjoy just so I don’t lose followers but get more.
Shallow as it sounds, it’s actually what I’ve been feeling. My blog is the only platform that is entirely mine. That’s the reason why I feel more comfortable saying it all raw and honest here. I’ve been having a seriously unhealthy relationship with Instagram.
However, couldn’t entertain the idea of quitting it altogether. There’s a reason why I fell in love with Instagram in the first place. And when my mind is right I really do enjoy putting out contents out there. I felt like Instagram really accommodates my interest in photography and telling stories through the captions. I love to share experiences, thoughts, anything. Something that I have quite a hard time doing in real life. So no, I don’t think will quit Instagram. Not in the foreseeable future, at least.
So, I take some time away from Instagram for a little bit. It could be longer now because something is coming up. Might be helpful for me to gain more insight into what actually is happening between me and Instagram.
Maybe what I need to do is to pick up a different outlook about Instagram, a more positive one. I should just do it for myself, for my love of photography and sharing experiences, not for the numbers and most certainly not to be “influencer”. I need to be more unapologetic about it and brush off the cheeky (yet hurtful for me) remarks about me being “influencer” or whatever it is that people are (allegedly) saying behind my back.
If only it were that easy 🙂