Instagram – not so great after all?

I was always in the mind-set that social media never affected me. That when people said, “Oh spending all your time on that stuff will do nothing but bad for your mental health”, I always made excuses. I always said that the stuff didn’t affect me, or I wasn’t looking at that stuff at all. But god was I wrong. Yesterday I took a step towards removing the toxic life of social media out of my life. I created a new Instagram. And I know what you are thinking, you’re thinking “what the hell is she on about, you haven’t changed anything”. Well, wrong. I have created a new page, that follows no real people. All I follow on there is photography accounts, fan pages for things I love, videos of musicals and positivity pages. I did this so no one see’s me. No one can see who I follow or who I don’t. But more importantly, Instagram doesn’t hold a power over me anymore. When I go on the app now, it makes me feel good. I see cool photos of beautiful places, posts about movies I love or just pictures of ducks. But I see no real people. So, there is no one that I am comparing myself to. I wasn’t doing it actively either, I wasn’t looking at pictures of girls and thinking ‘she has nicer hair than me’ or I wasn’t looking at how much work people were doing and feeling guilty I wasn’t, I wasn’t looking for approval. It was a subliminal message. All of these images of people were seeping into my brain and planting themselves, planting ideas that I wasn’t enough. Not good enough. And it was so sad and tiring. I’m now not posting things on my story or feed to get approval or appeal to the people who followed me. I now just enjoy my time. 

I have seen lots of people over lockdown who have deleted social media completely. Do I think I could do that? No. I’m not going to sit here and say I am a perfect person for making this change, it is a realistic and attainable change. And I’m happy I did it, I feel so good. In terms of other social medias, I tend not to use them too much. The main ones I use are Tumblr (I know, I sound like a 2013 emo kid), Twitter and TikTok (mainly for comedy purposes, and to feed my Harry Styles obsession). Facebook is mainly opened once in a blue moon for checking birthdays and now Instagram is just a positive feed. Twitter feels different to Instagram as it is just words mainly with the odd picture, but it is mainly comedy. And Tumblr, may be outdated to a lot of people, but I LOVE it. It feeds my creativity and I never feel negative while I’m on it, and I think that is the most important thing. 

Now, this post isn’t saying that everyone should do this. Not at all. But I think if you have those weird feeling on Instagram, feeling the need to post to appeal to others or just coming off feeling bad about being in bed all day or not trying to lose weight, maybe try taking a step back and trying the new account method. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t deleted my other account, and I will still pop in every once in a while, to keep updated and see what people are up to, but very rarely. I think creating a safe page, just for you, that no one knows about will allow you to just be you. Follow those embarrassing accounts you couldn’t follow on your main because people could see. Like whatever you want. Be whoever you want. That is the beauty of social media after all, you can take what you want and leave what you want. And I have made an active change to leave so so much behind. 

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