I was scrolling through my Instagram few days ago (shocker I know) and I took a decision. I will come back to it in a bit, but first some context : “Instagram is not real life” yeah yeah we know it but we still feel like crap if we don’t go there, eat that, wear this, look like her, if my baby don’t read at 2, if we feel lazy, unmotivated, if we don’t have the twenty expensive ingredients that go into that power smoothie, if we are not a breastfeeding goddess ,if our flat is not cool, if we are single, unemployed, or basically the antithesis of what is socially accepted by Instagram standards. Failure is accepted if you come back stronger , doubts are ok too as long as are you a successful entrepreneur ( is it me or everyone is an entrepreneur on IG? Looks like no one has a good old fashioned 9 to 5 ), and melancholy is acceptable if it’s shared with a rupi kaur quote.Is Instagram here to make us feel inadequate? You get the gist, and it’s completely human and normal to feel like this from time to time but it should never last more than five minutes.
We all know that someone else’s beauty doesn’t diminish ours, it’s the same for success and lifestyle. It’s not because I use your shampoo that I will get your gorgeous hairs, it’s not because I go to the same beach than you in Greece that I will have the same fun, it’s not because I eat the same cake than you that I will like it. Instagram is an advertising platform (the whole “influencer” shindig), and in-between a DW watch and a Hello Fresh meal you have some curated content. People sharing happy moments, inspiration, thoughts, aesthetic, not for money but to express themselves and to record memories. There is something incredibly narcissist about this exercise, but also quiet vulnerable as you are putting a tiny part of yourself out there. It would be interesting to study the different motives behind our usage of social media because I don’t think that we are all here for the instant gratification. But that’s another story.
“For a growing number of users and mental health experts, the positivity of Instagram is precisely the problem, with its relentless emphasis on promoting ‘perfect’ lifestyles. Should everyone just stop scrolling?” read full article on The Guardian.
Coming back to my decision. Like you may know, I decided few months ago to lead a more mindful and minimal life (I talked about it in a series of posts that you can find in the lifestyle section of the blog here), and my next step after decluttering, buying more conscious, and reducing wastes is to spend less time on Instagram (I removed Twitter and Snapchat a long time ago and barely use Facebook). Social media are a constant reminder of what we haven’t achieve rather than what we have, it’s also super time-consuming, and let’s be honest a bit addictive. To be more in the moment and reduce my Instagram time I did something a bit drastic this week. I muted 80% of the stories of people I’m following. Not because I don’t like them, but because it increases the time I spent on IG. I prefer to watch a story if I decide to after seeing a post from the person for example. I’ve also unfollowed a lot of accounts I don’t relate to anymore,and I’m considering mutting some accounts that I can simply visit when I need to. Instagram with its algorithm and non chronological order forces us to see what they want, and I thought that it was about time to be proactive and to edit the content that I want to see.
It worked well for me (I have an app tracking my time on IG and it really dropped down this week) , so I’m planning to keep going and be more aware of my usage of social media especially with the babe growing up. Why not simply leaving Instagram? Because I like it. Social media also have some positive aspects like meeting new people, get inspired, get a voice, and I don’t want to miss that.
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