Instagram: The Lie Factory?
A different kind of post today, but one that had to be written nevertheless…
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed (or maybe not because let’s face it people tend to forget you very quickly) that I haven’t posted much and been quiet for the last few weeks. I’ve touched on the subject briefly in my latest post there and as many of you felt the same way I wanted to share my thoughts a bit more. To be honest I find it very interesting and reassuring that so many of you feel the same way…
When I joigned Instagram in 2012 (maybe even 2011, I don’t exactly remember) it was such a positive and happy place. We used to share unedited, spontaneous pictures. There was no such a thing as filters or lightroom presets involved in the process (except for those hideous star filters that seemed like a really good idea at the time!). Raise your hand if you’ve used them too!
Anyway, I know things evolve and we all change but I feel like Instagram has really become a nasty place today. It might sound a bit dramatic but it has gone from a fun, friendly environment to a really competitive platform.
In the early days it was pure pleasure, it felt more real. We used to share raw pictures, interact with people and support followers that became virtual friends along the way.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love photography and I realise it takes A LOT of work to ‘produce’ high quality content but everything has become too staged, too perfect, and it doesn’t feel relatable anymore.
I’ve been addicted to IG for years, like many of us I’m sure. It has become a drug and has dominated my life for the last three years I would say. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and realised one thing: my endless scrolling (without much interaction most of the time to be honest) doesn’t lead to much of a positive impact on my life.
Even though I’m 38 (and feel wise enough to take social media with a pinch of salt) I tend to compare my life to other people’s lives and it has affected my wellbeing. At times it makes me feel inadequate and kills my inspiration. If a 38 year old feels like this, how is this affecting young women and men that are still trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in this society? This can be very damaging, especially for the more vulnerable audience.
Something that’s really exasperating me as well is the ridiculous amount of ads that are shoved down my throat. I don’t even feel I have control over what I’m seeing/consuming. We are literally flooded with ads after ads after ads… And don’t get me started on big ‘influencers’ *cringe doing sponsored content on a daily basis, opening PR packages after PR packages… It’s overwhelming and I don’t know who to trust anymore!
I’m not against sponsorships, I’m aware that a lot of Instagramers make a living out of this business but it’s getting too much.
I’m all about supporting a brand and doing collaborations but with moderation. Don’t try to sell me a vacuum cleaner if you are a self-proclaimed ‘beauty blogger’! Call me naive or idealist but I find it so sad to see that even places like Instagram are rotting because of fame and easy money...
I know that most of us are guilty of adding fuel to the flames. We are being made miserable by the unreal lives that we follow and tend to share unreal versions of ourselves to ‘fit’ in. I’m not going to lie, sometimes when I have a bad day I get upset when I see people having the ‘perfect’ life. It’s not that I’m jealous per say but I start questioning my own life. Why don’t I wake up with perfect hair? Why do I look like this without makeup? Why am I not going on all these cool holidays? The answer is simple, my life is NORMAL. Period.
I’ve started to un-follow big accounts a few months ago when I realised I felt worse after scrolling through them than I did before I even opened the app. I still follow a few famous people for the inspiration and beautiful pictures but generally I enjoy smaller accounts that make me feel good and normal nowadays!
I don’t know where I’m going with this but for a long time Instagram was one of the only places where the interaction felt REAL. Then the stupid algorithm came along the way and pretty much blew everything out of the water. Obviously some unscrupulous’ influencers’ (Gosh I hate that word with a passion!) started to buy followers, likes and even comments just to be able to fool the said algorithm and ruin it for the honest users…
Like I said in my New Year’s Resolutions I will do my best to be a smarter social media user in 2019. I’m not going anywhere, first of all because I still enjoy it to a certain level and unfortunately there is no blogging without Instagram these days. I will just make sure I follow accounts that motivate me, make me feel good and stick to my values.
After all I’m very conscious of what I’m consuming to stay healthy, the same goes for my mind from now on!
I’m very interested to know what you think of all this…