I know, I know, I’ve written about Instagram before. I’ve written an uplifting post about how we all are someone’s ‘IT Girl’, and I still stand by that. But, I wrote that post in March, and since that point, my relationship with Instagram has become much more toxic.
See, Instagram used to be something fun and light hearted for me. I used to just post what I liked at the time, and then I decided to start taking it a bit more seriously. I roped Zack into shooting with me, and he found that he really enjoyed it, so it became a regular thing. And this was always fun. In fact, these days are some of my favourites! But, now that Zack has been away for 3 months, it has become apparent to me that I have a really unhealthy relationship with that app.
I used to scroll a little bit, and like whatever I wanted to. But I was finding the more that I scrolled, the worse that I felt about myself, so I stopped doing it.
But then the whole ‘you cannot moan about engagement but not be engaging’ came about, and I realised that it was true. I’d been engaging with the same handful of people and that’s it. And, seen as a lot of the blogging world seems to measure your ‘success’ on your follow count, I decided that I simply had to engage more.
So, I literally became addicted to Instagram.
Like, I would be scrolling through my entire feed constantly. I follow 2,000 people and would regularly get the ‘you’re all caught up!’ message at the top of my feed. I was spending HOURS a day on that app. It would literally be the first thing that I did in a morning and the last thing I did at night; and, as soon as I realised what I had been doing, it freaked me out a bit.
I found myself hating everything about myself every day before 8am in the morning, because I’d scrolled down my feed and already seen 200 girls prettier, better dressed, happier, more confident; and, in my head, it started to seem like everyone was better than me in every way.
Don’t get me wrong, I know logically that we only show our ‘best bits’ on Instagram, but it’s also kind of hard to remember that, because I don’t. In fact, Instagram tends to be where I am the most vulnerable. I post heartfelt stories and honest pictures and captions, and I don’t want to change that.
Sure, sometimes I will post a picture just because it’s pretty, and I do put effort into it, as I said before, but I also would never gloss over something for the sake of seeming like I have a ‘perfect life’, and I’m not sure that I wanted to continue to follow accounts that did that either. I had a bit of a clear out of who I was following, and I did feel a little better,
But it still didn’t really fix the problem.
See, this is an issue that I am continually having. I clear out, feel better for a month or so, and then all of a sudden my feed makes me feel crappy again. And this has only gotten worse over summer with the flood of bikini pics. Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is my own problem and I do not judge anybody whatsoever for posting that kind of thing, in fact deep down I am cheering you on! But, as I am so self-conscious about myself and my own body, I cannot help but compare myself to other people, and it really sucks.
And it’s strange because I don’t want to live my life like this. My conscious brain is like “EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD IS BEAUTIFUL, INCLUDING YOU!! GIRL POWER!! YOU LOOK FAB!!”, but every now and then my unconscious brain creeps in and is like “wow how are you even engaged, she deserves that life, not you”- you get me?
And it’s awful because I’ve tried to change my mind set completely, but sometimes that just doesn’t work.
So, what do I do now that my favourite app has quickly become my worst enemy?
Honestly, I just don’t know.
Part of me wants to limit my time on it, but another part of me knows that that won’t help really, it will just put off the problem for a bit. I took a little break but obviously couldn’t stay away for too long. I’m probably just going to have to work through these feelings, whether I want to or not, because otherwise this problem is just going to keep coming back to bite me.
That means reassuring myself that I am good enough, that there is a place for my rambly mental health captions, and that no one lives a perfect life, no matter how good their Instagram feed is.
I’m not even going to try to change my mind set, because I know that that doesn’t work, I’m just going to start reassuring myself, and hopefully that reassurance will become a habit that I stick to.
Have you experienced this? How did you help yourself? I’d love to know!