I think I am falling out of love with Instagram.
I don’t quite know what it is but it just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I feel like I am clinging onto it like a dysfunctional relationship, it doesn’t really interest me, it really isnt fulfilling me anymore, I want to be doing other things, but its comfortable to have it there, and quite frankly I can’t be bothered to do anything about it. Sound familiar?.
I only have Instagram and Twitter. I closed Facebook down years ago and I haven’t missed it at all. My real life and my relationship at the time were my priority and I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove to anyone, if I am being totally honest I was also tired of the endless questions that would come up each time I posted something such as ‘who is he?’ , ‘how do you know him?’, ‘why is he liking that?’, when half the time I didn’t know or care but the accusations came all the same.
This is when Instagram caught my attention and it was full of pretty pictures of all of my favourite things, fashion, jewellery, hair, make up, restaurants, hotels, holidays and I was drawn to it like a magpie. In the early days I really enjoyed Instagram, I loved taking nice photographs and sharing them and getting inspiration from other people and finding out about new little Independent brands. It became kind of little hobby, looking for pretty pictures and thinking of quirky captions or quotes.
Then as you all know by now if you read my blog. Everything went South for me in September 2017. I knew at this point my ex partner would try to use Social media as a tool to hurt me, which he did, it was also actually him who brought to my attention that I had a little Instastalker too, who it turned out knew more about what was going on in my life than she did her own, probably still does!, so Instagram then became a bit of a darker place for me, the innocence of my enjoyment, the fun factor and ultimately how I used it changed for me, I was conscious that I was being watched by someone, somewhere out there, but equally I didn’t have the energy to spend any time trying to trace them and do anything about it, as much as it didn’t bother me on a day-to-day basis, as I said earlier the innocence and fun factor was now tarnished slightly.
I also had bigger things going at that time, my life had just been smashed into a million pieces. I was scared and confused, as I look back I unintentionally started to use Instagram as a way of processing what I was going through. I also started up my blog soon after and was using it to promote and drive traffic to that, so now rather than just posting pictures I was posting things with a bit more meaning, and began using it as more of a tool to raise awareness of the issues that I was facing and in some ways I guess it was a kind of therapy for me. It gave me a bit of a purpose and filled a void. I also had kept a lot of what had been happening to me inside for a long time, and there were now a lot of untruths starting to be circulated about me so it was also a way to start to find my voice again and be able to stand up for myself without the fear of repercussions.
In the middle of last year I made my account private , I wanted to go back to posting nice pictures of fun things and places I was going and quite frankly I didn’t want certain people knowing where I was in the world and what I was doing so I locked down, and it felt good. This however this posed a new dilemma, I have my account private, but I want some of my posts to be open to the wider audience, I still wanted to use social media to highlight and raise awareness of mental health issues and promote my blog, so I opened a new account, a public account where I would only post issues relating to mental health and blog updates.
When I started the new account I thought this also may re-ignite my fading passion for Instagram, but it didn’t really. Building followers is a thankless task, and it’s not just numbers that you want it is the right kind of followers, people who are interested in what you have to say. It takes a lot of effort, and I quickly realised that I wasnt sure if I had the energy for the self promotion that is needed, becoming a slave to the likes and numbers, it just didnt interest me. I was passionate about what I had to say, but I wasnt passionate about ‘pimping myself out on the gram’. Aside of the Algorithm which means that unless you are posting on an almost daily basis and doing regular stories, interacting and commenting left right and centre, probably less than half the people who follow you are seeing what you post anyway.
My posting lately has become very few and far between, as has my interaction with other accounts, I find I am slowly muting more and more people, people who I used to enjoy following, as soon as I find myself rolling my eyes, I mute!, its a good system. Each day I scroll through hoping that something will ‘spark joy’ in me and aside of Jimmy Choo’s and a newsreader from the BBC that I have developed a rather large crush on!, nothing does, I don’t even have anyone who I am interested enough in to stalk anymore (apart from said newsreader) so I don’t even have that to fall back on!!.
I made a post relating to something in the news the other day, it was quite a significant moment and something that I felt passionately about and have followed closely for some time, I kind of knew before I posted it, it was a little outside of the ‘Instagram norm’ but I needed to let off some steam. I also sometimes like to do these things as a bit of a test gauge reactions to different posts, I followed said post with a picture of a chocolate caterpillar cake….. guess which post had the more interaction??!, you guessed it, the chocolate caterpillar!. I felt despondent. I wanted more. I wanted people to see the world beyond the pretty squares.
I think it is natural that our relationship with social media ebbs and flows, as with any other relationship, and you can see this particularly by the amount of people who come and go from Twitter, which admittedly, is not for the faint hearted!, if you are going to interact and voice your opinions on there you do need an extremely thick skin. I don’t so much , I generally just use it to keep up on news and current affairs, I try not to react or engage too much. It can get quite overwhelming.
So with all that said, I am going to be taking a little break from Instagram, I won’t be deleting my account, but I just won’t be using it for a little while , I need ‘unplug’ and ‘reset’, focus on being more productive. I want to read more, write more and just actually see what else I can achieve when I don’t have the endless scrolling to turn to.
I will still be blogging , so if you currently use my Instagram in order to follow my blog, please give me a follow on here and you will be notified of updates via email when I post something new.
Lots of Love,