I deleted the instagram app off my phone. I know I know, what is wrong with me right? Well…..there are many reasons why I did it. While I don’t want this to be a place where I get on my soapbox and ramble and condemn social media for it’s harmful effects on humanity, I do want to share my reasoning behind my decision and hope that it challenges a few of you somehow someway :).
I love instagram as much as the next person but there in lies the problem. Skimming over the fact that it consumed a lot of my “down time” aimlessly scrolling through dozens of pictures a day and wasting away the hours of the day, I realized it was doing more to my life than simply taking away minutes.
it was making me a comparison driven girl. It infected my mind with jealousy, bitterness, and feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. If you think about it, what is instagram? It is a place where we can post pictures and connect with friends and lift each other up and share joys and laughs, right? On a good day….
And on a bad day (which for me was most days) it was a method of creeping. Of plunging into other peoples lives and comparing their actions and pictures to mine. And the weirdest part of it all is that we control what people see. Much like facebook, we highlight the good parts of our lives- the boyfriends and girlfriends, the gifts, the baked goods, the food we eat, and throw in a bible verse or two for good measure. We create these images of ourselves and put them on display for people to “like” or “comment on”. I mean seriously who instagrams a picture of their failed test or a picture of them minutes after their boyfriend dumps them?
It’s a little sick isn’t it? While I am fully ready to admit there are better people out there than me who can scroll through instagram and be unaffected by others photos and followers and comments, i think on some level for all of us (girls i’m looking at you) we begin to slowly judge and compare one another.
My mind houses questions like “why did that picture only get 5 likes instead of 10?” “Did i put the wrong hashtags on it or not make the caption witty enough?” While these are silly thoughts, I honestly was affected by them. I even went further on my instagram creeping where i would follow people or look at others photos of people i wasn’t friends with but wanted to see what they were doing. I was consumed with finding things out about other people who I never liked a picture of theirs or made a comment but simply gained knowledge about their life through the pictures they posted.
Again, my mind and my heart may be dramatic cases for some but I do think (especially us girls) that on some level we all compare and judge each other. Especially on a social media site that is solely devoted to pictures, images that can tell the world how great our lives our.
So i’m off, i deleted my account and honestly i’m still alive. I survived these past two weeks or so without instagram and feel a lot healthier. While i still enjoy facebook and may very well find myself back on instagram or off of facebook or whatever, it has taught me a valuable lesson of just how quick my heart can be swept away and tangled in lies of judgement and jealous.