The Pros & Cons of Instagram/Taking A Break From Social Media
Just from observing how fast technology is evolving, we all need a time off of it once in a while.
More than two weeks ago, I decided to take a break from social media. I deleted my Instagram and Facebook app (but kept Snapchat, because I care too much about snap streaks). I'll be sharing the pros & cons of Instagram and explaining part of why I made this decision. I've also filmed a YouTube video about this article, so if you'd rather not read, then you can check it out at the bottom of this page!
Sharing Awesome Stuff to Radiate Awesomeness is Awesome
Over the past few months, my presence on Instagram has been receiving more attention, particularly from social media accounts about female empowerment and starting your own business, which I love! I'd like to give a shout out to the Yes Supply Collective, in particular, which I've joined last month. Such a great group of hard-working women.
Since more similar accounts to mine have been following me, my Instagram app has been going through a shift from personal to business account. Right now, it's half and half, where I still follow friends and people I know, but I'm trying to make it a safe and positive place for me to be if and when I do decide to go on the app. By this, I mean that I've been following a lot more accounts centered around my personal interests whether that's travel, food, or personal empowerment.
You're Free to Be Creative and Experiment
On Instagram, you have all the choice to make it however you want. You can add white borders to your photos to creative a more minimalistic feed, or heck, you can post what ever photos you want and not give a damn about having a nice looking feed! This may be more difficult to do when you're trying to build a brand for yourself, since potential followers are probably judging the look of your feed, but nevertheless, it's really up to you if you want to change it up.
Instagram Is Not A Self-Esteem Booster
This ties in to why I decided to take a break from social media. When you're at your lowest of the low, Instagram can trigger feelings of loneliness, neglect, and even ugliness. Why loneliness and neglect? My self-esteem was at such a low point that I became dependent to what I was seeing on social media.
My friends are out without me? Why was I not invited? Do they even like me? Why don't they like me? What's wrong with me?
How does it trigger feelings of ugliness? Well, it's Instagram; a platform filled with Instagram models, shown likes, and comments on photos. I don't even follow Instagram models, but they show up on my suggestion feed and the comparison game begins as I slowly start to feel worse about myself. It's terrible, yet we do it anyway.
It's A Waste of Time
One sec, my mind is shifting from 19-year-old to 60-year-old. I hope you didn't roll your eyes at this statement, because coming from someone who has been on the app since I was around 14-years-old without taking a break (except when I was waiting to get a new phone), taking time off has given me more time to not only focus on more activities I love, but it's also nice to not care about what everyone else is doing for a hot minute.
Over the course of two weeks, I went to the library to do research on subjects I was interested in and literally checked out 20 books. I also voted for the first time, went to see Connor Franta with my friend Will, started a new job, started watching The Get Down and Dear White People (*I finished it*) on Netflix, etc. It's been quite wonderful without Instagram. My life is still the same, I'm still keeping myself busy as always, but I'm just not telling everyone about it, which actually made me feel a lot better in the end. I want to leave you with a final message:
Your life is more than highlights
From my time off, I honestly feel like a changed woman. I used to think that I was nothing without my blog and my 'online platform' because I share a lot on the internet. It can really leave you feeling empty. For a while, I've been going over more times than usual of what I decide to share online. I even thought that people didn't even have to talk to me because they probably could find out about my life online (which actually creeps me out).
Without your online platform, you're still you. You're still who you decide to be every day. Perhaps even better, because the you offline is more than a bunch of words and photos.
Social media is nice in a way where you can share your joy and moments to the world, but not everyone needs to know and sometimes, it's better to keep things to yourself. Not posting a photo of your mom on Mother's Day, or anything really, does not invalidate your feelings towards a moment or a person in your life. Why? Because it's/they're precious to you. You know that and that should always be enough.