Hey everybody, I hope you’re all enjoying your week so far, the Christmas season is arriving upon us which means more Christmas spirit all around us, in stores, at coffee shops, and on social media!
Recently, I’ve been really thinking about why I have Instagram, and what is the purpose of Instagram. I came up with these thoughts.
Why do we use instagram?
In my opinion, Instagram can create false interpretations of ourselves. I’m not saying Instagram is evil, nor am I saying it is used in the same way by each and every single user of the site, but from my own experience with it, it’s been my little place to advertise the “good” things that are happening in my life, making my life look “picture perfect” in other words.
The reality is that many of the posts I share on instagram are to seek validation, from my followers, to remind myself that I’m acceptable, that I am beautiful, that I am worth a certain number of “likes”. It is very tempting to take a picture and post it on social media for others to see and comment on, but in reality, all of these “likes” on my pictures and are a misleading way of seeing my self worth.
To think deeply into it, I would rather have 1 person come to me and say “Sara, you are pretty”, or no comment at all, than to have 80 people validate that a photo I post is “like” worthy. To me it is basically an alertnative way to boost self confidence, and to unhealthily seek some kind of validation from the world when you don’t need to.
The crazy part about this is, it’s become an absoulute false represnation of who I am as an individual. I mean, realistically I could scroll through all of my posts to find very few that were taken “in the moment” and have actually made an impact on my life. Most photos were taken during moments of despare, especially selfies, and some were taken on some really bad days. Some were posted that were taken months prior to posting too, but again, I needed to seek validation.
Another thing is that its become such a commody, as if our lives depend on being instagrammed. Do you know how many times I’ve head the words ” I’m instagramung this” , “Should I instragram this?”, ” We need a picture for instragram”, But why? To show the rest of the world that you’re doing good? To show others that you are having fun? Because if that’s the only motive to our actions, I think there is a serious problem.
We tend to base a person’s life circumstances by the photos they post, and sometimes that can be really misleading. I don’t want to post pictures that will make others think I’m someone that I am not. I don’t want to be posting pcitures that make my life seem great, when the reality is that I am still trying to figure myself out. And even if things were going great, why does it need to be advertised on a daily basis? Too seek validation.
I also think that instagram is a tool that allows people to measure their own self worth, which can be dangerous. What I mean by this is, somebody who deals with mental health issues like me, or may not have any mental health issues at all, can feel disapointment or dissaproval in their selves when they see someone’s picture. Everyday, I wake up and feel great to live to see another day, but my mood can change so quickly when I turn instagram as my go-to distraction. Here I find myself feeling bad about myself, or anxious, to find someone doing something that I can’t afford to do, I didn’t make an effort/attempt to do, being in a relationship that looks absoultey perfect that I can’t measure up too, or a body that is unattainable for me. These interpret that these people posting pictures generally have a better life than mine, which is not something we should be doing to ourselves.
I can’t measure up to perfect, and neither can anyone else, but instagram has the ability to make a person seem perfect in every way possible, and to me that is a problem.