The Blooper Reel of Instagram
We've all heard it right, that Instagram is the 'Highlight Reel' and we need to realize that life isn't always as perfect as it may appear in the picture. However, so often each time we see those glorious, edited, perfectly captured photos, it's not logic in our heads but rather our own blooper reel. In comes the thoughts of comparison, self-doubt, jealousy, and insecurity.
We see the body we could have if only we tried harder, the house we could have if we made more money, the clothes we could wear if we were more successful, the spouse we could have if we were luckier...and so on down the rabbit hole we go.
But you see, that was never the purpose of Instagram. Instagram was created as a way to connect, share, make new friends and keep up with people through a simple photograph. But it has changed, it has evolved and it has become so much more than it was intended to originally be.
Instagram has become one of the main places women go to mindlessly scroll AND also the place where most women find themselves comparing and feeling insecure. So why do we keep going back? Why do we stay on an app that more often than not does the opposite of its intended purpose?
It's addicting, everyone is on it, you just can't help yourself, your bored...all of these reasons and more are so often why we reach for our phones and mindlessly scroll. But if there was something in your life that constantly made you feel the same way (job, friend, boyfriend, coworker, TV show, book, social group) would you continue going back to it with the same consistency and delusion? Expecting that this time you won't feel the same?
Instagram is a powerful thing but when we decide to use it for the wrong reasons and portray ourselves inaccurately we are hurting ourselves and those who we engage with. No one's life, job, body, marriage or friendships are perfect and yet when we see them displayed on Instagram we assume that they are. Telling ourselves this lie only continues to deepen the insecurity and comparison we feel even though it is not based on truth.
If you struggle with this, if you find yourself clicking off of Instagram and feeling worse, depressed or more insecure than when you got on (you are not alone) I challenge you to consider your motives when you want to open the app next time. Where is your headspace at? Are you able to see these pictures as they really are? More than likely planned, edited, perfectly posed and curated. These photos are not reality so do not make them so.
We should aim to bring more positive feelings into our lives, not negative. So when we have the opportunity to somewhat control what we bring in, shouldn't we be more protective and selective? I am working hard to make Instagram a place I enjoy being on and interacting with people through. However, I am ruthless in unfollowing if I feel that someone (through no fault of their own) makes me question my own uniqueness and calling. I don't need another way to doubt all I am created to be.
So how can you contunie to function on one of the most popular apps without it getting you down? Try these few tricks and see if it doesn't improve your experience <3
- Unfollow anyone that makes you feel insecure. Whether it's their body, clothes, career, family, eating habits, captions, stories...if it makes you feel unloved, unworthy or less than, then there is no reason to see it. And you might not be able to explain why they make you feel that way and that's okay. But be honest with yourself.
- Follow a wider variety of people. There are so many amazing women out there sharing messages of self-love, acceptance, girl power, faith, and love so go follow more of them! Fill your feed with positive quotes, beautiful places, and friends you love.
- Read the captions. This goes with following people who have encouragement to share but so often we see the picture and move on without reading what they shared. And yall, there are some truly amazing and inspiring nuggets in captions. It's like a mini blog post so take the time to read it!!
- Change the location of where the app is in your phone. This might sound silly but we are creatures of habit so we almost mindlessly go to the same things and don't realize we are. When you change the location of the app you will start to realize just how much you were going there and maybe it will help you realize you didn't actually feel like looking in the first place.
- Be more open on your own platform. Now I am all for boundaries and not sharing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. But we are in desperate need of people being more genuine and honest these days. We see the pretty clothes, bangin bods, drool-worthy food and to die for destinations but we don't get to know the people behind it all. You can share all of these things but also let people see that there is a person behind that who is no better or worse than them, who has bad days and amazing days, who worries or cries too. When we realize that we are all human we are better able to connect and bond even through screens.
I hope this helps! It's definitly been something I have been working on myself because I love the app but don't want it to bring out unhelpful emotions or feelings about myself. So don't be afriad to do what you need to do so that it can also be something you enjoy as well!
Happy scrolling xx