Instagram; A Microcosm of Real Life
I’ve kind of realized that I talk about social media and our relationships with it a lot. I don’t know, it kind of fascinates me to be honest. I was thinking about how it all started for me… Once upon a time, a friend was telling me about facebook, and if you went to certain schools you could use it. Soon I jumped on the bandwagon, and began oversharing like everyone else (this is what I had for lunch, this is my dog sleeping, this is how I’m feeling today, this is me going to yoga. haha!). Then Instagram came onto the scene. I used the app for years to just put a cool filter, typically Valencia, on a photo, and then I’d save it to my phone and share it on Facebook. I didn’t like the idea that anyone could see my photos on Instagram. Like who are these people?
Around 2014 I began making my account public. I was inspired to do so because I saw how powerful the app was for changing behaviors and inspiring change. So I began to share about yoga, lifestyle, green juice, and stress reduction mostly in hopes that I’d inspire others to improve their wellness. This was a big thing for me, because I largely felt ineffective at work, feeling like the whole system was broken. The idea of a larger platform to make an impact on the world was appealing to me. My account hovered around 5k for a long while, and when I moved to the beach, began getting way more personal, and my photography skills improved it jumped up to right around where I am today.
I’ve been through it all… algorithms, shadow bans, watching people out of no where turn into massive accounts, bots, buying followers and likes, and so forth. I even bought likes before, right around when the algorithm made engagement plummet, to see what that was all about. It felt very very fake, made me feel gross, and in my opinion was super obvious. [Sidenote: I’m pretty convinced that buying likes and followers is totally obvious to Instagram, and will hurt your engagement long term. If you want my theory on why, comment below and I’ll write about it!].
And what I’ve realized is that social media is really just a microcosm of every day life. The things we focus on, complain about, inspire us, or obsess about are not just out of the blue. They’re all grounded in how we feel about ourselves, what we value, how we want to be seen, and our insecurities.
I definitely have my triggers, but in general, I’ve felt a shift in my social media presence lately. I feel more confident in what I share, but I think that stems from real life. I’ve been doing this thing for awhile now, and I’m just really happy to be here, wherever here is. For a long while, I was pretty insecure. I was too caught up in being taken seriously, and that wasn’t just on Instagram.
So if there are things that are bothering you on the gram, I highly suggest taking a step back and seeing what’s going on off the phone. You can use how this little app makes you feel to simply gain insight, and work on your own crap… which is pretty awesome when you think about it.
What’s your relationship with Instagram like these days?