The emotional roller-coaster of Instagram
I only entered the Instagram world when I created the blog site, mainly to ensure I had the name, but also accepting that social media is here to stay. I had been a small user of Facebook but never really loved it.
The initial thoughts of Instagram were “what’s the point” combined with needing to Google “can I use Instagram on a laptop”, “what is a hashtag” and “do I own a hashtag”. My introduction into Instagram was uninspiring but I was determined to keep up with social media.
So I ploughed on…. .
I very quickly began to see how Instagram can lead to anxiety and poor body confidence as I was bombarded with images of everyone’s lives looking amazing. Can’t I just wear yoga pants and comfy tees?
Should we all be dressed-up just in case someone takes a snap and posts to social media? The answer is No!
Somehow I ended up looking at house inspired photos and storage ideas. But my bathroom doesn’t look like the ones on Instagram, with brass fixtures, subway tiles and no clutter (or toothbrushes..have you noticed this!?). My bathroom looks like this:
Have you seen the images of women floating down a tropical rainforest path in a flowy summer dress and without a drip of sweat in sight even though it was probably hot AF? That’s not me. My fringe is normally plastered to my sweaty forehead and cheeks are flushed red. You often can’t see much of me with a daggy hat (that I squashed into my suitcase and crushed a bit), light scarf, sunglasses and long pants and sleeves to stop my pasty skin frying to a crisp! I also have NO idea how to pose for photos or selfies as demonstrated below.
As I started following more travel pages I was feeling slightly inspired and excited to see so many other people with a passion for travel. But … I ended up back at the “what’s the point” question, although this time not directed at Instagram, but at my own blog.
There are already so many people with family travel accounts with huge followings, why would I bother with a blog?
After a minor neck injury and spending too much time lying in bed with my phone…. mindlessly scrolling…scrolling some more. Just one more check. I was feeling pretty crap about the blog being a waste of time.
But then this amazing thing happened. I just ignored social media for a bit. Decided that I didn’t give a hoot about how many followers other people had or whether my photos were Instagram worthy.
I made the following observations and decisions:
- The blog is my focus and it is for my own enjoyment, not for instant gratification on social media.
- Learning how to build the blog brings me far more joy than learning about social media.
- Many of the Instagram or Facebook accounts don’t have any supporting websites or blogs. If the social media platform goes down, so do their years of work building a following.
- For now, Facebook and Instagram will be the only platforms I dabble with. The rest can wait.
- I don’t hate Facebook or Instagram, and accept they are necessary for a successful blog. Only if my blog becomes bigger ( I might decide on a views per month target, or a target number of posts) will I spend more time on social media platforms. They really do take lots of time!
- I will check social media for a select number of travellers who I truly enjoy following but will avoid the mindless scrolling and random following.
- Focusing on REAL life experiences is far more important than staged photos and chasing followers. I have promised Jason that I will never make him an Instagram-husband.
I would love to hear your experiences of social media and whether you are lover or hater or an on-the-fencer like me.
This process has inspired me to the look further into the negatives (eg. anxiety, body confidence) and positives (eg human rights activism) of social media, so stay tuned for some further rants!