So in the wake of Mental Health Awareness week, and the general culture of emphasis on the impact of social media on our well being, can I really say that Instagram is bad for my health? Well I know Instagram has been around for quite some time. A very successful designer friend of mine was singing about Insta for years before I started using it. Really I was quite late to the whole virtual world of Instagram. I was too busy having babies to get caught up in all the hype. However, more than 2 years ago, when I did embark on my Insta journey, did I think it would evolve into what it’s become today? The answer is “No.” Have I ever thought that Instagram is bad for my health? Up until recently I would’ve said “No.” But of late I’ve been feeling a bit differently.
Most of the time I would say that I find using the app quite enjoyable. I started using it as a space where I could share outfit ideas and inspire, as well as be inspired by other women. Aside from that I’ve gone on to meet some amazing ladies, form lasting friendships and become part of a whole community of mums and women who love fashion. I find it so fascinating that there’s a whole world of inspiration, ideas and genuinely lovely people behind those tiny squares.
However, like everything, with all good things come the not so good things. I think I personally fell into the trap of putting too much pressure on myself to post a picture of my outfit of the day (#ootd) without fail every single day. If I ever missed a day I’d feel like a failure and criticise myself for not being able to even stick to posting once a day. I used to have an app that allowed me to see everyone who unfollowed or followed me. I eventually deleted it, as I was becoming fixated on it.
I know plenty of people, who are consumed by the number of followers, likes and comments they get on their pictures! The fact that the number of likes on a picture within an app, can lead a person to feel worthless, is not a good thing. I’ve also found that there are so many cliques within various communities, that it can be for better or worse. It’s so easy to see others looking gorgeous all the time and start comparing yourself, or feeling like you have to buy the latest dress on the high street, when in reality you’ve got a tight budget to stick to. I don’t think I’ve ever been too hung up on those things, but I can certainly see how easy it is to fall into that mindset!!!
Instagram is a full time job! Aside from engaging with your followers, and responding to all the comments you receive, you constantly think about content creation, keeping up with stories and depending on what you want out of the app, it can lead to losing touch with reality to some degree.
Recently I’ve taken a step back from Instagram, and haven’t been putting so much pressure on myself!! I don’t have my phone in my hand all the time! Before I used to be so busy on my phone, that valuable golden moments with my kids would happen right under my nose and I’d miss them, being caught up in this virtual world!!! As I said before I do still think Instagram can be amazing, but the minute it makes you start losing your self worth and feeling like shit, then you need to take a step back, like anything in life!!
I am very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way through Instagram, the fabulous people I’ve met, and my followers who are always so supportive. But for my own health and wellbeing, I try to stay in my own lane, and have fun with it!!
Are you on any social media platforms? What have your own experiences been?