I came to a realisation when lying in bed last night that Instagram just really isn’t good for one’s self-esteem or self-worth, is it? I mean, I’ve written a good few blog posts on this exact topic yet it only really seemed to sink in when I was having a mini freak-out in bed while scrolling through.
I try not to spend a lot of time on Instagram as it more often brings me down than gives me any value, but I’ve decided enough is enough.
Did You Come Here Just to Gloat?
This isn’t brand new information, but when I go to Instagram to post, it’s usually something good that’s happening to me at that moment. Maybe I’m out at brunch, maybe I bought myself something nice, maybe I’m on a lovely holiday, or maybe I was given a present from someone.
That’s all very lovely, but constantly seeing everyone having a great time, being showered with gifts, and off on fancy holidays DuRiNg A pAnDeMiC just doesn’t sit well with me.
I’m constantly looking at these Instagram models and the Love Islanders and wondering why I don’t and never will, look like them. Does that make me feel good about myself? Hell no.
And then there are the people that we vaguely know when we pass them in the street, and would never speak to, yet we watch their whole lives through our phones.
Why, oh why, am I watching someone that I went to school with who was in the year or two above me, who I’ve never spoken a single word to in my life, having her dinner in a restaurant, or watching as she has a house party of MoRe ThAn SiX pEoPle? I don’t really know this person, but I suddenly know what every room of her house looks like and what her favourite cocktail is.
On the other hand, scrolling through my book Instagram, I don’t feel any of those things. I see books I want to read, I read book reviews from other people that love to read and I share what I’ve been reading.
Do you know what that is? Great vibes.
It’s the same thing with my food account. The only jealousy I get when scrolling through my feed is that I’m not eating that amazing-looking dish right now, but I’ll save it for later.
Again, very good vibes.
Over on my Orlagh Claire Instagram, I follow people I relate to, I follow other bloggers talking about important subjects, I follow real-life-behind-the-filter influencers and most importantly, I follow influencers that are adding value to my life from the posts that they share.
You can have an amazing and uplifting Instagram feed if you go out and look for it.
Related: Five Instagram Influencers to Follow
Who to Follow
For me, I follow people who inspire and motivate me. I follow people who wake up early every morning, who work out every day, who read a lot, who educate themselves and their followers and who share informative content.
I follow people I want to be like and who give me inspiration to get up early, to work hard, to better myself and to succeed.
I don’t follow people who show me unrealistic things that I can’t aspire to. I don’t follow people that aren’t real with their followers. I don’t follow people who think Covid-19 is a hoax – it’s been 9 months of this already, what planet are you living on?
And honestly, the best thing you can do is mute people you don’t want to see on your feed. If it makes you feel better mentally, just do it. You don’t have to unfollow them, but by muting them, you won’t see their posts and you’ll feel better for it.
Scroll through the people you want to see, not those that you don’t care about or shouldn’t care about. Out of sight, out of mind.
Related: Influencers with a Social Cause
Being More Conscious of What We Share
For me, I’ve started to think about what I’m sharing on my Instagram accounts.
I already know that I won’t be logging on to my personal Instagram account on Christmas Day because I know it will just be full of what everyone got for Christmas, their Christmas dinner (which always looks like a dog’s dinner to everyone else) and the wonderful time they’re having with their ten aunts, five uncles and eight cousins squashed around the dinner table.
The more that I scroll through all of this, the worse I know I’m going to feel. Not because I won’t have any Christmas presents, or a top-notch Christmas dinner, but because the number of these posts just really bring the energy down.
I’ll be enjoying my Christmas presents, my Christmas dinner and eating way too many chocolates while also being oblivious to how everyone else is spending their Christmas day, because do I really need to know?
It’s going to be a harder Christmas than any before for a lot of people, so if it’s best for you, maybe stay off the app for a day and spend time with those around you, get lost in a good book or watch as many Christmas movies as you can stay awake for.
Nollaig shona daoibh!
Related: Influencers and their ‘Influence’