Instagram is truly a phenomenon, isn’t it? How can a photo and video social network influence all spheres of life of so many people? No wonder there are so-called influencers – people that can make us desire whatever we don’t actually need. And that’s exactly the reason why I decided to quit Instagram.
I used to follow 250+ accounts on Instagram. It took me up to 5 hours a day to check updates on the feed. My eyes hurt, I had terrible headache because of the habit but the most important thing was my mental state which I continued to ignore. No, Instagram didn’t make me feel depressed (but I know that many people do feel so because of it). My problem was that Instagram influenced a big part of my goals and dreams. Whether I saw some blogger in some luxury hotel, or some blogger drinking some luxury champagne, or wearing some luxury clothes, etc., I started longing for the same thing immediately. Why? It’s easy: to make a post on Instagram or post a story so that I looked successful. Crazy, right? Moreover, I didn’t even have many followers to brag to.
About the same time, I decided that I’d like my Instagram blog to grow (I thought that I wanted to become famous), so I started treating Instagram like a job. A job I wasn’t paid for. The “job” required me to dress well, do excellent make-up whenever I went somewhere, buy a lot of new clothes (because you can’t have many photos in the same clothes, if you want to be cool on Instagram – I thought), it made me desire a lot of expensive things. For example, I couldn’t imagine staying in a cheaper hotel not because I valued the comfort 5-star hotels provide but because a photo made in a 5-star hotel would make me look successful on Instagram. I wanted to buy more expensive things instead of the ones I really liked. I wanted to travel often to make beautiful photos…and I’m not even that fond of travelling. I wanted to be a housewife and cook the best food, and I wanted to build a career and become a boss at the same time. Let alone the fact I lack all those skills required to be a boss and I hate socializing.
I adopted lifestyles and dreams of other people (influencers) and eventually I reached a point where I no longer knew what I really wanted. I didn’t know whether I really wanted to travel, whether I liked fashion, whether I wanted to be a housewife or work, etc. In supermarkets, I kept grabbing the goods I had seen advertised by influencers on Instagram. Everyday posting didn’t seem fun anymore, it seemed to be an obligation and I hated the social aspect of it (as people commented and answered to my stories). I wanted more and more things that I didn’t need (just to post photos with them on Instagram) and as I needed money to buy those things, it postponed my own bigger goals. So, looking successful on Instagram didn’t bring me any joy. Vice versa, it took all the joy away from me. I was caught up in consumerism.
So, I decided to break the cycle where everyone wants to outperform everyone else and showcase their wealth and success. I thought: what is it for? Why do I need to impress all these people I don’t even meet in real life anymore? What will their opinion of me change in my life? And I couldn’t find any reasons as to why I should continue posting on Instagram daily. On the opposite, I found many reasons why I should quit the habit or I’d rather say, fight this addiction (because I was addicted to checking updates in influencers’ lives).
I decided to block Instagram for a while and find out MY OWN desires. It turned out I’m not into fashion; I don’t need any luxury items and I don’t even need new clothes; I don’t need expensive champagne because I don’t like alcohol at all; I don’t enjoy food as much as other people enjoy it, so I’m indifferent to restaurants and cafes, etc; I don’t need bouquets of flowers; I can’t be a boss, because I lack the required skills. What I really like is helping stray animals, reading, writing, cooking, keeping my home clean, spending time in nature, walking, spending time with family, learning new things. What I really want is to establish a home-like pet shelter for disabled animals and travel to the most beautiful places in the world.
And what about you? Do you know what you really want? Share this article with someone who also needs a break from Instagram.
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