A few nights ago I decided it was time for another break from Instagram and social media in general because I was starting to feel bad. I’ve taken a few respites from checking and posting on social media but found that my rececnt trawling of my accounts was starting to make me question myself.
I’ve pretty much jumped ship on Facebook because I felt ignored half the time but then my birthday would roll around and then I’d feel guilty that I had been ignoring my account! My Instagram app has been deleted from my phone and that knee-jerk desire to post snap and post is slowly fading. I also know though that in reality, Instagram is only an App Store download click away.
I struggle a lot with feelings of rejection which I assume manifest themselves as feelings of loneliness (hard to believe I can be lonely when half the time I’m surrounded by four kids, two dogs, and my husband and often crave alone time!). I’ve always been told that fear of abandonment and rejection are inherent to an adoptee but I think my childhood plays just as much of a role in reinforcing my disconnect from my own self-worth. But I digress…
I have three active Instagram accounts at the moment; my personal account that I allow only friends to follow, my house project account where I’ve posted ‘before and after’ photos of two home building projects (our London house was featured in a magazine as a result of this account), and my latest one that was the inspiration behind starting this blog. I suspended my @fiftyonecandles account because my number of followers fluctuated so much that it was starting to wreak havoc on my ego.
I know well the ins and outs of Instagram and other social media outlets well, i.e., I know that you can buy followers- and I know that most influencers have and do- and I also know that it takes years of hard work and dedication to gain a significant following but regardless, I had begun doubting myself as a ‘poster’ so I decided to temporarily suspend my ’51 candles’ account and then delete then remove the app from my phone. No more temptation.
We all know that instagram and social media in general are an opportunities to put our best foot forward. Photos are but second-long snippets of a good time, a fun outing, a room full of friends, a life fulfilled, but there are those moments in between those captured images when life isn’t that great, when that seemingly fun-filled family holiday has more tension at times than we would ever dare to post.
Still, I’m one of those people who easily falls prey to doubting themselves when compared to others. I hate to admit this but I’m often sensitive to the amount of likes I get on posts as compared to likes my friends receive. Do my friends purposely choose to ignore me? Do they scroll by my posts because they don’t care about what I have to say? Is a lack of ‘like’ a reflection of how people feel about me??
I probably don’t look like someone who struggles with feelings of social media worthlessness, especially if you were to judge me by my Instagram posts, but this is why I wanted to write about it. If you’ve never deleted a social media app, unfollowed someone because they triggered negative feelings in you or deleted a social media account, do it! You will feel so empowered! You can always refollow, reinstate, and re-download an app, but your self-esteem is so much more important than your number of followers or likes!! Click here for instructions on how to temporarily suspend your Instagram account.
If you’re curious to learn more, there’s an interesting article on BBC’s website about whether social media is ‘bad’ for you. Click here to read the article.
Please let me know your thoughts on the subject. I’d love to hear from you!
Just got my braces off so showing off my teeth for an Instagram selfie. You’d probably never think that this smiling woman could feel insecure when trawling her social media accounts…