Taking a break from Instagram could make you feel better!
Have you ever went out to brunch with a group of friends? Perhaps you guys went to Kitchen Story in San Francisco’s historic Castro neighborhood. You order your food, the food arrives. Suddenly, everyone starts taking pictures of their open-face breakfast plate.
Your friend tells you to move your glass of water with a napkin on it. Your other friend asks you to have a toast, you might think “oh how nice, a toast” and you get to toasting your mimosas, but only three times because the boomerang has to be right. Everyone is taking a photo of their plate; after all, the plates at Kitchen Story are very Instagram worthy.
Let’s face it, most of us are using Instagram. We use it to post “stories” of our day, we are capturing our lives and interests all in one platform. We send memes to our friends that go unseen, then they send us the same meme three hours later. It is our own visual diary; the likes and comments are roughly what makes us feel validated enough to keep the post or delete it soon thereafter. Not all of us think this way, but most of us are subconsciously thinking about it.
Using Instagram has allowed us to create connections with people and be creators. On the flip-side, using Instagram on a daily basis has put us in difficult situations. We are constantly comparing ourselves to our friends. What do all these posts do to your mind as the viewer? As the creator? These are the questions to ask yourself.
Instagram has had a tremendous amount of influence over younger generations of people in recent years. The increasing exposure to brands, celebrities, influencers and sometimes the people we know have hurt much of the human psyche. Instagram even has an “About Eating Disorders” tab on their Help-Privacy and Safety Center tab. The section describes what an eating disorder is and what the signs to look for are. A very responsible approach from Instagram, but it does shine a light on the larger problem at hand.
Taking a break from Instagram can be beneficial to oneself. The app allows users to “deactivate” their account, rather than delete it. This allows the user to “disappear” from the app, but you could choose to come back by simply just logging in. Taking a break for two or three weeks could make a slight difference. Living in the moment is valuable, you don’t need to take twenty pictures of your aesthetically pleasing plate at Kitchen Story.
Living in the moment could alleviate anxiety which is the constant fear of the past and the future. It allows you to be grateful for what you have, and gratitude is one of the things that can really help people feel better about themselves. Taking away “screen time” on your phone can help you achieve this. In more efforts to help people enjoy their Instagram experience, the app has now started experimenting with hiding “likes.” In a statement on Twitter, Instagram tweeted: “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get…..” This left some people criticizing the platform and others worried about how it could impact their career as an influencer that they had established on Instagram.
Surely, the world of Instagram can be a great one. It allows us to be creative; We can express ourselves and we can learn more about the world and share our experiences and have a laugh or two by watching memes. We should be vigilant and focus on how we interpret what we see. We need to take the time to reflect on ourselves and not start looking at ourselves as lesser than those who look good on the internet. Instagram is fun, but it is not a pure reality.