Before I get into this, I know Instagram can be a source for good.
It’s helped build businesses around the world, given a voice to many who wouldn’t otherwise wouldn’t be heard and boosted self-worth and esteem for many – but it’s about tapping into that side of it. If you want to know how I’m taking steps to make Instagram a positive place for me then scroll past the first few paragraphs. Keep reading if you want my reality…
Some Instagram related thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis…
- which photo will perform best
- what’s the caption going to be
- do I need a better filter
- will anyone even see my post or like it
- maybe I should use another caption
- does this go with my aesthetic
- hashtags, shit what about the hashtags
- what time should I post it
- that quote is powerful, I’m going to share that on my stories
- what gif do I put over the instagram story to promote the post
- what emoji should I use
- does it need any emojis
- is there a question in there that will prompt my followers to engage
- does it mention my latest blog post
- have I tagged the brands
- I’ve just wasted 30 minutes trying to prep this
- have I missed the best time to upload
- ahh I thought this would have reached more people
- 20 likes in 10 minutes, what’s the point
- lets try and post on stories more
- has my post had any saves
- oooo someones forwarded my post to someone else
- how many link clicks did my latest blog post get
- do I actually enjoy this…
I thought I would talk about self-worth and Instagram from the perspective of someone that shares a lot on the platform.
Instagram is the only one that seems to bring me both joy and despair. I’ve been sharing on there for 5 years and I genuinely think over the past 2 years I’ve let it impact my self-worth. As someone who shares quite a lot, it’s hard not to get swept up into instagram likes becoming a source of validation. Why at times do I pin my self-worth on someone double tapping their screen or wanting to follow me? Or comparing how well my post does against someone else’s? This is something I’ve really had to come face to face with and acknowledge is a real thing for me.
According to this article 83% of women say social media negatively affects their self-esteem – 83%, just letting that sink in.
one place you won’t find your self-worth is instagram
I know that I’ve put this on myself, it’s not all Instagrams fault per say. For a lot of people this doesn’t happen, it can be a place of positivity where people feel a sense of community and joy. I love sharing on Instagram and I feel like especially with my stories I’ve got a bit of a ‘community’ going on, but I’ve also fallen into a mould and way of thinking that isn’t quite me, and from that I’m just not getting the joy out of instagram like I used to.
I wrote about what I learnt deleting Instagram for a week last year. Similar to that, two days after deleting the app off my phone last week I felt a sense of ease, the constant buzz of thoughts started to dwindle, I could focus on reading a book and spending time with my family, my creative juices started to come back and I felt confident about my ideas – it was sheer bliss to be honest.
What’s the real reason you post on Instagram?
I’m now at the point where I’m tackling the pangs of anxiety and general mind chaos that seems to come with that app. Often it catches me by surprise. I don’t want to keep having to escape Instagram, I want to make it work for me, identifying what’s bringing up the negative emotions and how I can make it a positive space for me like it is for so many others.
I also want to be honest and share content that’s inline with my values.
How I’m taking action to make instagram a more positive place…
I wanted to try and avoid it, but I can’t not mention coronavirus at this point. Being in lockdown undoubtedly gives most of us a lot more time to ponder, and it’s generally more effort to stay positive. Lockdown has made a difference to how I feel, my thought processes and how I feel about instagram too. We really do need to be kind to ourselves, even more so now.
Identifying what I want to share
This is what I’ve been working on figuring out the past few days – what do I actually want to share? I know I want my feed to be more than fashion and beauty content, so I’m just trying to trust my gut and intuition with what feels right for me. I’ve found Lucy Sheridan – The Comparison Cure and journalling to be really useful to actually coming to this conclusion.
Staying in my own lane
Regardless of what I perceive to be content that ‘does well’ across the platform I’m making it my mission to stay in my own lane and focus on the content I’m producing. It’s easy to get sucked into the fog so I’m being more mindful of that and staying confident about my own ideas.
Understanding whether someone’s content makes me feel good, or not so good
Some posts can be triggering, so I’m trying to figure out exactly what that looks like for me. I’ve figured out I really enjoy every day kind of content that’s pretty normal. The real life outfits, normal meals, achievable baking, tv recommendations. The stuff you chat to your best friends about. It’s why I started blogging in the first place so I’m really trying to consider this for my own content too.
Staying connected to my own values and goals
I really struggled to get clear on what I actually wanted to begin with, but I’ve realised it’s not what I’m currently posting which I think is the main reason I’ve been feeling a knock on my self-esteem. I thought my feed had to just be fashion to do well, and to be honest that might be the case but it’s just not me. I want to speak about self-care, mental health. Create content like this that’s honest and hopefully resonates and is truly helpful. I’m really trying to lean into this and it feels good to be sticking with my true values and creating new goals.
Being in the present
We’ve all got lost into a wave of mindless scrolling, it just seems to happen. I’m trying to be really intentional with the time I spend on Instagram. Setting boundaries feels quite scary to me, it’s admitting I need to make a change out of my normal routine for the sake of my own mental health, but it can feel big. I’ve been making small changes to be more present, things like not going on instagram for the first 30 minutes of the day, not going on it in the car, while eating. Small changes that actually build up to having a lot more time to focus on the present and be focused.
Not putting too much pressure on myself
I really need to remember that Instagram is only a small part of my life. I love writing my blog, I work full time and then there’s just general life on top of that to content with too. Self care is so important and nothing is worth sacrificing that.
Remembering my self-worth simply doesn’t come from likes
I don’t think this needs much more of an explanation. It’s having awareness that regardless of what happens on ‘the gram’ we’re all bloody good people and our opinions and values are absolutely valid.
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