You Are Not Your Instagram

I’m not sure who lied to you. I don’t know who mislead you and caused you to believe the slew of lies I’d like to clear up here.

You are not your Instagram.

pin this! (Styled stock photo from Ivymixer.)

 

Your Instagram might be you (as in, pictures of you), but you are not it.

Your Instagram is one of millions on one of the largest social networking sites in the world.

Your pictures are just a few of billions.

Your new posts may be quickly scrolled over, “liked” or not, but there will always be other accounts to follow.

But you are not your Instagram.

You aren’t just one of millions. You aren’t just pictures and words. You are not just a thing to be scrolled past and forgotten.

 

I know the battle. The battle for trying to “create a theme” by posting “quality content” to “build a following”, while being “different” and “original” and all-those-other-things that everyone says when they talk about being “good” at Instagram.

 

As if it’s just a game to be played. A game to be won.

But we’re not just players. Your number of likes and followers are not the points that decide whether you win or lose. Only you have that power.

Only you get to decide whether you control your feed, or whether you let it control you.

 

I came to these realizations recently when I thought about how much of my time I spend on this app… And how much of my priceless time I spend comparing, judging, and valuing myself and others because of this app.

And that’s all it is: an app.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Instagram. I like photography, I like looking at people’s pictures and captions, and I like creating my own content. I’ve met a bunch of really cool people through Instagram, that I never would’ve known without it.

 

I make the choice to use Instagram.

But when did I make the choice to let my self-worth be negatively influenced by it?

When did I make the decision to compare my life to the square photographs that other people choose to post?

When did I decide to let numbers, followers, and picture quality determine my worth as a person?

Sure, those things subjectively add value to my Instagram, but they shouldn’t negate any value from my real life.

 

In the constant cycle of getting caught in comparison, I made another decision. It’s a decision I made early on with Instagram, but it’s one that got piled with all the other thoughts I’ve let consume me.

I pulled this decision back out of the pile, and I’m keeping it on top this time.

I’ve decided that I don’t want my life to look better on Instagram. I want my actual life to be better than how it looks at face-value. I want it to actually be more fun, more colorful, and more memory-worthy than the Insta-worthy version I put on for the world.

I’ve decided that I want a beautiful life more than I want a beautiful Instagram.

Sure, it doesn’t have to be an either or. But for me, and the way I’ve let social media, and Instagram, specifically, influence me, I’ve made the choice. And I choose a better life.

I’d rather look at my Instagram and know that there’s more to me and my life than what you could learn from my pictures.

I’d rather look at my Instagram and see a highlight reel of good memories and my favorite photos, than to see a feed that’s perfectly cohesive and planned.

My life isn’t perfect. My life doesn’t have a color scheme, and it’s not always pretty. But it’s real.

My life isn’t my Instagram, and my Instagram isn’t, and shouldn’t be my life, not entirely.

 

What do you think of this topic? Have you struggled with the “Instagram game”, too?
If you liked this, please share on Pinterest!

 

39 Comments

  1. Monika
    October 3, 2017

    Oh, I know what you mean… it’s so easy to feel bad about yourself or your life while watching other people’s instagrams… The important thing is to always remember that life is not those pictures. People share only what they want to share. And when you feel you don’t have enough followers or likes… well, remember why you started to do it in the first place 🙂 for me it was for the love of photos! And if someone likes them great!… 😉

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      Monika you are so right! I totally agree that we can all benefit from remembering why we started… That’s so important!

      Reply
  2. Neva
    October 3, 2017

    I haven’t really had an issue with Insta because it doesn’t appeal to me that much, but Pinterest and Facebook get me a little down sometimes. I’ve even read studies indicating that people who spend a lot of time on social media are more likely to be depressed, and I believe it!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      I believe that, too!!

      Reply
    2. Tomi
      October 6, 2017

      I’ve read a lot of stuff like that! It’s crazy. Thanks for sharing this!
      xx, Tomi
      http://goodtomicha.com

      Reply
  3. Jim ki
    October 3, 2017

    Kristen, very thought provoking. I believe too many people get hung up on how their post looks rather than being theirselves.
    Keep up the good work.
    Grandpa

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      Thank you!! <3

      Reply
  4. Greivy
    October 3, 2017

    I completely agree, I think it’s good to put in practice giving your self lots of credit for any progress done because it’s not easy and getting caught up in comparing is the worst thing possible.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      I definitely agree, Greivy! It’s so important to celebrate our own success!

      Reply
  5. lauradnaillesite
    October 3, 2017

    I love this! I defiantly understand what you mean. I am actually taking a break right now because of my Instagram consumption. I loved all of your points as well. Just so good!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      Thanks, girl!!!

      Reply
  6. Ashton
    October 3, 2017

    I love this. Personally, I don’t scroll for hours like some do. When I do scroll, I love to see the beauty in the world and in the lives of the people I follow. It reminds me of how good God is. I also love how I’ve been able to use my Instagram and other platforms for God’s glory instead of my own. I love sharing what I know and what I am learning and what He shows me.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      That’s a beautiful way to combat the issue! I try to do that too, and just appreciate what’s out there without negatively letting it effect me!

      Reply
  7. Videllia
    October 3, 2017

    Such a great post Kristen. I was LITERALLY just scrolling on Instagram doing this exact thing when I got the notification that you posted a new blog. Comparing myself to others and determining my worth by Instagram follows and likes is definitely not good for me. It’s caused me to measure my own success of my site and blog based on that and like you said I am more than my Instagram! I’m going to try to get back into living my life for me vs living my life for the gram! Thanks for this.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      Ahh you’re amazing, Videllia!! I’m so glad I could help make a difference. Blessings!

      Reply
  8. Nicole Renard
    October 3, 2017

    I love this so so much. Thank you!!!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      You’re so welcome!! 🙂

      Reply
  9. Mihaela Echols
    October 3, 2017

    This is awesome! Following you on instagram. When I post on instagram I try to keep it faith related.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      I try to do the same thing, and it definitely helps!

      Reply
  10. Kori
    October 3, 2017

    Awesome post!! I only recently started using Instagram simply because I enjoy creating fun images, and have not taken time in the last decade to do things that make my heart sing. This is a great reminder though as I get started not to get too caught up in it.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      Thank you!! I hope you starting having time to do the things you love 🙂

      Reply
  11. Angelica Travel Size TIps
    October 3, 2017

    love this reminder that the world is bigger than our pics on instagram. There’s much more to life!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      You’re so right, Angelica!

      Reply
  12. Adilene
    October 4, 2017

    It’s so easy to fall into that. I’m glad I can relate with someone. Others peoples lives seem so perfect by their pictures and you wish yours could be like that as well.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      I know that feeling all too well!

      Reply
  13. Allison Marie
    October 4, 2017

    I have definitely struggled with the “Instagram Game”. I love all of this truth you’ve written, though! I’m definitely inspired to make my real life more beautiful than my Instagram feed.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 6, 2017

      I’m so glad, Allison! It’s a big reminder for myself too, and something I always have to keep in check!

      Reply
  14. Molly
    October 6, 2017

    THANK YOU for writing about this topic! This is something that everyone is constantly struggling with and it makes me so sad to see others putting so much self worth in this app. I’m over caring about my numbers on Instagram, I don’t find my worth there and know that no one’s life is what it looks like on there.

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 16, 2017

      You’re so welcome, Molly!! I agree, I don’t find my worth there either, and it’s not a good example of real life!

      Reply
  15. Darrian
    October 6, 2017

    This is SUCH a great post and a message that we all honestly need to hear.
    We get so caught up sometimes, especially as content creators, in getting this shot or that.
    We often don’t realize we’re completely missing those moments that are actually special.

    Darrian | http://www.darrianmichelle.com

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 16, 2017

      Thanks for you comment, Darrian, I totally agree! It’s so important to recognize those little moments.

      Reply
  16. aubreedv
    October 6, 2017

    It’s crazy how much time we spend in an app! I was honestly just about to go to Insta and reminded myself that I have so much great content I could read on here! And look what happened, I came across this post! Thank you for this!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 16, 2017

      Wow that is amazing!!! I love how things like that work out. You’re always exactly where you’re meant to be!

      Reply
  17. Naomi Destiny
    October 9, 2017

    This is such an excellent post! The sooner I realized, no one’s life is as perfect as their Insta feed, the better my life became. Living a productive life above all things posted on social media has always been my major goal. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 16, 2017

      You’re right on point, Naomi!! I’m working on re-focusing my life to do my best in the real-world, not just on social media!

      Reply
  18. Claudia
    October 9, 2017

    I loved this post a little too much… I spend so much time scrolling, liking, commenting… It is absurd. I have found myself getting anxious because a picture did not workout out the way I wanted it.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 16, 2017

      Claudia I’m the same way! It’s so much easier to lose perspective with the app than to get it back. I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

      Reply
  19. Erin Port
    October 9, 2017

    What a great message and reminder to us all that these social media apps are not who we are and they do not define us. xoxo ERIN

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      October 16, 2017

      So true, thanks Erin!!

      Reply

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