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.
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?
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