Millenial culture has led us to become a generation of overworked and overstressed people. I don't know about you, but I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough or creating to the best of my artistic ability. Endlessly scrolling in a sea of perfect feeds and unrealistic #bodygoals for hours on a daily basis has done nothing but mentally drain me.
I'm tired of spending hours attempting to plan my feed, edit a picture, and come up with the perfect caption.
I'm tired of trying to have a theme.
I'm tired of having to engage with others for 30 minutes before and after posting my picture on Instagram at exactly the "right time", whenever that is. Oh, and don't forget the hashtags.
As if that wasn't exhausting enough, after all this work, I have to make sure my post gets enough engagement within the first 10 minutes so that the algorithm will push it out to more of my followers. Spoiler alert: the algorithm sucks. WHY AM I DOING THIS?
Lately, I keep asking myself that question more and more on a daily basis. The answer? I'm addicted to Instagram and feel like I need to actively post for the sake of building my brand. Honestly, if I wasn't a content creator, I would've deleted my account a long time ago.
Using Instagram for business removes the fun out of the app. I simply want to create without the pressure of being perfect or getting a certain amount of likes.
After deciding I was going to delete Instagram, the first step I took was cleaning up my feed. I unfollowed around 300 profiles, which included:
- inactive accounts
- people I no longer talk to
- influencers who edit their bodies to unnatural proportions
- clickbait beauty video accounts
- random people I don't know why I followed
- a girl who ended up becoming a stripper
Yes, you read that right. It felt so good and already removed some weight off my shoulders. Speaking of pressure...
Instagram Engagement Pods
Last year, I joined an Instagram engagement pod after seeing several girls post about it on a private Facebook beauty group. "One spot open in my engagement group!" "Started a new like and comment pod! Adding the first ten people to drop their handles on this post!"
Fear of missing out led me to monitor the group for a pod that appeared to have the best mix of influencers in it, which to me was a range of people who had anywhere from less than 1,000 followers to over 100,000 followers. One group led to another and next thing I know, I'm in too many pods to handle and glued to my phone. The groups were filled with drama and girls tattling to me about how "so and so didn't like my post or blocked me."
Hello, we're all adults here. I'm not your mom, therapist, or counselor. Resolve your own issues. It was one of the worst and most stressful times in my journey as a content creator. I left all the Instagram pods last summer and will never join one again.
Focusing on Mental Health
As creatives, we need time to reset sometimes. It's okay to take a break. Taking care of your mental health is so much more important than making sure you're staying active on Instagram, or any social media platform for that matter.
The second you cut out toxic people and environments from your life, the better you will begin to feel. You are the product of the people you surround yourself with both in person and online. Keep your social circle positive. Ask yourself, is this person...
- helping me grow?
- a positive addition to my life?
- making me a better person?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no," cut them out. These questions apply to social media apps, as well. Know your worth and love yourself enough to walk away from any situation that no longer benefits you. For me, it's time to delete Instagram.
Will i come back to instagram?
Yeah, probably. When? I have no clue. I'm taking a break for as long as I need to feel rebalanced and happy. In the meantime, I will be focusing more on creating content for my YouTube channel and maintaining my Tuesday/Thursday 12:00 PM PST upload schedule. Additionally, I plan on blogging more consistently, as I genuinely enjoy writing. Posting regularly is a goal I've had and neglected since starting my blog because I put too much of my time and energy into Instagram.
Don't get me wrong, I love photography, filming, and editing, but Instagram is no longer a platform where I feel happy sharing my work. I want to foster a positive community and engage with my audience on discussion based platforms, like YouTube and my blog, because I love connecting with others on a more personal level than a like on Instagram. While there are several people I truly enjoy communicating with through Instagram and will miss, removing myself is the best decision for my sanity.