#18: Instagram and I
Hello dear Reader, I’m knocking on your door a bit late, I know,
Instagram and I have had an entirely complex relationship, as it is with most users. At times, it’s nurturing and enjoyable to be on it, but during other instances, it feels suffocating as everything going on on the platform reeks of toxicity, misinformation and triggering entities. A few months ago, I was introspecting as to why I was still active on the app. This inner reflection comes to me frequently, and the end result will lead to me eliminating everything I deem negative on my feed and performing a cleanse of sorts. Does this account spark joy? No. Unfollow. But something always creeps back in, leading to the cycle cropping up again.
I’m happy to say that the above does not materialize anymore due to the fact that I just don’t use the app as much right now. If you’re asking me how that happened, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m asking myself the same. Maybe the universe just demanded it and I’m at its mercy.
I remember that at one point in my life, whenever I used to go somewhere or do something, the first thing that would come to my mind was that I should put it up on Instagram. I realized that this mindset of mine wasn’t on, and what’s even worse is that before I even proceeded to take part in something, I’d think of how it would be if I storied it on Instagram. Everyone craves that validation online, I’m not denying that it doesn’t feel good when a compliment arrives in your DM from time to time. However, being wholly dependent on this sort of affirmation isn’t the way. After I recognized this behaviour in myself, I forced myself not to post if the above thoughts came into my mind, and right now I hardly put anything up. I’m definitely not saying that publishing things on there is a bad thing, I’ve just stopped and have a low key presence because of what I was feeling before.
It also took me a hell of a long time to discern that life portrayed online isn’t the same as what’s happening in real life. With body image issues being rampant, right now it’s great to see a myriad of daily occurrences being normalized on social media, I mean it was normal to begin with, but the pictures displayed were literally flawless. This led me, and everyone else to think that that’s how it actually exists - perfect skin, no bloating, no cellulite and much more, when in reality it’s totally different. Bree Lenehan exudes confidence and she keeps it real, it’s inspiring to see more and more pages like hers pop up in the humongous realm of accounts out there.
Since I’m going on a tangent of positives, Instagram was a real helpful place during the dreaded second wave of Covid in India this year. Whether it was oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, or vaccination appointments, getting leads was made much less futile. A massive chunk of the population lost their jobs during the lockdown, and taking to Instagram to put forth their small businesses into action was the way to go. Thrift stores, bakers, jewellery makers, artists and so many more types of businesses are thriving. Creators have a space to share their work with the world, but of late, the way the algorithm works dictates what kind of content will garner more reach. Reach is everything and I honestly do get it, I want this piece of me to get dropped in the hands of more and more people and to do that I’ll have to work differently sometimes.
I’m always seeking new pages to follow to spruce up my feed to make it filled with art, comics, writing, memes of course and a few things niche. A while ago, all I could see were fancy Studygrams and that girl videos. Let me give you a bit more clarity. Studygrams are accounts where students share their methods of studying along with aesthetic views of their desk, and beautiful handwritten notes. I know that I can’t match up to their level, but these snippets motivate me to try and open my book at the least. That girl is someone who is living that healthy lifestyle - getting up early, working out, eating right, setting goals and at the same time taking breaks and giving in to cravings; everything that I want to manifest right now! My friend and I tried making a couple of videos similar to their lifestyle vlogs and it came out well! Funnily enough, I learnt of the concept on newsletters on Instagram as well.
We’ve all doom scrolled and gone down a rabbit hole with Reels. It has significantly reduced my attention span and I’m thankful to say that the Reels on my feed are so off putting that I’m forced to close it. It’s a blessing in disguise I’m sure, thank you, algorithm! I found this thread which was relevant to what’s actually going on in the Instagram sphere and thought that it was a fitting end to this piece. Here it is:
Links you’ll love
50 outfits when you have nothing to wear - much needed as I’m a serial outfit combination repeater.
Top causes of death among summer interns (not as morbid as it sounds I promise).
You - Troye Sivan, I’m currently obsessed with this song and even more so with the music video, which reveals the treacherous side of deepfakes.
Keeping up with this week’s theme, get off that phone! :p