Apparently social media addiction is a thing, and I think I have it.
I still remember my first Instagram photo, it was a picture of 8 subway sandwiches lined up in order. I didn’t post it, my friends did. They were introducing me to this new photo sharing app. Back then Instagram wasn’t such a big thing yet, and I didn’t really post much.
After I left high school, Instagram was slowly growing into one of those popular apps like Facebook and Twitter, and I found myself always scrolling down through my feed, admiring beautiful pictures taken by people that I follow. I admit looking at pictures of people having a great time with their friends, rocking that adorable outfit they had put on for a date, travelling to places with amazing scenery, it made me felt bad about myself, and thoughts about how my life is dull and boring was always lingering in my mind. I always felt sad and down after spending time on Instagram.
I wasn’t obsessed yet at that point, I didn’t have a lot of Instagram followers anyway, until one day, I posted a picture of me standing under the sun in some weird backache pose. That post gained about 50 likes, which was a lot for me considering the fact that the most likes I had so far were around 20 likes, plus normally I don’t post pictures of me.
I remembered how surprised and happy I was, and that’s how it started. I had dinner with friends, posted that online; I went hiking with friends, posted that online; I wore something gorgeous for a event, posted that online; the most extreme was, I travelled for 10 days, posted a picture of me every single day. And everytime someone likes my photo, I feel satisfied, I feel noticed, and I felt like I belonged in the Instagram community, living a colourful life as well.
Did I feel better? I thought I did, but it got worse. I was never satisfied no matter how many people liked and commented on my posts. I always felt down no matter what when I look at other people’s posts. I was comparing myself to others, and beating myself up (mentally) for not being good enough, for getting lesser likes compared to them.
It was an impulse move. I just posted a picture of me hanging out with a group of people that I work with 2 days ago, but now, it’s all gone, forever. I deleted my Instagram account today! At first, I felt relieved that I did it, but after that, thoughts started creeping in. Now people won’t know where I went, what I did, and how much fun I had. I feel like I’m going through identity crisis right now. What if people forget my existence? What if people think I’m not cool anymore?
It’s my first day, and I’m really panicking a little bit inside, but I hope, no, I will get over this. I’m not an entertainer, my purpose in life right now is not to entertain people with little details going on in my life. I have so much more other meaningful things to do like learning a new skill instead and focusing on my studies.
I’m not saying social media is bad. However in my case, Instagram impacts me more negatively than the benefits it can offer. Serious talk, social media is not bad, it’s the mindset of the people who are using it affects the experience they have there. I believe all inventions started out with good intentions. You don’t blame the knife for killing people, you blame the person who holds it, right?
Update: I ended up opening a new account for myself hah, so much for quitting instagram ==