Right, so first things first: I LOVE Instagram. Whenever I’m waiting in line somewhere or a cab, the first thing I do is unblock my phone and scroll down my Instagram. I follow mostly things that interest me and that I like reading about, like beauty and wellness accounts. However, there was always the little voice inside me that was like…hmm..should I be spending all these time looking at this pictures? Probably not. And then, last week, I saw them: the articles that claimed The Gram was THE worst for your mental health. Instead of being like “Nah,” I opened then and read them. Honestly, it made sense.
First, the obvious: Instagram makes you lose time. I look at it first time when I wake up in the morning, and then I open it before going to bed. It’s seriously like a black whole, I can spend hours just looking at pictures and honestly, I could have been reading a book or writing. Or you know what? Just like talking to someone! An actual human being, having a real interaction.
Second, it makes you feel like you’re not enough/you’re not doing enough. Yes, it does. Think about it for a second: you spend (at least I know I do) hours of my days seeing pictures of girls with eight packs (because six packs are no longer enough) and people having crazy busy lives. These last ones are often packed with traveling, eating at fancy restaurants, going out with friends, a different fitness class every day and endless, voluminous hair. And Acai bowls (which I still haven’t figured out exactly what they are).
The truth is life is not like this; we probably do fancy things once or twice a week. We don’t see friends as much as we would like to. It takes months to start saving up for traveling. Everyone has lives where they have to do stuff they don’t want to do, and I’m sure Instagram is not the place for that. Your annual visit to the dentist, a zipper that won’t go up, an unanswered text, a bad day at work (!) So.Many.Things. The reality is we just Instagram what we like people to see.
You can tell me about the positive hashtags, #realinstagram and what not, but seriously those are not enough. I’m all about the body positiveness revolution, but the truth is it takes more than pictures that say positive words to change the way you look at yourself because all processes are personal. And you know, Instagram bodies are not real, but filters sure are. We can’t keep comparing ourselves to filters because we don’t live filtered lives. Maybe the solution would be to live our lives more and live less on the gram. Have real interactions, look at ourselves in the mirror and see how blessed we are. And seriously! Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others because everyone has their stories. Maybe if we shared our live experiences in conversations and not in online comments and we would see what’s real.
To wrap things up, I do think it affects your mental health, especially if you spend as much time as I do on it. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I’m going to close my Instagram or even change it to be more real. I’m going to take it for what it is: a useful tool to share pictures of cool things that I do. Sometimes, I’m just going to distance myself from it and remind myself to take everything with a pinch of salt. Oh, and I’m also going to try and remind myself that it’s better to do something you enjoy than to watch someone else do it. Right? Right.
Oh and seriously let’s stop it with the goals thing. There’s not such thing as collective goals(life goals, hair goals, body goals, etc.). Your body goals should involve the body that you have. Don’t you like it?Train more, eat better and get some good rest but make your goal personal: about being comfortable in your skin and making yourself happy. Or even better, start being happy regardless if you have reached your goal.
What do you think of Instagram? Do you love it or are you like me and you’re ready to spend less time on it? Does it make you feel like you’re enough/ doing enough?
Please let me know in the comments; I would love to hear from you!