Deleting my Instagram

I recently took the plunge and said goodbye to my decade-old Instagram account, which some people see in this day and age as akin to cutting off a limb. Here’s my post-Instagram thoughts. 

Deleting my Instagram

As someone who subconsciously holds lifelong grudges and has an overactive imagination, I realised ten years into using Instagram that it was feeding all my toxic behaviours. If someone unfollowed me I’d panic, creating fake scenarios in which I’d upset them and they hated me. Liking people’s pictures became an absent-minded task, like brushing my teeth. My follower count had to be higher than the number of people I followed, as part of an unspoken rule of “coolness”. 

I began questioning whether I still wanted to see life updates from people who bullied me in primary school, and the answer to this question? No. I didn’t. I’m of the belief that human beings aren’t meant to keep in touch with everyone they’ve ever met. In ye olde days before social media, if you wanted to remain in contact with people you could write them letters or make trips to visit them, which are actions filled with intention and that foster deep connections. Instead, social media (and Instagram in particular) resides in this hellish limbo between not being cut off from people from your past, but also being kept abreast of everything they do. It’s the perfect trigger for a comparison mindset, which as a recently unemployed graduate is the last thing I need. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from being anti-social media, and I resent anyone who thinks they deserve a gold star for refusing to engage with certain platforms. My screen time regularly amounts to six hours a day (yikes), and I find great joy in using Tiktok and Twitter. The reason I prefer these sites over Instagram is the lack of pressure to build a personal brand and have your face all over everything. With both sites you can remain anonymous and still engage with whatever content grabs your fancy (anything involving dogs is my prime source of dopamine). It doesn’t matter if you don’t post or like anything. 

What I’ve come to learn is that you can curate social media to fit your own personal needs. One site may suit you more than another, and you’re no less involved in the world of constant online connection if you choose Tiktok over Facebook or Instagram. You don’t need to go to either extreme of deleting all your accounts and becoming a hermit who lives off-grid in a moss-ridden swamp, or being active on every site at all times and devoting all hours of the day to doom-scrolling as you go cross-eyed. There is space for you to set boundaries and find out exactly what works for you. 

If you want to find me on Instagram, you can’t. But do follow Voice @voicemaguk.

Header Image Credit: Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Author

Claire Jenns

Claire Jenns Kickstart Team

English Literature graduate, loves reading, writing and travel.

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2 Comments

  • Elle Farrell-Kingsley

    On 15 March 2021, 16:22 Elle Farrell-Kingsley Contributor commented:

    Great article and I love the ending! I hope it helps!

  • Daisy Mellor

    On 18 March 2021, 19:02 Daisy Mellor Contributor commented:

    Very refreshing! I definitely think Instagram can be a negative space for comparing yourself to others so love this idea!!

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