As a fair warning, this may seem like a bitter rant and I totally get it if what I will share doesn’t relate to you. We live in a vast world, after all and not everybody out there feels the way I do. In that case, feel free to stop reading my story darlings. No hard feelings. I just felt called to share my perspective on Instagram because it is so relevant in the present-day world we inhabit.
I mean it is so vogue to exhibition our lives for the whole world to see, right? Like a soul sister, I am here to offer up my frustrations, observations, and concerns alike, with the hope that we can evolve both individually and societally.
I am seriously worried about the direction we are heading in as a society and truly envision a simpler life for future generations. One that isn’t so narcissistic and overcomplicated. Tell me I am wrong and I am all ears, dears. But for now, hear me out. Instagram is totally out of control, right? Am I the only women out there who is tired of our selfie-obsessed, egotistical world? How far is too far?
Every time I scroll through my Instagram feed, I am punched in the face with a drowning surge of glossy, perfectly photoshopped landscapes and annoyingly perfect beach bodies. There is no end in sight. I don’t have the mental strength to serve as a shield against its’ influence.
No matter how much I tell myself that Instagram lives aren’t real representations of the human experience, I can’t help but let out a drawn-out sigh. Will I ever be able to compete? Am I missing something? Will I ever have a sexy girl squad to slay it with?
This shattering fear overtakes me and I am left to wonder. What if I will never have the shiny Instagram life? Does that mean I am unworthy? Do those glamorous Instagram models know something I don’t? Wait a minute! Could it be that I am entirely different than these girls?
The questions I ask myself each time I log onto my Instagram are unending and the all familiar achy feeling always returns, time and again. It doesn’t matter how many yoga classes I take or spirituality books I devour that all point to the fact that happiness should derive from within.
From Deepak Chopra to Eckhart Tolle to Rumi, they all speak of humans as timeless, beautiful beings with unique attributes that the world needs and adores. Or that mindfulness is all we need to be still and gleeful. Or that everything is temporary and that what we see outside of ourselves is an illusion. Yada, yada, yada. I have heard it all and I do all that I can to avoid falling trap to the instagram obsessed social landscape.
It is hard work, though and it seems like I can’t really escape the heavy hold of social media no matter what I do. A tiny sliver of me still dies every time I look at those darn girls and their seemingly perfect lives. I question my own reality and become paralyzed with doubt, self-defeat, and absolute disappointment.
I disassociate myself from my magnificent nature and become a girl who doesn’t matter enough. At least not according to the world of Instagram. To Instagram, I am a nobody.
I mean, I don’t have a million followers or thousands of likes. Instead, I am just a writer with a few select friends and an adoration of yoga. That isn’t important enough for the world at large and every time I log onto Instagram I am reminded of my inadequacy. I feel so incredibly small that it hurts. It doesn’t feel good, I will tell you that much. I didn’t pass the test to enter the Instagram cool club. Heck, maybe I never will.
I wish social media wasn’t so relevant in our world today because at this rate, I will never make it. Instead of going on and on about my own personal dilemma with Instagram, now is the time for change. We have to band together and put a stop to this madness. One person at a time.
If any of you even agree with my stance, can you ask yourselves if you are contributing to this selfie society? If so, let’s take action! Can’t we stop showing off to the rest of the world or at least exhibit a more relaxed, true showcase of our lives? Perhaps portray the truth and nothing but the truth.
I mean, there are girls out there who sink into numbing depression or relapse into deadly eating disorders due to the plethora of unreachable lives they see on screen. We never know what types of sensitive beings are exposed to our profiles and without the full picture, it could be the last straw before they spiral out of control. We just never know.
If all they see is an Instagram page filled to the brim with tropical vacations, dynamite bodies, and perfectly groomed faces, they may not realize that there is a lot beyond what meets the eye. Some girls may see their own normal lives or imperfections as a sign of personal fault, all while being fed an Instagram lie.
Others even commit suicide for varying reasons, with social media being a part of their personal tragedy. Is social media really worth losing valued lives over? I think not! If only we could stop contributing to this craziness. That is precisely what I did too, actually. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and pretend I am an anti-Instagram activist, when I am in fact supporting the very thing I scowl. Up until this point, even while expressing distaste at Instagram celebrities and pseudo-models or even yogi superstars, I was blind to the fact that I too, was showing off via Instagram.
I may not be Kim Kardashian, but to many other girls, I could be seen as living a kickass life. A life that has no rough edges. In a smaller degree, I too, could bring other girls around me sorrow. Especially those who don’t have access to the same fortunes I do, or who wished they looked like me.
Who knows what goes on in the mind of strangers? Unknowingly, I could have made my family members in Iran jealous and saddened. Those loved ones who can never come to America for socio-political reasons that are out of their control. It would tear me up to know that I caused any of them distress through my overflowing picture diary of uninhibited freedom. All while they were stuck in a patriarchal, inhibiting world with a completely different set of opportunities. That wouldn’t be fair, would it? I noticed that the only facet of myself that I was exhibiting was the dreamy, seductive one.
No one could see my depression. No one could see my sleepless nights riddled with fear. No one could see my breakouts or my tears. No one could see the real, imperfect me through my Instagram profile.
In essence, I was only showing an ounce of my depth and coming face to face with this truth moved me to stop fueling the very monster I wanted to hide from. To be honest, when I dug deep and questioned my motives behind my profile, I realized that its’ primary intent was to satiate my ego. Point blank.
Why did people I have no actual relationship with in real life need to know I went to a five-star resort in Cancun? Or that I have a yoga body? I want to help the world brighten and my selfies weren’t adding much to that dream of mine.
That is why I chose to delete my Instagram, at least until I develop a stronger mind and spiritual lens by which I can view my world, as well as a means of exhibiting my reality in its entire extent. If there is a way in which I can utilize my Instagram profile for serving the greater good, then by all means I should go for it. But, I can admit I am not quite there yet. I don’t want to be a fake in a world full of one too many fakes. I figure the world needs less social media supporters at this time.
From my perspective, Instagram does way more harm than good.
This morning, as I was scrolling through my email, I stumbled upon this news post that illustrated how one instagram model died from the complications associated with her last plastic surgery procedure.
Prior to her passing, when interviewed, the model discussed in depth that her fascination with achieving perfection had to do with all of the Instagram models and celebrities she aspired to emulate. To the point of losing her life! She presumably had mental issues that drove her obsession and isn’t representative of the majority of us.
Yet we can’t ignore the fact that the unrealistic beauty standards flooding social media outlets like Instagram aren’t helping reduce these tragedies. Scary, right? I couldn’t help but place a bit of the blame on social media. It has really warped our minds, making beauty and living standards totally unrealistic and external. Nothing we do seems to be enough, driving a lot of us to outrageous degrees just to barely stay afloat. But at what price?
This poor girl is an extreme example, but are we sure social media isn’t negatively impacting us as well? I know that not all of us may agree that Instagram is getting out of hand and to those of you, I applaud you for your ability to utilize it in a productive fashion. For the rest of us, however, the movement towards less fantasy and more transparency begins with each one of us. It is our job as a society to stand up to the social media rush and slow it down for both our generation and those to come.
Let’s leave our screens behind and make beautiful memories in the real world. Are you all with me?