Wednesday, November 30, 2016


     
 


I love Instagram, I really do. What's not to love? You can find pretty much everything you could possibly want in one swipe of your finger. Interested in losing weight and getting fit? There's an account for that. Looking for recipes to spice up your daily meals? You'll find plenty. I follow accounts dedicated to animals, positive body image, food, wineries, professional dirt bike riders, Hawaii, even I Love Lucy and Leonardo DiCaprio (because I have an unwavering love for both). And of course, I follow fellow bloggers and friends. In theory, it's the perfect social media platform. When I first discovered it, I had just finished deleting my Facebook, so it was a natural transition. Less drama, more inspiration. Less talk, more pictures. Less commitment...I got behind it right away.

I used it to post things that I love, and I tied it into my blog. I thought I was being clever, until I realized that most people use it for that reason too. I'm not as clever as I thought. I didn't want people to know that I had a blog, so I was careful to only use "Beautygirl24" and not my actual name. I only tried posting a handful of times per week, promising myself that I wouldn't let this app become a new obsession. Damn was I wrong. "The road to Hell is often paved with good intentions."

Okay, I'm being melodramatic. Let me explain.

I have a bad case of the Instagram effect. Or is it affect? I'm clearly being affected.

It's easy to get caught up and sort of lose yourself in social media. As a relatively quiet person, social media allows me the freedom to be who I am without fear of having "real life" conversations. I can put whatever I want out there into the ether, and if someone criticizes me, it doesn't feel as painful because it isn't a face to face exchange. That's not to say I don't get disappointed when I see my follower numbers going down, or when I'm not getting as many likes as some of my friends are. I hate that I feel like I need validation from perfect strangers. I constantly teeter between wanting to post more often, and wanting to post less. The worst part is feeling like it's one giant distraction. I check Instagram several times per day, almost aimlessly as though I'm looking for something but don't quite know what that something is. I follow about 300 accounts, a reasonable number I suppose. If I haven't checked it in a couple hours, I fear that I'm missing out on something important. I check it as soon as my eyes open every morning, a handful of times before and after lunch, in the evening, while watching television, and before I go to sleep. That's a problem isn't it? If I did this with anything else in my life, I'd probably be taken to rehab or institutionalized. Or I'd be super successful because I'd be using that time to actually get shit done rather than wasting time.

Then there's the comparison factor. Here's an actual conversation I've had with Nate:
Me: Ugh she's in Europe again! I want to go to Europe babe.
Nate: Have you figured out how we're going to get there, how we can afford it?
Me: Um, no not quite.
Nate: How can she afford to travel so much? Does she have a job 'cuz there's no way I'd get that much time off work to go travel every other month.
Me: I think she blogs full-time.
Nate: Why don't you try that?
Me: I dunno. I don't think I want to. I wouldn't be good at it.
Nate: Well, quit complaining then.
Me: Okay (keep scrolling through said blogger's feed, feeling like a sore loser).

This happens a lot. Not just with seeing others traveling the globe, but seeing people doing mundane things. Average, everyday things! How is that possible? So yes, the comparison factor is very very real and I know everyone must feel it at some point. As much as I root for people being happy and successful, it's difficult when you feel like you're not living up to your own potential. It's easy to get down on yourself.

So I'm trying to take mini breaks from social media, even if just for a day. Hell even if it's just for a few hours! I still love Instagram, I really do. But there's life outside of it. Thank God.


11 comments:

  1. oh yes Social Media can be such a trap, while I still post as much as I used too I actually started spending less time on there, same with snapchat. It can be so time consuming.


    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. It really is a trap! I love that description:)

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  2. ^^ I'm in the same boat as Rachelle. I'm trying to spend less time on IG/Snapchat. And I'm always working to keep the comparison feelings in check. It gets to all of us so you're not alone.
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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    1. Less time on social media means more time enjoying family and friends outside of it. It's nice to know we all experience the comparison "trap" as Rachelle said. That's why I've been wanting to write this post :)

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  3. I've been so busy lately instagram has taken a total back seat. I am so bad about posting on it and sometimes that is a good thing! It's nice to take social media break now and then!

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    1. That's a good thing! A few of my friends don't even have social media and they honestly seem so much more content when we go out and they aren't worrying about documenting everything we do! It's a good lesson. Balance is key!

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  4. I'm nodding to everything you wrote. Yes, yes, and yes! Great post. I only joined Instagram a few months ago and don't have a big following but I follow lots of bloggers. It gets to me sometimes but I know that people only post good things not bad.

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  5. I see what you are saying here except my view on social media is different. I only have IG and FB. I scroll through my IG once a day (FB I strictly use for friends and relatives). But I don't tend to compare myself to others on IG. You don't know what goes on in ppl's lives and reel life often is misrepresented especially this is done by IG'ers who see themselves as celebrities, lol!

    You gtta take everything with a grain of salt. If you do, then social media will not overwhelm you. Lotsa stuff and lotsa trips do not bring happiness, it's much deeper than that :)

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  6. Instagram and social media in general are tough. It's hard not to compare and to stay true to yourself. I think you do a great job!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  7. Girl that is so smart! It is so true. It is a facade - a highlight reel of other people's lives! You can't just quit your job and blog full time unless someone is paying you. I wish I could do that too! No sense in comparing yourself to other people! You have so much right in front of you to be thankful for. You are wise beyond your years! :)

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  8. Such a well written post, Noelle! I loved it and definitely can relate. Now that my schedule is busier, it's definitely one of the first things that falls off my priority list, which I guess is good right? That I'm not giving up a true life necessity for IG? Ha! It's funny though bc I do use Facebook for just friends and family and it can be so negative to scroll through that feed. Especially with all the drama. Instagram is my happy place. Filtered the way I like with only things that make me happy. Which is sometimes quite good for my own sanity! The comparison factor is certainly tough to balance! I do try to remind myself that it's all relative, but yeah, still a struggle for all of us!
    Carylee | http://morepiecesofme.com

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