One thing you may have noticed about this platform is that we currently have no social media links. I also do not have any personal social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, the basics). Living In LA, perhaps at a club, the first thing somebody will ask me is what my Instagram is. Not how is your day going? or Where are you from? but more something along the lines of Are you verified on Instagram? Tell an LA girl you don’t have an Instagram and I swear they look at you like you just told them you’re homeless.
To put it as simply as possible: social media fucks you up mentally. The frightening part is that you can portray yourself to be anything you desire to be over the internet. Our egos crave that validation that comes along with making others envious of our lives. I am guilty of changing my aesthetic, personality, and entire lifestyle revolving around my Instagram at least five times. Personally, I found that I used my social media as an escape from my real life. I came to the conclusion that as long as everybody else perceives me as something, I can continue hiding from my reality. Your social media is not you -your social media is what you want people to see. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could pick and choose what we wanted others to see in real life?
We spend countless hours, scrolling through our feeds, observing other people’s lives. We are programmed to compare ourselves to them rather than taking steps forward in our real lives to get to where we desire to be. I deleted my Instagram about a year ago, because I found myself filled with anxiety and self-doubt every time I opened the app. I know now, that these were my own insecurities that were being brought to the surface and triggered by other’s accounts. I remember recently I came across Instagram again on a friend’s phone and couldn’t help but scroll and see what I had missed. I could feel the literal shift in my energy and mood once I had spent only ten minutes looking at “Instagram models”. I can’t imagine how this must have sub-consciously affected me when this was part of my normal routine. For those that still spend generous amounts of time on social media – I recommend unfollowing “models” and following designers, creators, artists, motivational speakers, and wellness advocates. You will notice the difference in how inspired you feel by filling your feed up with posts to positively help you grow.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shaming Instagram influencers. But there does come a point when we need to ask ourselves exactly why we are putting these people on a pedestal of inspiration. What exactly are they inspiring us to achieve? Is it an unrealistic lifestyle? Is it unrealistic body goals? Are they giving us the tools to better ourselves and achieve or just expressing their success in order to stroke their ego? Social media is an extremely powerful tool and can be used in positive ways. Rather than using this strong power of the internet to post photos of ourselves and things – we should be using it to uplift one another. We need to normalize the idea of posting our thoughts, feelings, creations, and inspiration rather than whatever strokes our egotistic mind. Once we release the competition factor of social media – we will create a safer space of expression to positively influence one another.
Photography by Christy Flaherty