Why I No Longer Spend A Ton Of Time On Instagram

Instagram. It's a place full of people who share their photos for the world to see, or if their account is private, a select amount of people to see. It's a very popular social media app where many people hope to gain likes and comments from their peers to feel as though they have accomplished something. Or, it could be a place for businesses to reach their target audience better. Either way, it's just a harmless app that is used for fun, right? Wrong. For some people, Instagram is a place where their insecurities either started or increased from. Let's take me, for example.

When I first joined Instagram, it was a very fun app. I would just post my pictures with no concern about likes and comments. It was just a nice place to hype up my friends and receive some of that same hype. But this quickly changed Freshmen year of high school when social media started to gain a lot of traction. Like any other Freshman, I had Snapchat, Kik, and Instagram. But, Instagram was the one that was a source of concern for me. On the other two apps, your followers, likes, comments, and all of those things were not made visible to everyone. Instagram however, those things were right on display. People also posted way more photos on Instagram, and from there, my insecurities started.

I would look at the "popular kids" at schools' Instagrams and noticed how they had a ton of likes and were always wearing the nicest makeup and clothes and always looked happy. Me, on the other hand, I rarely got over 20 likes, never wore makeup, and wore clothes I liked but were deemed "uncool." I would start to even look at how skinny some of the girls were and wanted to look like them. I even at one point started wishing I was lighter like the other girls were, it was like I thought me being a darker-skinned Black girl was the problem with why I couldn't get the same amount of likes as everyone else. These thoughts continued until last year when I started college. Slowly, I started seeing that I didn't have to look like the other girls to be beautiful. I learned that everyone had their own beauty and that you couldn't compare yourself to anyone else for that reason.

Nowadays, I tend to go on Instagram for maybe 20 minutes a day at the most. I also started to follow more people who looked like me and had similar outlooks on life so that I wouldn't have to feel like I wasn't enough anymore. I even started following more accounts that post positivity and focus on self-love to always keep myself motivated when I do go on Instagram. While I'm still not 100% where I would like to be in terms of self-love, I have come a long way and am more aware of what I allow myself to view on social media.