Remember in sixth grade when we’d post on Instagram just to update our followers on our new home screen? Big surprise, we’re still on the same app. You are in control of what you see on your feed and this is something that is so hard to remember these days. As soon as you understand that social media is not real life, you have some big changes to make to your account.
Instagram is well known to be one of the most toxic social media apps in the app store right now. It’s the 6 foot barbie models and affluent wealthy teens living the life we wish we had that make these apps so hard to look away from. You think you like it and then suddenly you’re sucked into the spiral of wishing you were someone else living someone else’s life. We’re here to tell you how you can make your Instagram a safe space again.
The most important part of letting go of toxic behaviors relating to Instagram is removing people. The beauty of two clicks can remove someone from your feed forever. Well, until they show up in your suggested. Just kidding… you can remove them from there too!
Something I realized in quarantine was that I don’t have an interest in seeing about 90 percent of the people from my high school again. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t ever see them again for longer than a pass in the grocery store over my summer break. This is what put me in the mindset to one day scroll through my following on the app and unfollow every single person from my high school that I didn’t want to see photos of. No, there’s nothing against these people. There are even a few people I had previously been close with that I decided to remove from my account. Let’s just figure if they still have the app that shows who unfollowed them and are willing to get mad about it, they have more issues than I do (sorry not sorry).
It’s not about liking or not liking someone enough to unfollow them. It’s an understanding that the app is used to share photos we are proud of, art we are working on, our journeys to self discovery, happiness and highlighting the sunny side of our lives. The app is not meant for us to spend hours looking and wishing we had someone else’s body, life, relationships or anything that’s not ours. It’s also important to make it clear that it’s not about jealousy either; it is truly about making your feed personalized to you and the things you love, care about and are passionate for.
Make your social media about you again and not other people, what they think or what they post. You are in charge of what you see, how it makes you feel and how you continue to approach Instagram and other social media apps is up to you first. As soon as you ask someone else which picture to post and listen to them instead of your own opinion, you unqualify yourself a little bit more in your own head. Listen to yourself and put yourself in your best interest, NOT other people. If you like a picture enough to put it in your drafts, just post it and stop being nervous about people’s opinions that you shouldn’t care about. People are seeking more individuality on social media. The more unique and true to yourself you are, the more you’re going to enjoy yourself (most importantly) and the app itself.