This was originally called Five reasons I hate Instagram until my list blew out to ten.
Ten reasons I hate Instagram was progressing well until I realised that there was actually ONE common underlying theme. One reason I hate Instagram isn’t quite as catchy, so… here we are.
As it happens I hate Instagram cos it just friggin’ depresses the hell out of me. I’ve tweeted about this before and received understanding responses, so know I’m not alone in my frustration, but I struggle with it enough that I’m thinking of quitting Instagram altogether.
When I joined Instagram it was primarily to manipulate photos so they looked vaguely decent. Now however there are so many smart device photo editing options Instagram isn’t really my first choice in that respect. So… it might save my sanity if I close my account 0r – at a minimum – take the App off my mobile devices so I’m not exposed to the cause of such great trauma.
For me – you see – it’s all about the comparison trap. A common snare never used by Elmer Fudd on Bugs Bunny or Wile E Coyote on the Road Runner. Nope… ‘that thief of joy’ is something that often lurks in our unconscious mind until it’s too late.
For most of us, it happens early. Other kids get toys we want. Someone else wins a trophy and we don’t. And so forth. Eventually we learn to deal with it – or we try to minimise our exposure.
Which brings me back to Instagram. I really only open the program a few times a week and generally when I’m bored or out of sorts. A frame-of-mind which doesn’t help my reaction.
Because there… on my screen I find people doing things I WANT to do; doing things I SHOULD be doing.
As someone always wanted a partner and children (and is only slightly unhinged re the issue! 😉 ) I blink away tears as I see mothers or fathers with their children – out and about doing fun things, or even just curled up together on a sofa.
As someone who never feels lonely but sometimes ‘alone’ I feel sad when I see couples doing things together, or people sharing happy times with their loved ones.
As someone who’s apathetic about socialising as much as she should (though better than I was) I feel depressed when I see others out with friends at fabulous places, eating fabulous meals and having fun.
As someone who feels as if they’re not as grown up / successful etc as they should be, I look at other people’s houses and decor and wonder what the fuck I’ve done with my life!?
As someone who’s a crap cook I look at other people’s cooking or baking masterpieces and find myself feeling like a big fat failure for cooking the same thing night after night.
As someone who’s been struggling to do ANY exercise for the past 8 months I feel guilty when I see pics of people out exercising or the obligatory post-exercise sweaty face or post-run shoe pic.
As someone who dislikes their body and is very self-conscious about it, I almost feel sick with envy when I see others in fabulous skimpy summery cool clothes while I appear hot, sweaty and fat in any picture I see of me.
Even worse – none of these things actually make me more motivated to change my own life.
I don’t look at someone else’s amazing kitchen and think, “Wow, I must do better and earn more money so I can have a better kitchen.”
I don’t look at someone slim / normal in a summer frock and think “If I lost 30kg or so I could wear a strapless or strappy frock myself.”
Nope. Instead I turn in on myself and decide my life (and everything about it) is crap.
It’s not true of course, and in moments of sanity I realise that. I have a great life: a lovely apartment with great views; good friends; caring mother and so forth.
I know that people only share snippets of their lives online. There’s no good, bad and ugly. Just the good. Or the very good.
Nevertheless…. sometimes my very good feels like it falls way short of everyone else’s. And I don’t need that negativity in my life. So, until I can learn to better accept my own ‘lot’ in life without envying that of others I’m going to remove myself from temptation.
*As it happens, I’m not much of a photographer and far more attracted to words than the visual, so quitting Instagram is unlikely to be any great loss.
Do you ever suffer from Instagram or social media envy?
For some suggestions and support check out this post from Choosing Therapy.
Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT!