Hello! It’s a new day here on Chickadee Lover Maggie, and I am happy to welcome you back to my blog. Thanks for being here! I share posts on a variety of topics, from tags and awards to flash fiction, my photography adventures, and so much more.
While brainstorming ideas for new content, I came up with some posts I want to share on my experiences with various things. One of those topics is social media – more specifically, Instagram!
I think it can be a really positive thing to learn about what others have gone through, learned about, and changed. I know that when I see someone opening up about their experiences that are similar to my own, I feel supported and encouraged. I’ve also had times when hearing from another person helped me to make that final step I’ve been wanting to take for a long time, and all I needed was that final push!
Important Disclaimer: If you’re someone who loves being on and using Instagram today, this may not be the post for you. I’m drawing from my personal experiences with Instagram, which haven’t been so positive in recent years. You can comment your experience with this social media platform, but I won’t allow negativity coming my way or toward anyone else, and comments of this nature will be deleted.
when I joined instagram + what I enjoyed
I first joined Instagram in the summer of 2014 when I got my first phone! I was 14 years old at the time, and my purpose for using social media was to interact with new people, make friends, and have fun in a safe environment.
I had a lot of fun with Instagram for nearly a year! I’d take pictures of outings I went on with my family, cute/funny things I made or saw, adorable animals or things out in nature.
I adored tagging the places I went on the location map thing, which ended up being my #1 favorite thing about the platform. Having a bird’s-eye view of my local travels was awesome because I’ve always had a thing for maps.
My personal account was public, so I made sure that what I shared didn’t give out too much private information. I tagged my posts, met new people, made a few friends, and stayed connected with people I knew in real life.
In July of that year, I learned about the Disney edit side of Instagram! I could not have been more ecstatic. I loved Disney and being creative, so why not combine the two? For the next nine months or so, I downloaded several photo editing apps on my phone, learned about various styles of digital design, and got to know other awesome creators. I can credit the beginning of my interest in digital design with this Disney edit experience!
I had no idea that what I enjoyed doing on Instagram would barely make it to a year.
When I found that the cons were overriding the pros, I deleted my accounts in the middle of 2015.
I tried once more in the fall of 2016 to make an edit account to see if I just needed to be in a different place to enjoy the platform, but I found the same thing to be true. That account was deleted, too.
reasons why i’m not on instagram (anymore)
1. I grew increasingly dissatisfied with the amount of places I was able to go. I went from enjoying documenting my local travels and tagging them on the map to wanting to go more and more places. I thought tagging my location would make me happy, but I felt like I couldn’t do it enough and I was really unhappy all of a sudden with my travels. I didn’t like going back to the same places because I’d already tagged them (which was crazy because I love going places more than once), and I was also upset when I went somewhere too close to home and it wouldn’t be safe privacy-wise to tag it. (Also crazy, because local places are a lot of fun!)
2. The few friends I made left. This is a huge deal-breaker for me on social media platforms. If I am able to make friends with people, I’ll usually stick around or find a way to stay in contact with them on the website where I met them. But when they disappear without a trace and I’m left chatting with acquaintances or random people I’ll never get close to, there’s not much incentive to stay.
3. I didn’t like how my free time always disappeared. I really felt pulled in too many directions because I had people to chat with on Instagram, and I wanted to interact with my family less and less. Responding to comments, DMs, and replying to others’ posts was not complementing my life – it took from it.
Even when I wasn’t scrolling down Instagram, I was thinking about it.
So the time I spent doing other things was spent with my mind far, far away!
4. I lost interest in making Disney edits. I’m someone who loves rotating and changing up my hobbies. I’ll really enjoy something for a certain length of time, then I’ll move on to something else (usually of a similar nature). After about eight months or so of making Disney edits, I got bored of the same old screencaps and there weren’t any color combinations that were making me happy.
5. Some of the people in my niche became fame-hungry instead of content-focused. Most of the creators I knew at the beginning were all about having fun, being creative, and appreciating what others were making. But towards the end of my time on Instagram, I started getting DMs and unkind comments from creators who didn’t like my follower count or the fact that I had unfollowed them. I didn’t appreciate the toxicity, plus it’s really creepy when unfollowing someone makes them confrontational because they stalk the followers they lose. These negative experiences added to my overall unhappiness with the platform.
6. The more I posted on Instagram, the less I felt like I had to share. I began to look at my life through the eyes of my Instagram followers. Does this photoshoot look ‘grammable? What is worthy of being shared??? (That was a subtle Thor reference, and I hope you got it. 😉 ) I was overly critical of my life and most of what I had, saw, and did wasn’t Instagram-worthy.
I felt like my life was unattractive and lacking something everyone else had.
7. Getting to know people solely through what they shared on Instagram gave me a skewed understanding of what real life looks like. I was like “gosh, they travel and go out with their best friends and eat delicious food and have amazing experiences all the time!” … because that’s all they ever posted. I saw very few things I could relate to, and I felt like I was missing out.
8. I was acutely aware of the fact that people I was spending time with in real life were not sharing pictures of my experiences with them. I took it personally when I thought I was having fun with these people, but our excursions weren’t photo-worthy enough to share with their followers. I saw other people they knew getting tagged on their page, but I was nowhere to be seen. In the age of technology and broadcasting what you’re proud of to the world, I wasn’t worth sharing to them, and that hit hard. I shared pictures of them on my account! So it was cringey and telling when the kindness wasn’t returned.
9. I paid attention to who liked my posts… and who didn’t. I never got to the point where I had so many followers that it didn’t matter who liked my posts. I only got around 15-20 likes at best, so I was very aware of who had hit ‘like’ and who hadn’t. I couldn’t help it, I felt like if a friend didn’t like a particular post, there was something wrong with it, which made me feel like there was tension between us.
I read into what people were doing and weren’t doing.
10. I wanted new clothes, new room decor, and new photography skills. This has been true in more recent years when I’ve seen Instagram photography on Pinterest, or when I briefly visited someone’s IG account. I really wanted new things to share and I felt discontent with what I did have. When I’m not comparing myself to others, I like my unique style and way of doing things
11. The time I spent with the people I was following subtracted from my life instead of adding to it. There’s this quote by Robin Williams that ultimately sums up why I left Instagram:
I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.Robin Williams
Who knew that bad company could cause loneliness? I thought I needed people in general, but what I needed was the right people. That’s the only company worth keeping.
Thank you so much for reading! There have been several times where I wished I could have a positive experience using Instagram. But I’m also very aware of the negative affect it has on me, so I’ve put my time and focus into finding other social platforms I’m more compatible with. Blogging on WordPress is the main one I’ve enjoyed! That’s something I can share in another post 🙂