Updated: Dec 9, 2019
I have mixed feelings about social media in general, but Instagram is one of those social networking services that I don't understand how to use just quite YET. Some people use Instagram and end up becoming millionaires through social media advertising, sponsorships, and promotions. Some people use Instagram to cry about their emotions and freely rant about how they're feeling even if it means showing the raw, uncomfortable parts of their lives (but that's usually in private and on their finstas). Some people use Instagram to only showcase the positive things going on in their lives and to show that they're always happy and having a great time and living life to the fullest and blah blah blah. What I don't understand is how EYE can properly use it and still be authentic.
This is a real dilemma that no one talks about, but just expects you to understand and follow along.
On one hand, I know that the message behind Instagram is to make the world smaller. It's supposed to make you feel more connected through photos to the people you follow (even if you may not know them personally). You can see what they do on a day-to-day basis, what they're passionate about, what they're currently working on, what 5-star restaurant they just ate at, who they've hanging out with, and what festivals they're currently at. But, sometimes it only makes me feel even more disconnected to everyone around me. Everyone seems to have their life together on Instagram. But, I know in reality, it's not like that at all. I know that it's very much superficial, but I can't help but feel like I'm not doing enough to be the type of person that I want to be when I see everyone with clear skin and """""perfect""""" bodies (according to society) and constantly cheery smiles and new travel posts every other day. It's like, damn. What type of simulation am I in if everyone seems to have it all together besides me? Can I PLEASE get a system reboot or a system upgrade PLEASE??
Everytime I post on Instagram and start comparing myself to other people, I feel like this:
HOWEVER, I don't think using Instagram is a bad thing at all. I look at people like Alissa Ashley on Instagram and see how she's able to take such HIGH QUALITY and clear-cut images and look absolutely beautiful while doing it and it makes me want to do the same thing too.
I get inspired when I see the amount of hard work people put into creating their own brand and living the life they KNOW they deserve by constantly perfecting their craft and online presence. It's motivational seeing people put effort into their social media persona and get the recognition they deserve from it.
I also look at people like MeLoveMeAlot (MLMA) and feel in absolute awe at her ability to create the most UNIQUE and odd edits I've ever seen in my entire life. In fact, I've started trying to learn how to use Photoshop and video-editing so that ONE DAY, I'd be able to make something as cool as her own work, but in my own way.
And even people who don't post ANY personal pictures, but instead focus on their passions, like photography. For example, my favourite photographer, Liam Wong.
There are people who are literally becoming famous just for being their AUTHENTIC selves. Can you believe that? That's INCREDIBLE. I couldn't believe it either until I started following people who have similar interests as me and I could actually look at what they were doing and could draw realistic goals from it. To know that not everyone is using this platform to be robotic and superficial feels so foreign to me, but it's amazing that people are able to do it and make success of it.
At the end of the day, social media can be really detrimental to your self-esteem, mental health, and your sense of individuality if you're not careful. You (and I say you, but I really mean I) have to remember that none of this is *REALLY* real. We should find ways to navigate this social networking site in a POSITIVE way that benefits us. Understand that a lot of people are just trying to sell a version of themselves that they feel suits THEM best. What we need to worry about is drawing inspiration from pages that WE actually like and figure out how we can build an online presence that WE love and feel comfortable with. It shouldn't really matter what we think other people expect of us, want us to post, or how they expect us to behave on social media as long as we're happy with it.
It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling incompetent and insignificant comparing ourselves to wealthy social media influencers, popular Instagram models, and local people who seem to be having more fun than we are, but that shouldn't affect how we perceive our own lives and what we are doing to be a better version of ourselves. The best thing you AND I can do is to be inspired by the things that other people are doing rather than feel envious. If you (and I mean I again lol) see that other people are getting better at applying makeup and that's something that you want to do too, then you should try to make it a habit to practice more often. If you see that people are posting pictures and videos of themselves going out to eat and hanging out with friends often and they genuinely seem happy, then try making plans with people you want to hang out with and see what goes from there. You might actually enjoy it lmao. If you see people working on their music or art or other skills on their Instagram stories and you're feeling lazy and like you're not working hard enough, then maybe you should try managing your time more wisely to incorporate these activities into your daily schedule so that YOU can improve too.
We can't grow and become better at the things we love unless we actually try. We can compare ourselves to people online all we want, but unless we're actively working towards creating the type of life we want (but offline and online because we're living in the Digital Age) then nothing will change. Channel your jealousy or envy or any feelings of insignificance into a passion to become the type of person you want to be.
As the Spanish proverb says, “Envy is thin because it bites but never eats.” So, LET'S GET THIS BREAD AND START EATING 🗣️