I haven’t posted on my personal Instagram as often as I used to and that’s partly because I’ve been busy working on the social media platforms of my new food and music blog, The Vinyl Dish and partly because the pressure to post content for the sake of posting content was just getting ridiculous.
My personal Instagram started to feel like work more than just a space to post pictures of things I thought were memorable and aesthetically pleasing. It has become an anxiety-inducing platform that has started to feel like it was determining my worth. Getting more likes on a picture of myself made me feel like I needed to post more selfies, but really, I don’t look “Instagram-worthy” 90% of the time. Going to a restaurant or café with a friend has started to become a scramble to get as many pictures of a cute mug or an interesting tile pattern as possible simply because #IHaveThisThingWithFloors. Do you really, or is it because it’s bound to get you more likes, because every other blogger or Instagrammer is doing it?
I visited a café in Toronto recently that yes, I saw on Instagram and yes, it was very Instagram-worthy. White walls, white tables, white chairs, white counters, white everything and pops of colourful abstract art and lush green plants. The perfect Instagram spot. I saw two girls walk in with a big bouquet of flowers wrapped beautifully in brown paper, so you know that it was probably pretty expensive. The girls were dressed in cute outfits and I heard them specially request that the barista make their drinks with pink food colouring #ForTheGram. I watched as they posed their flowers and lattes, circling around the table to find the perfect angle and perfect lighting.
Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% guilty of doing something like this and spending a good amount of time to get a perfect picture of a latte or plate of food, but I’m realizing more now that Instagram has become more of a duty than something fun. It’s become less of a space to post original and unique content and more of a responsibility that can tend to break the bank. Let’s face it, some of those cafés and restaurants are not cheap!
It has become questions like:
How many pictures of lattes can I take to get more followers? Tell me how I’ve seen girls photoshop lattes into their pictures, just because it’s going to get them more likes.
How many likes can I get on this selfie to make me relevant?
How much money do I have so that I can spend it on brunch every Sunday because #SundayFunday?
How much money do I have so that I can spend it on more clothes for more fashion posts?
There’s only one episode of Black Mirror that I’ve seen and it was “Nosedive” and that episode cannot be more relevant to the Instagram society and the psychological impact of social media. It really feels like social media induces anxiety, inflates ego, ruins self-esteem and increases stress and I no longer want to feel the pressure to get #content just for the sake of it.
I understand the business aspect and that for some, Instagram is work. The fact that the more followers you have, the more respect you get from industry professionals is stress-inducing, but I urge you all to just relax.
Don’t force your content, do it because you enjoy it. You should be enjoying it the entire time. Focus on experiences, not numbers. Be real with your audience, be an individual and be original with your content.
Stop letting Instagram be a stress in your life because social media was never meant to be that way.