I’ve been active on Instagram for years and I loved it. I loved sharing bits and pieces of my life, it was kind of like a public diary presenting my personal highlights of the past years (at least those that happened to be photogenic enough to match the aesthetic of my feed). It’s an easy way to satisfy the need for approval by peers – simply upload a picture, there’s not even the need for an imaginative caption, and watch the likes arrive in dribs and drabs. It’s also an easy way to show off (because who doesn’t love to show off from time to time) and to share something you love – a place you’ve been to, a look you’ve been wearing with confidence, a nice lunch or dinner, good times with your friends and family.
But recently, I’m just not happy with Instagram anymore. It wouldn’t even be an exaggeration to say that I hate Instagram at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Instagram per se, I still enjoy scrolling through other people’s feeds, but I hate my own profile on Instagram. I feel like it doesn’t represent me at all anymore. Not that it has ever been a realistic reflection of the real me with all of my character traits and edges, it has always been a smoother, more perfect image of me. But I was fine with that. However, I just kinda feel like I have outgrown my account. I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes me feel that way. Lately I’ve been deleting a lot of pictures because I wasn’t happy with the overall aesthetic of my feed anymore but it hasn’t improved a thing. I’ve also uploaded a lot of new pictures in an attempt to create a feed that suits me and my personality but it just seems to be a task I’m predestined to fail at at the moment. It’s not like I don’t like the pictures I upload anymore, I still think they’re nice, but my feed is not me anymore. What a strange thing to say, considering most of the pictures are showing me. I’m just so incredibly frustrated by Instagram right now and even more frustrated by the fact that not liking my own Instagram feed bothers me at all. Why should I even care? I could just delete the app if my account bothers me so much. But then again, there’s no other way I know of to satisfy the need for approval as easily, there’s no other platform I would rather use to share with the world how cool my life is (or how cool I would wish for it to be). Another option would be to delete all of the pictures and start afresh, but I feel hesitant to go there, as this account is of emotional value to me with all of its pictures and captions and comments.
So yeah. This is my dilemma at the moment. It’s very minor when put into context and still it occupies my mind a lot of times, especially on lazy, rainy days like today when I have nothing else to do than to scroll through Instagram for a thousand times. But the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that my dislike of Instagram does not stem from a lack of coherent aesthetic of my feed. I like the recent pictures better than the old ones, they are of better quality and I also share many of them on here without ever doubting their aesthetic for a second. Maybe my current dislike of Instagram is in fact a reflection of my general desire to free myself from the need to be liked, be it in the real or the virtual world, an aim closely connected to the whole IDGAF topic. Maybe it’s also a reflection of my wish to just be me, to show the world my true self, all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly – and I feel like any platform, but Instagram with it’s visual approach specifically, is unable to represent the whole of me appropriately. It might also be a reflection of my wish to achieve a level of realness in my life that an account on Instagram could never capture. I’d much rather spend time working on the blog as a creative outlet of mine than posting just another picture with a more or less witty caption on Instagram. Maybe I have truly outgrown Instagram and it’s time to move on.
Edit: In all honesty, I won’t delete the app. I’m still way too hooked and still too dependent on the approval of others. Also, if I want to know what’s going on in my friend’s lives without much of an effort and derive endless inspiration in terms of fashion, food and lifestyle from the accounts I follow, there’s no way around the app. But I gave up on the idea that Instagram will continue to be sort of a diary to me. Instead of Instagram, I now use this blog to fulfill my desire to share what goes on in my life in a depth that can much easier be attained on a platform like this, while Instagram will still be fed regularly with pictures of me doing fun things. I guess I’m just not ready to let go just yet.