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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Why I Stopped Caring So Much About Instagram And Social Media

First things first, let me just say that I absolutely love Instagram. I love taking and editing photos for the grid, scrolling down my feed and swooning over all of the absolute babes that I follow and in general, I really do still enjoy using Instagram and all forms of social media. However, recently I've realised something. I've realised that although I love the posting, the liking and the following, I've stopped caring about social media and it got me thinking; what happened to the gal who absolutely obsessed over the 'gram a couple of years ago and what made her stop giving a shit about it?

Remember before Instagram blew up and we were all just innocently posting the worst quality iPhone 4 photos, filtered to shit and hashtagged to death? When we were all care free, didn't care about likes, followers or anything else and we had no idea how big of a thing Insta would become? Well obviously the world of social media has come a long way since then and contrary to popular belief, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. The rise of the Insta-famous and social media royalty has paved the way for an infinite amount of new careers and a whole new breed of advertisement (which I personally think is a much more organic and honest way of advertising products, sue me) and it's a whole new way of communicating and meeting people, creating our own brands and social media stories to give people a glimpse into our lives and also being able to glimpse into other people's lives. And it's this word that I feel is the most important for me being "over" social media - a glimpse. 

Flashback to 2015 and I lived for Instagram. Flashback even to 18 months ago and I was still all over it and don't get me wrong, I did love it. I was constantly thinking about photo opportunities, planning my outfits and posts down the last detail and spending 99.9% of my time promoting myself, my account and my blog. I've had some incredible opportunities from doing this and I don't regret it one tiny weeny bit but on the other hand, what was really going on behind the scenes? During one of the most miserable and difficult times of my life, it seemed like nothing could be going smoother in my life according to social media and the need to appear perfect and polished on Instagram began to consume me. I would constantly beat myself up about not looking good enough in my photos, comparing myself to all of the beautiful people plastered on my feed (which I know I'm not alone in doing) and likes, popularity and followers were way more important to me than they should have been.

As I've grown older, matured and become more happy in my own life situation, social media has mattered less and less to me. As a blogger, it's far too easy to get hung up on the algorithmic feed, fitting into a certain box and having that perfect feed, whilst forgetting that none of us are seeing the full story of someone's life - we all only share a glimpse and that's something that slips our minds too often when we sink into the void of comparison. I'm probably one of the happiest I've ever been in my life and now I create content that I'm happy with, that I haven't forced myself to create and I can honestly say I enjoy social media and Instagram more than I've ever enjoyed it before, even though I post less than I ever have before. I love the direction that a lot of bloggers and influencers are headed in, the direction where we share the shitty parts as well as the good parts and actually feel comfortable about it and it's refreshing to see natural photos that aren't too staged and forced. Social media isn't going anywhere and I think as I've gotten older, I've grown to see how pointless it is to worry, stress and put all of my energy into getting likes and followers. Of course it's nice to get likes on a photo and anyone who says otherwise is a liar, but I've learnt that likes aren't an accurate method of happiness and I no longer use them to give myself a sense of self-validation. I'm happy with myself, happy with my life and I like the photos and content I post so really, why should I care about social media?!

Amy x

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