My love for Instagram is once again waning as I try to get my head around the latest Instagram drama/bullying between two of my favourite accounts. What was once a nice supportive and collaborative community seems to be rapidly evolving into a platform for sourness and that makes my heart heavy.
I have always openly admitted that I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. The bloody frustrating and ever-changing algorithm, the constant moving of the goal posts and those automated comments that shout “Nice job” when you have just poured your heart and soul into an Instagram caption.
“No, actually, it’s not a nice job. Read the caption. I’m having a fricking hard time.”
I’ve even questioned whether Instagram is good for our mental health and I diagnosed myself and half the nation with “Instapression” for an article that I wrote for a magazine. However, those niggles were mostly worth it because Instagram and its lovely quilt of photos kept me warm on those lonely days.
When I was struggling with living in Jersey, it was Instagram that showed me how great this little island is. Through documenting and sharing my life, I realised how incredibly lucky and privileged I was to be living in Jersey. It made me feel less isolated and I slowly fell in love with the island I now call home.
Yes, there are always accusations that Instagram can lead us to feeling inferior when we look at everyone else’s supposedly perfect life. I’ve never understood that theory though. If you don’t want perfection on your feed, don’t follow it. It’s your Instagram, your choice. Follow accounts that make you think and fill you with joy. Personally, I love a curated and carefully crafted feed, but I also like realism. Those beautiful and creative feeds give me something to aspire too.
Instagram is my happy place, it’s where I get to look at life through rose-tinted glasses when I need a lift. My need for organisation and control – something that any parent will know doesn’t exist in real life – is satisfied. However, Instagram is no longer like looking through rose-tinted glasses. It’s become a weed infested and overgrown garden of bullying and everyone and anyone seems to be afflicted by it. I think I need to prune back my Instagram and let the (metaphorical) sun shine again.
Give me back my safe space
Now that I work from home I use Instastories when I feel like I need some office banter, I watch everyone’s stories and I scroll through Instagram photos. It keeps me motivated, and it helps me keep working. When I hit a writing block, I turn to Instagram and it’s great for lifting that heavy block. I’m no longer looking at the same four walls, I’m having a peep into someone else’s life. I don’t have colleagues sat at the next desk. Instagram is my coworking space but now the recent Instagram drama/spat has sullied my safe space.
I’m not sure what the answer is. With reports of Instagram being the worst platform for anxiety, I should probably step away, but I’m reluctant to leave. Can’t everyone just get along? Actually, I know that’s impossible. Can’t we at least be civil to each other? Leave the drama out of the stories and the squares. Embrace each other’s differences and support each other’s ventures. In a world that feels like it’s frantically heading towards Armageddon, I need my safe space back. I need the nice Instagram, the instant mood lifter one. Not the one that drags you down and leads you down a dark path where you start questioning humanity.
It’s made me sad that two woman who I greatly admire on Instagram seem at loggerheads and as a result there are accusations of bullying from the two different camps and their followers. Women already have it hard enough when trying to establish themselves in the modern world. We are still fighting for equality, the last thing we should be doing is turning on each other. It troubles me that we still see that office bitching behaviour going on in Instagram. Where some women just seem to want to drag other women down. But that’s a whole different post.
Stop silencing women
Woman being silenced has been around for as long as time. You would think that in this modern society we could embrace every voice, listen to every voice, without resorting to nastiness. Instagram should be a platform that we can all call our own, where we can speak free from censorship. The attempt to silence strong women needs to stop.
Those little squares could be used for building each other up, for building bridges, and for uniting.
I want my Instagram back but for now I’m left with a sour taste in my mouth.