Like the start of the last 2 years, I made the decision to sign out of my social media on the 2nd January. On the surface it’s so I can start the new year off in the best way by clearing my mind, freeing up some time and focusing on myself.
But it felt different this year.
There’s no lie that a serious dislike for Instagram has been bubbling under the surface for the latter part of 2018. When I logged out this time I wasn’t even sure I was going to come back.
There is no point going into detail about how the platform has so rapidly changed in the last few years, especially if you’ve been in the blogging community for the length of time that I have.
The sad bit is that there is no originality on our feeds anymore, we’re seeing the same sort of content churned out by a huge number of ‘influencers’. We’re being drowned in ads for the same product, and hang on? Why have I sat for an hour watching Insta stories having a look into someone else life when I should be focusing on my own?
Before you know it, you don’t value your real life friendships, you want to look like every other influencer and start writing a list of all the things you want to do to change your appearance, you compare yourself, you say ‘my pictures will never look as good as that’ and as you try to constantly keep up with those unrealistic expectations there is no wonder that the world is at an all time low with many people experiencing mental health issues.
Whilst I can do all of those things and some more than others, it was this pressure that I felt like I HAD to post so many times a week and when the evenings are dark and you’re not well and maybe you just want to switch off for a weekend, you’re putting that additional stress onto yourself to post something. And for who? It’s not my job to care!! REPEAT IT IS NOT MY JOB TO CARE OR POST.
The hardest part is I’ve felt like I’ve always had half of my life within the blogging/insta sphere and half in a very professional career that I love which comes with a lot of work. Some of that which I have to take home with me. The ‘possibility’ that I *might* be picked for a campaign in Plymouth or go to event because I have a little bit of visibility in Plymouth is I guess what always kept me going, the ‘what if?’.
I’ve been at this crossroads for a little while, brushing it beneath the carpet and ignoring for as long as I can. But that 10 days away from the platform made me consolidate my future goals and what I want to achieve this year.
It’s no surprise that ‘Instagram’ or reaching x amount of followers wasn’t on the list, because whether I gain 1,000 more followers this year or post once a day for a week does not dictate my career or my future path in life. It’s actually irrelevant. Instagram needs ME, I don’t need Instagram to finish carving my already successful life.
Instagram has become a toxic platform, with too many people vying for the top spot as they’ve spied their favourite influencers create a career out of posing in pictures and making huge amounts of money with brand collabs.
From my point of view, there is no longevity in a career as an influencer, I’m not just talking from campaigns drying up point of view but from a mental health perspective. There is only so much that a person can take. This career option is still incredibly new and volatile, it has no direct career route like a lawyer, doctor or an apprentice, and as far as I’m concerned a successful influencer looks a certain way, dresses a certain way and IS a certain way. Why do the influencers with acne not get the brand campaigns and gain 200,000 followers? Just a thought.
I’ve also seen it from the PR outreach side and receive 10’s of people each week stating ‘I’ve got just over 500 followers and it’s growing by the day and was wondering if you’d like to collab in return for a post’… SHOULD READ ‘hi, I’ve never actually cared or looked at your brand before and I’ve just followed you now. I only follow 4,000 people BUT I do have 1,000 followers, can you send me a free product and pay me to post it please?’.
No one is entitled to ANYTHING. This culture that anyone thinks they can get something for free and make a living from Instagram after setting their account up 1 hour ago is delusional. Some influencers work SO hard and it’s people like that that give influencers as a whole a bad rep.
Have I gone off tangent yet?
I guess I just feel bitter about the whole thing still, but I’m taking a positive from the situation as I truly feel like I could step back from Instagram for a few weeks now and not care less about losing or gaining followers. My life still continues whether I choose to press post or not and 2019 is the year of prioritising myself. I want to focus on my own life, not care what Sally from Yorkshire has eaten for breakfast and how her children have been crying all night. It’s irrelevant to me.
But when I do post on Instagram it will be the stuff I truly love, if I want to post a photo with my friend I will, if my picture isn’t shot against a pastel background I’m gonna feature it. OH HELL, but my feed will be ruined…
Instagram was the only thing that had it’s control over my life, and everything seems to feel a lot better without it already.