Food For Thought: About Social Media & Being Online 24/7

Over the past couple of months I’ve evaluated my relationship with Instagram. I have this growing feeling that I don’t feel 100% confident with this app anymore. I asked myself why I feel this way, and this is the answer I could come up with:

I’ve started this journey of blogging and social media because I wanted to share parts of my life, my thoughts and capture things that made me happy. From day 1, I’ve loved the exchange with like-minded people and I’ve even been lucky enough to find people via this app that I now call friends in real life. 

If it feels like a burden, is it worth it to continue?

I’ve done this for the past 4 years now, it turned into my full time job and I’m beyond thankful for all the opportunities that opened up for me along the way… But with Instagram, I have this weird feeling growing in my gut. More and more, I feel hesitant to share what really moves me on this app. Sometimes, I wish I would be able to share my fears, my sorrows and even very vulnerable thoughts there, just like so many of my colleagues do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the whole #attentiveness and #selflove movement, but every time I read a very deep and meaningful caption under photos of people I truly admire here on Instagram, the next thing I see in my feed is an ad for a teeth whitening tool. This just doesn’t feel right to me. First, there is this very emotional text that makes me ponder, and seconds later it’s washed away by an insignificant ad that the world would be better off without. To me, this feels trying to read an inspiring book while your next door neighbor is working with a jackhammer. There is just too much noise to enjoy the silence.

Maybe it’s something that’s only bothering me, but it makes me sad and I simply don’t get as much joy out of that app as I used to.

Taking a step back, in order to take two steps forward.

Over the holidays I took a conscious break from sharing my days online, and to be honest? It just felt so good not to think about Instagram stories and what to post for a while… 

The longer my break was, the more wrong it felt to share anything personal on Instagram. Especially because I have the feeling I’m being put in the same pot as ads for weightloss, fitness programs, teeth whitening tools and face filters. 

Instagram. The millennials’ reality show?

I’ve just recently had a very interesting conversation with an influencer marketing agency, which analyzed my profile and gave me tips on what I could improve and do better in order to grow my audience. The baseline of what they said goes like this: Share everything on Instagram. EVERYTHING. The more insight people get to your private life, the more likely they will be to follow and engage with you. „Show real life content“, is the prevailing motto.

Very well, then. If that’s resulting in influencers blowing their stuffy noses on stories, or uploading a video of oneself eating a bowl of soup, I guess then I’m just not the right person for this quest and my “growth” on Instagram has reached its peak.

You do you. I do me.

As for my part, I’ll keep sharing what really moves me, what’s going on in my life and what’s on my mind, just maybe not on Instagram. It’s still giving me a lot of joy to share bits and pieces of my life – just like it did when I started out blogging. But if people want to know more about things that interest me or thoughts that concern me, I welcome them on my blog. This is the space where I feel 100% confident to share everything that’s on my mind. – without having to fear that my deepest thoughts and creative work I’ve put lots of effort into are washed away by one silly teeth whitening tool.

My goal for 2020 is to focus more on what makes me happy, to trust my gut feeling and not to do anything because everyone else does it, or because it’s considered “industry standard”. Nothing ever excellent came from being standard. It’s time to regain my own self-confidence and not only talk about self-love, but actually practice it. Even if that means being a little less online and a little more present in my own life.