Well isn’t this some -ish. Have you heard the story about how a super-popular-on-Instagram, grown-ass woman (and mother of four) opened up an Instagram account for the sole purpose of talking crap about other women?
She said all the trolling on her account got to her. That she needed to try to convince people to see her and her family in another way. Simply put? Instagram can drive a woman to the brink, y’all.
So here’s the question: Do you blame the woman, or do you blame the platform?
Okay that’s a stupid question. Of course you blame the platform! … I MEAN THE WOMAN!! The woman. Yes of course. Duh. I mean, no one made her create a designated bully account to call even her own husband “a class-A twat” (but seriously… bonus points for creative descriptors!).
But seriously. Is there any relationship more fraught with intense emotion in this modern world than that of a woman with her social media feed? This shit can drive a sane woman crazy! I mean… clearly.
Here’s how it goes:
You scroll. You double tap. And you scroll some more. You see that girl from high school who is doing the most with her LulaRoe line and think, “All right girl, get it.” You scroll some more. Then you see some millennial influencer in a hot pink bikini sipping a bellini on the beaches of Cabo. You gag. You think, “I’m too old for this shit.” You close down the app. And you wait two hours. You open up Instagram again. And you repeat.
Listen, guys. I’m fully aware of the high potential for the appearance of hypocrisy here. In some (partially-deluded) circles, I’m considered an influencer myself. Though the term causes an immediate and strong gag reflex, I must admit that it’s partially true. I do share parts of my life through writing and videos on several social media platforms.
Sometimes, I just want to put the phone down and walk away.
You don’t have to be a person who makes social media even part of her business to be impacted by this. Literally every woman I know has shit-talked someone she’s seen on Instagram. Or she’s walked away from that platform feeling a little less-than in some way.
Like so many other Xennials who are wedged somewhere in between the Facebook Oldies and the Snapchat Puppies, I struggle mightily with social media. Things like, how much I’m consuming, how much time I devote to it, and on a deeper level, how much I’m allowing it to impact my life.
The hard fact of it is, Instagram (and other social media channels) do–whether we admit it or not–make us feel all sorts of ways.
There are so many times I sign off IG and think, “Well, now it’s official: I’m an unshowered, not-Clarendon-filtered ass wipe of a failure today.” So I’m here to remind myself, and hell, you too, if you need it, that Instagram and social media is 90% fake and 10% filters. And that if we’re judging our success, worthiness, or any other stable metric by our followers or engagement, it’s not right. Gotta stop.
So here’s what I’m taking away from this. I think I’m going to have to set my boundaries a little better. While Instagram is something I use to follow people whose lives I think are interesting, or whose writing is great, or any number of other things… I think it’s time to put Instagram TF down. For all of us! You know, just for a little while.
So here’s where I am supposed to have some sort of tip. Some practical takeaway to keep us all out of the roiling pot of muck that is social media. But… I don’t. Not in the traditional sense, at least.
My only bit of wisdom is this: Enjoy your real life better than your online life.
Simple as that. If you’re enjoying your Sunday afternoon, enjoy your damn day. Share what you want about it! And then stop.
And the minute it becomes more than a harmless scroll… The minute it becomes more than quick inspiration… Can it. Put your phone down and walk away. Even for a day.
I’m certain we are all much more interesting than what we put online.
So it’s time we stop measuring our own achievements or worth based on what others post.
I’m ready for the challenge. Are you?