Decluttering My Instagram and My Mind

in , , , by Linda B Hurd, April 04, 2024

In the age of social media dominance, platforms like Instagram have become integral parts of our daily lives. For many, including myself, it's a space to share snippets of our lives, connect with others, and express ourselves creatively. However, recently I've realized that my relationship with Instagram has shifted this season, and not for the better.

Over time, I've noticed a growing discomfort with simply posting what I feel. What was once an enjoyable pastime has morphed into a source of stress and unease. The constant pressure to curate the perfect vibe, gain followers, and garner likes began to take a toll on my mental health.

After much reflection, I've decided to clean up my Instagram account. I started earlier this week by removing all photos and reels that were created during seasons of my life I no longer feel intrigued to talk about. I now take a step back from overly posting. There will always be people watching that’s a given. I don’t mind the stares and lurking on my profile. I do mind remaining as mysterious as I can be especially in a world where social media presence often equates to validation and worth. But for the sake of my well-being, it's a necessary one. 

The realization came gradually. I noticed that the less I engaged with Instagram, the better I felt mentally. Showing up so people don’t think I am undergoing a mental health crisis especially as a single mom has worn me down. Then it’s the feeling maybe I do not have much to offer from simply posting photos and my intimate kitchen moments made me emotional. It was clear that something needed to change.

Initially, I experimented with limiting my posting frequency. Then focusing only on sharing content that truly resonated with me. However, even this felt like too much. I realized that even posting on my stories, albeit less frequently, was still contributing to my discomfort. I have found myself going back and deleting everything I posted throughout the day or even moments later for comfort. 

So, I decided to either stop posting altogether for the remainder of the month or only share my blog posts and YouTube video content. This felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. By reducing my presence on the platform, I'm reclaiming my time and energy for activities that bring me genuine joy and fulfillment.

It's not just about cutting back on posting; it's also about reevaluating my relationship with Instagram as a whole. I've come to recognize that sharing my happiness virtually doesn't equate to real love or support. True connections are built on authenticity and meaningful interactions, not superficial metrics.

Getting caught up in the numbers game is easy to do on social media. But I refuse to measure my worth by the number of likes on a post or followers on my account. Instead, I'm prioritizing my mental health and well-being above all else.

Cleaning up my Instagram is not just about decluttering my feed; it's about decluttering my mind. It's about reclaiming control over my online presence and fostering a healthier relationship with social media. And while it may be a work in progress, I'm committed to embracing this new approach wholeheartedly.

So, if you notice a decrease in my Instagram activity, know that it's a conscious choice that prioritizes self-care and authenticity. And while it may be met with some resistance or confusion. Ultimately, it will lead to a happier, more fulfilling online and off life.

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