People say that “a picture can tell a thousands words.” Although this may be true, I believe that there are a million more words not told by a picture posted on social media.
A few weeks ago, I had a horrible breakdown because of the way I felt about myself. I’ve experienced breakdowns before, but they were all because of stress from school. Never in my life had I felt broken about my image and how people perceived me. In the past, I’ve never been one to care about how I physically appeared to other people. However, these feelings began to build up when I started focusing on getting more engagement on Instagram. As I began to post more often, I obsessed over the amount of likes, comments, and followers I had. When I realized that none of these were improving as time passed, the most negative thoughts flooded my mind.
These are the unseen words behind all of the smiles in my pictures:
I’m not pretty enough.
I’m not skinny enough.
I’m not cool enough
I’m not good enough.
It was the night of my breakdown when I realized how toxic Instagram was for me. I had begun to turn numbers and people’s approval into the basis of my self worth. I played the dangerous game of comparison and questioned why I wasn’t like other girls who were successful on Instagram. In the end, I was afraid of how much worse my mental health would get if I continued using Instagram. So, I stopped. I deleted the Instagram app and haven’t downloaded it since.
Note: The reason why I was focusing on building my Instagram is because as bloggers gain more followers and increase engagement, there are more opportunities to work with brands. Although some of you may not relate to my experience as a blogger, I hope that this post can still help you, whether that be understanding the toxic side of social media or addressing your insecurities.
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After 1 month, here’s how deleting Instagram has changed my life:
1) I started focusing on becoming the best version of myself FOR ME
2) I no longer feel pressure to compare myself to others or look a certain way
As I grew obsessed with Instagram, I felt like I had to look or dress a certain way to get more likes and become more relatable. However, after deleting Instagram, the pressure to please people disappeared. Now, I have the space of mind to address areas of my own life that I want to improve and actually do it for myself!
For example, I started working out and following Chloe Ting’s 2 week shred program, which has helped me become stronger both physically and mentally! I also started getting into skin care since I have acne-prone skin. I can’t wait to share my fitness and skin care journey with y’all soon. 🙂
3) I feel more creative
Now that Instagram is deleted, I’ve switched over to using Pinterest more often. Although some people may consider Pinterest a social media platform, it’s actually more of a search engine where you can look up ideas for anything you may possibly need. I love using it for outfit ideas, easy recipes, home decor inspo, and more! Pinterest has really struck a creative chord in me, and it has inspired me to create more blog posts! Check out my Pinterest here.
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If you are struggling with your self image because of social media, I want you to know that:
• You are enough.
Don’t let numbers or other people make you forget that you are beautiful inside and out. Just because the world may not see it doesn’t mean it’s not true. You are 100% enough.
• Social media is not entirely genuine.
You have to remember that social media highlights the best parts of people’s lives. Pictures are edited and words are framed to portray an inaccurate sense of reality. If most parts of social media are fake, why are you trying so hard to model your appearance and life after it?
• If something continues to be toxic, remove it from your life.
If social media is toxic in your life, it’s okay to delete the app and take some time to focus on your mental health. The same thing goes for people! If someone continues to bring you unnecessary anxiety and pain, you need to cut ties with them. Block them if you need to; you don’t owe anyone an explanation. You deserve to be happy! However, you need to take those first steps to gaining happiness again.
Conclusion on Why I Deleted Instagram
I truly hope that this post helped you understand how social media can be toxic and become more aware of its positive or negative impact on your life. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. I’m always here for you! <3