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‘Instagram’ Will Kill You – If You Let It

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As a somewhat recent college graduate, I sometimes struggle with the images cascading down my Instagram news feed. As I post an image of my most recent accomplishment, it appears as though a fellow classmate has trumped me ten-fold. Gasp! Yes, she’s admitting it. Her unwavering ego is often punctured by the progress of others.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am as confident as the next educated woman with a promising future. But there is just something about the flow of success streaming down my timeline that seemingly minimizes my own achievements.

I’m not living with my parents because I can’t find a job. I quit my full time job to focus on the career of my dreams. It’s not that I’m scared to leave Atlanta. It’s just that I’d much rather be financially secure before venturing out into the world, struggling to pay rent and resorting to Ramen noodles. And for those who are eating Ramen noodles, wandering how they’re going to pay their next car note, phone bill, or membership to L.A. Fitness, it’s okay. It’s okay to believe in the path you’ve embarked upon. But no matter your plan, and no matter your path, it is not okay to second guess your place in life.

Screw your social fame! You are exactly where you are meant to be, experiencing the ramification necessary for your success and your survival. You cannot compare your journey to that of others. You cannot focus on the dismemberment of your life. Regardless of your religious and/or spiritual beliefs, there are far greater things in motion securing your placement in this world.

Instagram, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is much like a highlight reel. It is easy to focus on the glitz and glam of others, while remaining unexposed to their journey. Most won’t invite you into their private world, but you cannot pretend it doesn’t exist. No matter the amount of likes and number of followers, there is a hidden world behind every edited profile picture. Social media is a mere peek into the lives of others, creating a fixation amongst the human race that perpetuates negative qualities such as: (1) Envy, (2) Lust, (3) Narcissism and (3) Greed. While you’re admiring and/or figuratively gushing over the lives of everyone else, you could be living your own life! Creating your own experiences, and painting your own world. Put the phone down, rest your thumb, and refuse to scroll.

I’m not sure you realize the amount of energy invested into social media. The thoughts created based off your lack of likes, and a tarnished self-esteem due to your reputation via web, yields negative energy. It’s like a magnified high school classroom, with millions of high school classmates, all competing for prom king and queen (and @Beyonce already won). None of this is healthy for your psyche, and none of it is real.

Despite the argument that social media accounts equate to success and validation, you are not your Instagram page. You are you, social media account or not. And the next competing internet trend will be just as exhausting as Instagram. Remember the days you stressed over your Myspace page? So upset about your placement in your best friend’s top 8? History will repeat itself, and your attachment to your timeline will fade. Yes, of course, promote your brand! Establish yourself in the online community! But stop taking pictures of every pre-arranged outfit, and ruining memorable moments to take a selfie! Why are you beating yourself up because you didn’t snap a pic? And deleting that image because you didn’t get enough likes? Get over yourself!

You are your own accomplishment. The desire placed deep in your heart for something greater than you could ever imagine, is enough to propel you forward and surpass your follower count. The lessons you are learning in this moment are life-long teachings that will shape the current you and your future self. Your struggles will mold you, and prepare you for an obstacle you’ll face ten years from now. Use this time to build yourself up, not cut yourself down. Every thought counts. Every thought frames your life. And the mindset generated after reading your timeline might produce just enough negative thoughts to ruin your day, ruin your week, and distract you from your destiny.
Forget your circumstances. Forget your current living conditions (I’ve redecorated our live-in basement and it looks amazing by the way), your bank account, your annoying roommates, your overbearing parents, and your Instagram feed. Be still and listen. Stop searching, and pay attention to the signs right in front of you: That feeling you received when you accomplished a feat in the direction of your dreams. That voice constantly encouraging you to “keep going”. Instagram likes will not fill the void you’ve subconsciously created, or replace the gap in your emotional make up. You are the only person that can validate your existence, not your thousands of intangible followers. Apps should be fun! Not an aggressive attempt to compare you to the next person. Social media hides a dark world of self-conscious participants, harboring deep fears and insecurities. Disconnect yourself from a harmful habit, encourage yourself through positive practices. Besides, everyone purchases their followers anyway.

Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.

6 Comments

  1. Bry

    February 25, 2016 at 4:10 AM

    Yasssssssssssss I love this Annz!!! So proud of you 🙂

    • AnnsleighDenise

      March 21, 2016 at 3:46 AM

      Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me 🙂 Feel free to share this post with the world!

  2. Star

    March 15, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Awesome article!!! Thank you Bry for sharing!

    • AnnsleighDenise

      March 21, 2016 at 3:47 AM

      Thank you so much Star! Feel free to share this post at your leisure!

  3. Camille

    March 15, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    “Use this time to build yourself up, not cut yourself down”

    This is a gem in my eyes!

    • AnnsleighDenise

      March 21, 2016 at 3:47 AM

      Your comment is greatly appreciated. We hope to provide content such as this frequently as possible.

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