As I have gotten older, my Instagram following has shifted. I stopped following people who I find annoying, uninspiring, or offensive. The accounts I follow now are people who I find motivating in some shape or form. It could be fashion, their belief system/ideals, or simply a lifestyle to aspire to (travel, etc.).
I don’t follow people who make me feel like I should compare myself to them. If I am going to follow someone who focuses on fitness or wellness, it’s NOT going to be the Instagram model with a butt/breast implants. If I follow a fashion account, it’s not the girl who is constantly showing off her Gucci purchases. The travel accounts I follow aren’t the girls on a nondescript yacht clearly flexing. I follow people who seem authentic and like if I met them I would enjoy their company.
Whether or not I would actually enjoy their company is not important. The reality is Instagram is every single person’s best version of themselves. So, you could easily seem real and in reality be super fake. Also the chance of me meeting many of the people that I follow (outside of fellow bloggers) is highly unlikely. So it really doesn’t matter. It’s only their digital effect that does.
Instagram is a form of escape
When you open any form of social media, the only purpose is to escape your current surroundings. It could be a boring work day, an awkward party, or the commercial break of your favorite television show. Be honest with yourself, when do you ever feel the urge to open your phone during engaging life moments?
With that in mind – if it is escapism, then why follow people that annoy you in some way? Everyone’s version of annoying is different. For me, people who narrate their lives when it’s clear they’re not doing much living outside the gram annoy me. Unfollow. People who preach about success, but show various signs of their lack of such. Unfollow. People who post memes for the sole purpose of riling people up. Unfollow. People who just generally annoy me for no particular reason whatsoever. Unfollow.
Social media should never make you feel less than
While feeling less than is more to do with deep rooted insecurities, the comparisons that come on social media happen for everyone. Why don’t I have what they have? Why isn’t my skin as perfect? Why isn’t my hair as great? Why can’t I have that body? It’s natural to feel this way sometimes.
Your entire feed shouldn’t do that though. Follow people who inspire you and lift you up when you look at their page. Note, inspiration varies from person to person. So what inspires me, might not inspire you (or vice versa).
Just because they’re friends or family, it does not mean that they need to be on your feed
Okay, for keeping the peace reasons you cannot unfollow everyone. People do notice and it can cause unnecessary drama. In comes the mute option. Oh, you didn’t know about muting?! It’s the best thing to happen to personal relationships since caller ID. Hit those three dots at the right corner of someone’s page. Then press mute. It will give the option to mute posts, stories, or everything. The person will not know you’ve muted their posts.
So, mute that Trump loving aunt without fear. Mute that friend who posts outrageous memes (that aren’t even funny). Mute anyone who would be rude to unfollow, but are bothersome to deal with. Note, don’t mute people like your mom or close friends. Even if they don’t know, that’s just rude. You know?
Long story short…
The important thing to remember is not all that glitters is gold on Instagram. In fact, most things aren’t gold if we’re being being completely honest. Knowing that, be sure to follow people who fill you up and don’t drain you. The same could said about life.