The Instagram affect
Instagram is like Marmite; you either love it or hate it. It appeals to me on a visual level; an image can often speak a thousand words. However, I find myself pitching myself in the ‘hate’ camp most of the time. There are many reasons why Instagram is one of my least favourite forms of social media.
Life through a filter
If I had my own way, life would be through a Clarendon filter. Everything looks better when a Clarendon filter is placed over it. However, filters display a false reality.
With filters enabling perfect skin and everything else in between it can be hard for those who don’t use them to gain likes and therefore followers.
I do not use filters on principle. I do increase the brightness of my picture and sometimes the contrast because I feel like I have to compete with all the other highly edited pictures you see on there.
Edited pictures do better on Instagram. The images that have been brightened to within an inch of their life and expertly edited. If your picture is dull or not sharp enough then you can kiss goodbye to the likes.
You could have found the solution to world hunger but if the picture is not composed correctly then you can expect recognition to walk straight past you without so much as a glance.
Why is everyone so goddamn positive?
They say negative news sells more. However, Instagram goes completely against this principle. Everything I see on Instagram has a positive spin to it.
Consequently, everywhere you look on Instagram you see perfection.
Every picture appears like those of a magazine; beautifully lit subjects that are arranged in the perfect position to create a striking image. Smiles beam from models, animals look on cutely while dressed up and products are behind a bright white background with foliage or ornaments placed to compliment them. You see this formula repeated over and over again.
Imagine if the world was as like Instagram? People would suffer pain through smiling constantly; being the best version of themselves and talk like Elmo from Sesame Street.
Appearance versus reality
Why is all this positivity a bad thing? The answer to that is it creates a false perception of other people’s lives. As Instagram is mainly driven by visuals, everyone chooses appealing pictures.
Whenever I look at some of my favourite YouTuber’s Instagram accounts, all I see is perfect moments.
They look amazing, have joyous smiles plastered on their faces and appear to have a perfect life.
This can make ourselves, as viewers, feel inadequate. Having watched vlogs from my favourite YouTubers‘, I know that their lives are not perfect. I know that they have bad days and life is not all sunshine and roses.
Bad things happen
We cannot deny that with every positive moment we experience, negative ones will not be far behind. For every ‘good’ day, there will be a ‘bad’; much like night has day and hot has cold. Bad things happen.
I rarely see negative images on Instagram. Maybe I am lucky. I do not see pictures of people in tears or people’s ‘bad’ makeup days. I do not see many rants on there either.
By not featuring the negative moments, do we create a false reality where nothing bad happens? This is a dangerous concept to impressionable people.
If you struggle through the bad patches in life, seeing everyone else just share positives could make things worse. Our automatic response is to question ‘why me?’ and make negative assumptions. Comparison is the thief of joy and Instagram can trigger the desire to compare yourself to others.
This grinds my gears. Instagram has changed the algorithms that they used. The new algorithm benefits Instagram over many of their users.
I understand that Instagram needs to make money. However, the sheer volume of adverts on my feed deeply angers me. I want to see the people I follow rather than hundreds of adverts.
Also, the current Instagram algorithm favours certain accounts and does not show the most recent posts. This is frustrating, I want to see everyone I follow, not just the ones I ‘Liked’ recently.
Spam and more spam
Spam, the infuriating by-product of the internet and Instagram does not escape Spams evil clutches. Spam is a malignant plague that multiples in mass quantities. Imagine having to wade through a river of sludge in order to find a diamond; that is what my Instagram direct messages.
Every time I get a message request, 99% of them are guaranteed to be a multi-level marketing representative trying to get me to join their ‘team’. I would not mind if they were upfront with this fact. However, they usually start with chit chat before they go in for the kill. I have not got the time to exchange pleasantries especially if you only do this to try and make money from me.
Another aspect of Instagram that drives me to the brink of hitting the delete button is spam in the actual comments section. Due to many bloggers ignoring direct messages on Instagram, I have noticed an increase in profiles commenting on my threads in order to draw attention to their business. I do not want to pay to be featured on yourfeed nor do I want my comment section filled with advertisements for your business.
Life doesn’t have to be through a lens
Do you need to take a picture of every detail of your life? Do you need to inform the world of what you have for every, single meal? Again, I could be accused of being a hypocrite as there are many pictures of my grey hair on Instagram. Instagram stories could be attributed to this ‘over-sharing’ philosophy; it encourages you to record everything.
I have had to restrain myself from watching Instagram stories as I become engulfed in a time vortex.
You have a spare minute of time to kill, you decide to look at your favourite Instagrammers stories only to find you have lost half an hour of your life and not gained anything in return. I have lost many an hour watching MrsHinchesHomes’ Instagram stories and after a while, the same things appear again and again. That is not a criticism, I love her feed, however, due to the short nature of stories, like Snapchat, you find influencers constantly repeating themselves for new subscribers.
The air of mystery, in my opinion, is seductive and intriguing. I do not over-share on any social media because I do not want the whole world to what goes on in my life. It is my life to lead; I want to keep stuff reserved for my close friends and family. I do not feel the need to tell people what I do all the time; I do not need a phone strapped permanently to my hand. My life is for me to live in the present; Instagram is great to look back on but I do not want to be that person who does everything for social media.
I have made a degree that I will not let Instagram rule me. I will not take pointless pictures of what I watch in order to show the whole world. Instagram is a medium I would love to conquer; having hundreds of followers and likes. However, I think I am destined to hate it.
What frustrates you about Instagram? I would love to know whether you agree or disagree with what I have mentioned above. Do not be shy, give me a comment.
Ciao for now beauties xx