The other night I was hanging out at home by myself while my boyfriend was at work, going through Instagram as usual, when I randomly remembered a post I had seen a while ago. The post said something along the lines of how much better you would feel about yourself once you stop following Insta-models and people like that (full credit to whoever posted it) ; I had nothing else to do so I figured I’d try it. So, I went through the list of people who I follow and muted the posts of every Instagram model that I follow, as well as people like the Kardashians/ Jenners.
Instead of just unfollowing them, I decided to mute their posts but not their stories; I want to see first if it makes a difference before I actually lunge into unfollowing them. It sounds simple right? But you wouldn’t believe how weird it felt doing that. I found myself asking “do their posts really make me feel bad though?” “Have I ever even actually compared myself to them?” but I ignored those thoughts that were trying to get me to back out and went through with it. This is still a relatively new thing that I’ve done but let me tell you what I have already gotten out of it:
I realized quickly what I am actually jealous of
I don’t know if anyone else here has this problem, but I find myself getting pretty jealous when I see multiple posts back to back about how awesome and cool people’s lives seem. I see people that seem like they travel all the time or like they have all this money to do whatever they want, and it makes me ask myself: “what am I doing wrong? Why don’t I have a life like that?”. An hour or so after I muted these people’s posts I found that my main feed was full of average posts from my friends and family. I didn’t see posts that made me jealous of someone’s life because I know who these people are and what their real life is like. When I did see a post or two that did make me jealous I asked myself what it was about that post that made me jealous. I was able to realize after seeing two to three posts that the types of posts that make me jealous and feel bad about myself are ones where the person posting it is in a cool place like Hawaii or doing something fun. This also helped me realize something else:
It wasn’t people’s looks I was jealous of, it was their experiences
I always try to explore new places whether it is in my town, my state, or occasionally in my home state when I get the chance. I have been to some really cool places, but when you see people who seem like they’re going to cooler places than you it can make you forget about all the cool places you’ve been and experiences you’ve had. I have these two girls at my school who, once they saw my Instagram, thought I was just the coolest person in the whole world.
That jealousy or feeling like someone is cooler than you or has better experiences is always going to be there. It’s just the new age of social media. But… I want to escape this, and I want others to try it with me and share their experiences with me as well. This is just the first step in cutting off social media. So, if you would like to join me, feel free to start where I started by muting the posts of people who make you feel bad about yourself. If anyone comes up with a next step before I do, please share.