By Daniel Pouch
An idea rather than a demand.
We use social media day in and day out. For work, play, and everything in between. From all sides of use we tend to see a positive outcome. However, I noticed that apps like instagram control our lives, our emotions and our decision making. Speaking from experience, I have seen and felt the malicious effects of social media. All too often I catch myself posting content based on what other people will think of it and how it will be judged. It has been made known to me that I am not alone in this endeavor to protect my ego.
The famous Canadian recording artist, Drake, provides his view on the false happiness that instagram use provides us, in his song “Emotionless”. The lyrics speak for themselves:
“I know a girl whose one goal was to visit Rome
Then she finally got to Rome
And all she did was post pictures for people at home
‘Cause all that mattered was impressin’ everybody she’s known
I know another girl that’s cryin’ out for help
But her latest caption is “Leave me alone”
I know a girl happily married ’til she puts down her phone
I know a girl that saves pictures from places she’s flown
To post later and make it look like she still on the go”
Those lyrics speak to me and millions of users like me because we have seen all of those situations in action. In a high school or college setting, this can be a dangerous game. Instagram is the cause of cyberbullying, depression and all sorts of mental health issues that come from a lack of self confidence and not being content with the life that we live. I find myself worrying about others’ opinions on my life way more than I should. I am a person who will claim that “I don’t care what others think about me”, while that is true in many forms, it is false due to the fact that I still base my instagram posts off my look and follower response. Let me be the first to admit that I let this app and many like it control how I think and feel.
Some people are fine with this and don’t see it as a problem. That is okay. Everyone has an opinion. Not to worry, there is a solution.
Delete your instagram.
Just the app. It doesn’t have to be permanent, 24 hours is a start. I deleted mine for a week or so over the summer of 2020 when I was in Los Angeles during the riots and it was the best decision I ever made. Unfortunately I work in a field called “marketing”, where lack of social media is not an option. After just a few days without the virus that we call a social media platform, you notice that it is somewhat irrelevant and distracting. Not only is it a distraction from self confidence but also from the constant scrolling and searching that takes so much time out of our day. I follow one thousand people on instagram and I realize that I truly do not care what ~950 of them are up to – and I know a lot of you can relate.
Instagram has more benefits than you can count, but it also hurts the user. Find out what truly makes you happy and how you can use the app to your advantage. Mental health will forever be more important than social media.