My name is Siobhan and it’s been 42 days since my last Instagram post. A whopping 1008 hours has passed aka 15 million years if you compare that to the speed in which social media platforms move ;) Not a single post has been shared since we hit 2018 and not once have I thought about sitting down to edit a picture so I can share it on the ‘gram. So what’s changed? Don’t get me wrong I love Instagram as a platform, the ability to share candid photos or stories based on what’s happening in your life, it was the appeal that made this photo sharing app take off in an ever competing social media market. I am also still an avid Instagram user, opening the app repeatedly throughout the day to scroll through the latest snaps or see what’s happening in shared stories.
So why have I stopped sharing? In general, I’ve taken a step back from being so active on social media. It’s incredibly easy to get wrapped up in the false reality and obsess over details that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter. My Twitter timeline is filled with people complaining about algorithms ‘killing their engagement’. Is that really what it comes down to? Have we really got to the point where I need to put out a public service announcement declaring that I’m here for fun not followers? Wait, is that even allowed anymore?!
I wrote a post before Christmas about The Content Fear, all about how I felt daunted when it came down to sharing content online. When you take a step back the nerves can build around your ‘grand return’. What will people think? Will anyone care? What if you’re no longer as good/engaging/interesting as your past self. Hello mind quickly filled up with doubts! We really are our own worst enemies. Once you do share something the clock starts ticking, what will be nice? Does it fit your theme/style/’gram plan? I personally have a pet peeve when it comes to overly styled pictures, I’m not a fan of seeing the same outfit/location repeated over 2/3 even 4 posts as it removes the candid nature of Instagram.
Alongside that & the overly discussed decline in engagement there has been a trend towards a more private life. When the world appears to be sharing every little detail I’ve noticed more content creators take a conscious decision to step back and be more mindful about what they share online. Not just for privacy reasons but because our realities exist outside of the content that is created. It doesn’t all have to be shared and the beauty can quite often be in what’s not said.
Regardless, I can’t see myself stepping away from Instagram all-together however I’m not going to be one of those people planning each individual photo or analysing my ‘content’ to the point I end up scrapping the post completely. How are you handling the changes to social media? Have you found yourself stepping back or changing how you interact?