Instagram is now one of the biggest social networking platforms, allowing you to create your life in capsulated boxes which make it easier for the human brain to then categorise where you fit in the world: #bodypositive #wildchild #famousforbeingfamous. The candy coloured filters and witty captions you have the “freedom” to personalise allow your day to day life, to come to life.
Access to review your life is open and even if we have it on private, we want people to know us, including tinder dates, potential lovers, new employers, friends or enemies, all with the advantage of keeping within social distancing guidelines. I mean social distancing in the way we used it before the Covid-19 outbreak, you know, knowing mostly everything about someone without any engagement in old fashioned conversation. It also enables you to privately determine whether you want to be friends with them or just secretly look at their “stories”, if you still don’t think they can see you viewing their stories…you can (note to my ex boyfriend).
The platform itself is not a total disruptive and major creator of dissolution as it does create a brilliant platform for business and advertisement.
The thing I want to pull into focus is this, what happens if you delete your account? Do you delete your identity in the process?
By having your “insta – identity” available to view, we can gain access, insight and clues in to who this person is, known as you, and the values you place on certain events, travel, food, going out, animals, etc. Instagram creates an interactive, habitual platform that we can return to again and again to get a reminder of who we are and re-confirm ourselves and our relevant existence.
As humans are creatures of habit, we generally like the same things with just a hint of slight variation. We like to maintain a consistent identity to re-affirm ourselves. The downside is, we get stitched into recreating the same patterns and person we display online.
We generate a display of a busy life to relate to a measure of importance, a display of luxury fashion goods, to be a measure of style. Often we get stuck in a wheel of “bettering” our previous measure to compete with the influences we are breathing in on Instagram. Because of the instant nature of the beast, we don’t have time to self reflect and self enquire as to why, what and who we are wanting to become.
As personal development comes from combining the technique of watch, learn and act, we begin to compare not so much for personal growth but for status.
So why do we maintain this loop? Socially we are simulating to others, we want to share and like what our friends put up and even more than ever in these times we want to connect with people. However everything has a flipside. Just as cake will make you fat and bad boys will leave you heart broken, Instagram could keep you untransformative. For me personally, the maintained insta-identity platform re-roped me into feeling I was playing a role to maintain the social identity I was known for, rather then allowing me a place to gain insight, self reflection and a transformative goal toward who I wanted to be.
As I wrote to my friends informing them I was deleting my account, I received a lot of reassurance that contact and communication via phone calls and FaceTime was a must. However, I did receive one message back …. What!!? But you’re in ISO? What else are you going to do?
A voice came deep inside my little soul before I had logically processed a reply in my brain. I wrote it out instantly without a filter, resizing, recolouring, or comparing.
Simply, the person I want to be, is not on Instagram.
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