Here's Why I Deleted My Instagram

Here's Why I Deleted My Instagram

I realized the emptiness behind the obsession of petty posts, double taps, and unequal follow-ratios was simply not worth losing who I truly was.
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In 2012, I created my first Instagram account. At the time, I was just an awkward middle-schooler, posting around 40 pictures a day of One Direction, puppies, and inspirational quotes straight off of Google Images. I thought Instagram was the perfect opportunity to display some cool photos, offering an insight into the awkward thirteen-year-old I was.

Little did I know the effect social media would have in my teenage years. I was unaware of the positive AND negative impact it would have on my life, and I was unaware of how people would revolve their actions, decisions, and life around capturing the most aesthetic Instagram-worthy post. Because of this, I can say that almost six years after creating my first account that I have deleted Instagram.

I know what you're thinking. No, I'm not "weird", idiotic, or outdated. I don't even hate social media. The reason why I deleted Instagram was that I simply was tired of people who falsely portray their lives through social media.

These are the people who hide behind their profile, who use their Instagram as a "highlights page" only showing the best moments of your life where every picture is posted simply because it "looks nice" or compliments their physical appearance. These are the people whose speak incessantly in the comments yet barely say a word in real life, these people delude themselves with the world of social media rather than the reality of genuine conversations, experiences, and relationships.

These people are the ones who go to the beach on a summer day and spend hours trying to get the "perfect bikini picture with their friends", or only go to a restaurant just to get a picture of a signature dish or drink. But as a college freshman, I see this reality with college girls who try to hide the difficulty of the transition to a college lifestyle behind the "perfect Instagram" account.

Instead of feeling out their new environment, I was a firsthand witness to girls who looked for the perfect Instagram post more than lasting friendships. Within the first couple weeks of school, these girls posted pictures with groups of girls they barely even knew not because they had established a concrete friendship in such a short amount of time but rather because they or the group looked good.

Yet, no matter how good the lighting or the background with most likely a patterned tapestry and holiday lights seemed, these pictures are always edited. Girls are constantly spending hours or a prolonged period of time finding the most flattering filter, or in some cases photoshopping the picture to change the shape of their bodies or their physical attributes.

Recently, I have found myself spending hours upon hours scrolling through my most recent posts. It took me months to realize that this is what made me depressed; it was the fact that I was constantly comparing myself to other people, people I knew from high-school or somewhere else that appeared to be having an "easier adjustment than I was". I took this sadness out on myself, wondering if I was the problem and what I was doing wrong. I asked myself, "Why don't I have 'my group' like everyone else does?".

I wondered if they had ever experienced any adjustment problems or difficulty in finding the right people, or if the people they latched onto the first day simply became their friends for life. However, I realized that my worries could not have been any more wrong. Sure, everyone encounters difficulty during their first year, let alone their first semester of college.

Don't buy the Instagram accounts that try to tell you otherwise. Behind all their posts, there is drama and difficulty. My issue was with people who tried to hide this, who assured that their college experience was perfect when it, in fact, was not.

Through this form of self-denial, I realized the emptiness behind the obsession of petty posts, double taps, and unequal follow-ratios was not worth losing who I truly was. It was after this realization that I was compelled to delete Instagram, and I couldn't be happier.

Without Instagram, I began to spend more time focusing on who was really important in my life, rather than relying on pictures of people I barely knew and aimlessly scrolling through other people's profiles. I gravitated towards actually communicating to people from home who were far away from me. I began sharing my experience while listening to others, trying to offer any advice or support my friends needed.

I became more productive in my work, which helped me to recognize the various unique opportunities my university had to offer both academically and socially while simultaneously improving my sleep schedule and GPA. In that moment, I realized that my Instagram purge was the only way that I could truly begin to think about what I needed to learn about myself in order to figure out who I wanted to be.

Even though my relationship with Instagram was focused more on its negative effects, I am fully aware of its advantages as well. It is the perfect way to share amazing photos, to connect with family and friends who are far away, and to be updated on your favorite celebrities, news, or other interests. My only problem is people who aren't genuine on social media, who try to create a profile different from their real identity.

So, if you love Instagram and haven't deleted it, I only hope that you never lose who you are and stay true to yourself, no matter what any social media outlet pressures you to be.

Cover Image Credit: 9to5Mac

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A Snow Day in Anthropologie

Life lessons learned during an unexpected adventure.
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What business does a Texan girl have in Chevy Chase, Maryland, perhaps the ritziest city near Washington D.C.? After receiving a 4-H scholarship a year ago, I was recently asked to speak at a Youth Summit to inspire the next generation of 4-Hers. After a whirlwind of flight delays and my motivational speech, I found myself with a few free hours to myself.

I convinced myself that I deserved to go out. After all, my presentation had seen to it that my makeup and dress attire was already befitting to Maryland’s downtown scene.

Homework? As if.

Minutes later, I called a taxi. You see, an Uber just wouldn’t do because I didn’t quite know where I was headed to just yet.

Five minutes into our ride and much to my surprise, the windshield became covered with tiny, delicate, white flurries of snow.

Please note, I have seen snow a whopping two times in my lifetime. I politely asked my driver for permission to roll my window down, but he refused. And I don’t blame him. Instead, I did the next best thing and asked him to let me out. “Right here on the sidewalk?” he hesitated to ask. Why yes, of course! This was SNOW we were talking about! I paid him the fare and leaped to the curb, not minding a bit about the chilly air that immediately enveloped me.

I stuck my hands out and waited eagerly for flakes to dance into my palms. And would I have even been in my right mind had I not stuck my tongue out too? My first thought: my family will not believe me. They simply won’t. So I snapped some photo evidence and sent it to their sorry 85-degree weather back home.

So there I stood. Amidst the falling snow and unfamiliar surroundings. But as I looked around, I recognized the wooden slats that were home to one of my favorite shops, Anthropologie. Of course, I went inside.

Upon entering, I noticed my reflection in the glassy mirror doors. I spotted a girl with white flecks on her hoodless coat and damp hair from where the snow had melted. Surely, I was a sight.

But nevertheless, I tried on a selection of chic clothing and settled on two vogue blouses. Much to my dismay, they were both a bit pricey, and being the amazing daughter I am, I called my mom, because I was not about to spend $175 irresponsibly.

“Church, class presentations, and sharing my closet with friends,” were the brilliant excuses I invented when convincing my mom I needed those tops. And being the wonderful mother she is, she agreed (thanks again mom if you’re reading this).

During my snow day in Anthropologie, I learned about two things: spontaneity and responsibility. First, every girl needs to go out on a whim, get out of their comfort zone, and follow wherever an hour or so will lead them on their own. Second, call your mom if you’re ever in doubt. She will often be a better voice of reason than any one of us can ever hope to be.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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A Letter To My Sorority Mom

It's always been you.
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Dear Mom,

I am beyond happy to say that you are finally my mom. I have been waiting for this for what feels like forever, and the anticipation and tricks practically killed me, but you already know that. Today I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me in the past few months, and what you will do from here on out.

When I first met you, I can honestly say I never thought we would be as good of friends as we are. Fast forward about 5 months, I can’t imagine my life without you. I thought we were so different at first, but I learned in such a short time that that could not be further from the truth. I was shocked to find how similar we were, but I’m so glad I did.

When the time came to choose a mom, I knew I wanted you. I’m the most indecisive person you will ever meet, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that you were going to be my mom. You’re everything I wanted in a mom and more, and I knew that deep down, I only wanted you.

I knew I wanted a mom who would always be there for me and support me through anything, and you do just that. Even when I barely knew you, you were a constant source of support to me in everything I did.

I also wanted a mom who I could go to with anything and trust you would keep all my secrets, something I found in you early on. It did not matter how big or small the thing was, I trusted you and you never broke that, and to this day you still haven’t. I’m not the most trusting person, but you made it easy.

I wanted a mom who was similar to me, and like you said before, We are the same person. We have similar interests; from the same major and minor, a passion to dance, our love for shopping, and so much more. I found so much of me in you, more than I’ve found in anyone else I’ve ever met.

Sorority bigs/moms are there for guidance and mentoring above all else, and that was something important to me. I knew I wanted my mom to be someone who could guide me, and show me how to be the best sister I can be. And mom, you’ve been doing that since the beginning. I value your advice and the things you tell me, you have no idea how much it has meant to me. I have asked you around a billion and one questions about not only Greek life, but life in general, and you’ve always given me your honest opinion. It doesn’t matter what it is, you’ve helped me and guided me through so much in such a short amount of time.

If you don’t take anything else away from this letter, I hope you at least know this: I love you mom, it’s always been you. I know you were put in my life 5 months ago for many reasons, and I’m so glad the universe brought us together.

Thank you for being the mom I never knew I needed and I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t have you to lean on.

I love you mom, forever and always.

Love, Kiddie

Cover Image Credit: Najla Deep

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