I am 18, growing up in a society that is absolutely obsessed with social media. We use it for everything. My generation especially uses all platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and specifically Instagram. I think each platform brings something different to the table, but I think there is something about Instagram that is different. The response is different. The effects are different. At least for me and most of my friends, Instagram is different from all the other platforms and although it can be a creative outlet, it can also be detrimental especially for young girls. Here are the seven reasons why I don't want my future daughter to have Instagram based on my own experience with the platform.
1. It is an addiction.
You become obsessed with likes. You become obsessed with scrolling. You become obsessed with stories, views, other people, yourself, and your profile. Every time you post a picture, it begins accumulating likes. Each time you see a like pop up on the screen, dopamine receptors go off in your brain. Dopamine is the pleasure center of your brain, which can create a sort of euphoric state of being depending on the number of likes you get on a picture. I do not want my daughter searching for her worth through the number of likes she gets on a picture or going out with her friends only to be sitting on Instagram the whole time waiting on the likes to come in.
2. I do not want her comparing herself to others.
Comparison is a thing common to human nature, but I do not want her looking at someone else's feed and thinking I wish I was that cute, or I had those clothes, or I was dating that boy. I want her to see how uniquely beautiful she is and not compare her flaws to others' best features. Comparison can really take a toll on a girl's self-esteem and make her think that she has to look, act, or present herself in a certain way to be perfect, but I don't want my daughter to be perfect. I want my daughter to see the beauty in her imperfections and value her quirks for her uniqueness.
3. She does not need an altered view of reality.
This one goes along with comparison a little bit because it involves comparing your worst days to people's best. When you are having a bad day and scroll through your Instagram feed and see someone doing the same thing as you and make it look so easy, while you are struggling, that can really be detrimental to self-esteem. People more often than not post their highs. If you are comparing your lows to other's highs you are doing nothing, but being the architect to your own unhappiness.
4. I do not want her to lose herself.
I do not want my daughter to be "normal," or "just like everybody else." I want my daughter to value individualism and see how important it is to be yourself in a world who is telling you to be anything but. I do not want her to simply fit in. I want her to do what makes her happy, not what makes the general public happy. I want her to have her own opinions, not just follow along with that which is popular. I want her to not see "different" as a dirty word, but rather one of great strength. There is no need to lose yourself trying to please everyone around or be like everyone around.
5. I want her to spend her time on other things.
I want her to have a creative outlet, but I do not think that it needs to be Instagram. I want her to spend her time creating things from nothing. Developing tangible photographs, writing stories, creating art, making music, writing songs. I want her to learn to express herself in ways where she is not blending in, but standing out. I want her to spend time outside without her phone and just enjoy the sunshine for a little. Enjoy the air that she gets to breathe. I want her to volunteer out of the kindness of her heart, not for an Instagram photo. I want her to be a kid and not grow up to fast, thinking she has to become something or have everything all figured out by the age of 18. I want her to have moments with her friends that become memories so strong they do not need a picture to remember.
6. I want her to be bored.
I want her to allow her mind to wander. I want her to be bored and just see where that takes her. I think when kids are bored they can truly become brilliant because they have to use their imagination to make a boring situation into a stimulating one. I do not want her to be so busy that she is missing out on the things going on around her. I do not want her to miss out on creative thought and inspiration because I do not allow her to be bored from time to time. It is okay to be bored. It is okay to allow your mind to wander because often times boredom can lead to brilliance.
7. I want her to be brilliant.
I do not want her to seek the approval of those that do not love her. I want her to be brilliant and know that she is. I want her to be humble, but secure in herself and who she is as an individual. I want her to allow her mind to wander so that she can come up with ideas that others have not thought of before. I want her to think before she acts and talks. I want her to have creative thought and never lose the spark of inspiration. I don't want her to lose herself in the world of technology by being sucked into a world where it is okay to be average. I want her to be brilliant.