I woke up on the day before Thanksgiving last year to a few texts from friends that scared me. "Hey, I think your Instagram got hacked."Panic set in and I couldn't even access my account.
Having your privacy violated in the technology-filled world we live in is unfortunately common. However, that doesn't mean we'll get used to it.
I immediately took action and notified as many people as I could so they wouldn't click on anything or interact with my page for the time being. I also had lots of people report the page and sent Instagram an email.
Any social media account has too much personal information and a follow up from them was going to take too long. There are millions of Instagram accounts and I knew I wasn't going to get a response quick enough. So the account got permanently deleted. Gone.
I know what you might be thinking, "Liv, you're being so dramatic.' And you're entitled to that opinion. But here's the thing, that was my first-ever source of social media, where I started my blog and had countless memories attached to it. The new phones I got over the years didn't carry over all of my pictures so that account acted as a photo album. I was bummed out.
Here's what that event did for me though:
I was able to start over. Social media accounts have algorithms that show you what you "want" to see. Coming from a blogger background, I was seeing influencer accounts that had these "perfect" lives and "perfect" hair and "perfect" bodies and "perfect" teeth (that aren't even real by the way!). It was driving me crazy and hurting my mental health. So, to get away from that didn't exactly hurt.
Another thing was to get myself off of Instagram more. I was caring about my image too much and putting too much effort into how I "looked" to others. Now with fewer "followers" and "following" fewer people, I was able to be picky with who I interacted with. This allowed me to use social media in a healthier way and to keep up with people I don't get to see often. It's important for me to be my true self. So why would I want anyone else seeing my posts than the people I truly care about?
Ironically, this happened just a few months before one of the most traumatic events in our lives. Which put a lot of things in perspective.
So here's a question to ask yourself: If your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or any other accounts quickly vanished, what would your response be? Think about your answer and ask yourself if you are prioritizing the right things. There are many benefits to using social media, but just use it wisely. Lots of time things are not as they appear, even if they seem factual. Get to know yourself and do what is best for you when it comes to these boundaries online.