With Instagram holding the title of the “worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing”, our own Architect of Next Olivia felt it was time to offer some words in the way of a defence.
You might call it narcissistic, but perhaps it’s self-love – whatever you call it, selfies and bikini shots don’t define Instagram.
I am not here to say it can’t be detrimental to mental health, I am not here to say it can’t be demeaning of our own realities and neither I am here to say it doesn’t have its downfalls. But, I am here to put forward its defence and highlight its benefits.
Instagram to me – and I imagine many others – acts as a portal into the other; the other place, the other person, the other life.
It is a window to other people’s lives in a way that we never had before social media. The people in our lives are often far, they are often flung and one of the true powers of Instagram is allowing us to see snapshots of their lives. Capturing moments of their happiness, their achievements, their self-love or just simply the things they care about, for everyone in their digital world to see.
Why can’t we view Instagram more in this way? As a catalogue of the happiness in people’s lives, a record of their triumphs, a gallery of their best moments, a place to see what matters to them. I believe as a tech-literate generation, we are wising up to social media; we are well aware it is a filtered version of our realities.
So, why not appreciate it for that: a collection of our favourite moments in which we relish and celebrate in those moments with one another?
Your Instagram is your space, so make it into what you want it to be. Post about the things that matter to you, follow the people who are posting things you care about and create it as a space on the internet that you want to spend time.
Instagram can be narcissistic, it can be a place of self-love; but fundamentally, it is what you decide to make it. So if you don’t like your Instagram, only you can change it.
Follow, unfollow, block as you need in order to make your Instagram a place you like to be.