It’s been 7 days since I switched off from my personal social media accounts. I have a Facebook account, but it’s been stripped down to only one friend and old statuses, so I rarely go on that anyway. I also have Instagram and snapchat, both of which I would endlessly scroll through day and night.
It’s been interesting to see how much more time I’ve suddenly gained, as well as mind space, having switched both off. I’ve also been less irritated 👀. That being said, however, I did create a Twitter, Instagram and YouTube account for Aniqa’s Attic. Part of me had decided that because I don’t use my personal Instagram account to engage with “influencer” posts, I would instead use my public accounts for that purpose only.
As I’ve never used Twitter before, I played around with that for a day or so first, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised and somewhat inspired by who and what I can follow there. I’ve also realised there’s a lot of academic, mathematics and teacher education Twitter accounts I can engage with, and learn from too – and that has been so fulfilling.
However, going back on Instagram has been exhausting, and I really don’t know how people follow thousands of accounts when I can barely get my head around a few. I’ve also realised that the reason I had become so irritable with Instagram was because there’s too much content being uploaded and I simply can’t keep up. Accounts I would normally enjoy watching stories for, I have ignored, in favour of writing these blog posts or doing my work, or reading Qur’an. I think I would’ve had a much nicer time returning to Instagram if there were only pictures uploaded (no stories) and I could have taken the time to read captions and reply.
I do wonder whether I will go back to using Instagram at all after this month is over. And maybe my personal account should be restricted to just following friends and family from now on?
It also got me thinking about the “follow me” culture, as inevitably a few hours after creating both accounts I started to wonder how I could build up my follows, and if this was a big secret that everyone else knew about but me!
So why do we social media? Is it for that instant gratification when someone likes our posts, tweets, blog posts or amazingly starts following us back? Or do we thrive off of watching everyone else’s lives coming together, while we somewhat neglect our own? Or is it to make us feel better about our own shortcomings when we see that established influencers are also doing / not doing what we are? Maybe somewhere deep down it goes beyond all this, and the purpose of social media has become to allow us to escape from our every day realities, feelings and emotions, while investing our time and energy into everyone else’s. 🤔
I think it’s time to stop and think about what we consume every day through social media, and maybe having a break now and again would make us realise that investing that time and energy in our own selves can make the world of a difference to our “every day”. And maybe we need to relearn how to face the ever changing ups and downs of our own lives, and acknowledge our mental and emotional states, without using social media to help us “forget”.