Be honest, how many times a day do you open instagram? Now, whatever answer you have given in your head, add at least 5 to it. I'm reasonably confident you'll be clicking it more often than you even realise. It's a bit like when you pop open a can of pringles. You tell yourself you've only had a few, when you've actually had at least half the can. I'm not pringle shaming you, but they do warn you that once you pop you can't stop.
Anyway, back to the gram. I get it. Sometimes it happens accidentally. You have every intention of unlocking your phone to figure out how much money you have to play with for the rest of the month (or how much you DON'T have to play with, in my case) and before you know it, you're tagging your mates in topical memes and trudging your way through endless Instagram stories about how much people either need an alcoholic drink or a coffee (there never seems to be an in between).
Instagram can feel like the answer to everything sometimes. On the verge of a mental breakdown with crippling Sunday night fear? You find those positive quotes, honey. Bought a jumpsuit and don't know how to wear it without looking like a mechanic? Let others guide and inspire you. Best friend’s ex has moved on and you want to scope out their next victim? Whack on your FBI hat and get searching (but, of course, every bugger is private now which ruins the fun. Bloody selfish people. LET US IN.)
However, for all its perks, insta does have its drawbacks. Sometimes, you just want to go on to look at a few cute dogs and admire a drag queen's unbelievable make up skills (okay, the second one might just be me, but it's a SERIOUSLY insane talent and you should follow them all.) Instead, you're often drowning in photos and videos of supposed 'influencers' telling you how to get an 84 pack without any consideration for the fact that maybe you are happy with your 1 pack and you are not prepared to give up cheesy garlic bread. Don't get me started on some of these beauty influencers who get your hopes up by telling you they have the secret behind how to finally get rid of adult acne, only to reveal they use 24 different products, one of which comes from a hidden lake that has been blessed and preserved by a Buddhist monk whose was born on a leap year in Taiwan.
So, this week, I did a much needed cul. It's no secret that despite the great opportunities social media presents, Instagram and other social media platforms have been linked to mental health issues because of the pressure people feel from the flawless lives people present online. I've always felt it, but this week, I decided enough was enough. I removed anyone and everyone who put me down with their aesthetic posts and stories. Bye, Felicia!
Truth is, I really don't care about glossy photo-shopped pictures of people flogging another weight loss product that they don't even use or selfies of people promoting another piece of poor quality fast fashion clothing by standing in the street and pretending they don't even know the camera is there. Plus, have you not listened to David Attenborough? Fast fashion isn't doing our planet any good. How dare you ignore the King!
Like most people, I want the truth in all aspects of my life. I want to be surrounded by role models and genuinely interesting, real people. I want people to portray what life is really like, because it's not always sunshine and bloody rainbows. We live in England, it rains damn it! Sometimes you wake up with a bright red spot on your face and you're bloated as hell. That is real life, not this untouchable image everyone likes to illustrate. I want to follow people whose lives, opinions and dogs I care about, not people who make me feel completely inadequate with the fake filtered lives they don't even lead! How is that going to do my wellbeing any good? It's not, and that's the point.
Every week, I hear Ru Paul telling her queens (and I like to think me personally too) that if you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Well, I am hoping a much more positive array of posts on my social media channels will help me to do just that. Now, I'm off to enjoy a glass of sugary fizz and I have some chips waiting in the oven which I will enjoy without a shadow of guilt or any false insta accounts in sight.