A few weeks back, I was having a conversation with my friend. Our conversation was initially centred on movie producers and she said: “hey, do you know they even choose an actor based on the number of social media presence they have?”. I was taken aback as I felt choosing a cast should be base on talent and not the number of followers. We went on talking about why movie producers do this and the benefits it holds for them. Whilst having this conversation, my attention was immediately drawn to those who haven’t got as much online recognition as they would love and the pang in their hearts when they compare their small growing number of followers to someone’s else’s thousands or millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook including the number of views, likes or comments these people receive on a daily basis when they post a new picture. This is particularly prevalent among teenagers but there is also an alarming struggle among youths.
Now consider this; if an adult could worry about such things, what do you think the average teen who is only starting to find his feet around and understand how the world works feel?
Don’t get me wrong, I use to worry about Instagram (did I say use to? I mean I still worry sometimes) and for such a long time it left me feeling sad when I see people’s pretty picture and the effort put in before a picture is posted. But I have a few things that keep me going and I hope it helps you.
Knowing the purpose for joining Instagram? Knowing this would help you figure out where you stand i.e I didn’t sign up to NnekasChronicles Instagram to compare myself to others. On the contrary, I signed up so I can make an impact in my little way. I also have a personal account that helps me save my pics and connect with old friends. So even if I am not getting so much from there, it doesn’t bother me and this is because I understand the purpose for which it was created. So understanding this could help. You might have signed up to reconnect with old friends and relatives. So knowing and understanding your purpose is important.
What value are you adding? This is a powerful question. What value are you adding to the 50 followers or 20 followers or 1million followers you’ve got? If you aren’t adding value to your few loyal fans, why should you then be bothered about having millions of followers if you aren’t impacting something meaningful? Ponder on this one.
Who are you following and how do they make you feel? I am aware people do something called follow for follow (F4F or FFF) which is simply following back a person who follows you on instagram. So when you follow these people or stare at a picture or profile for so long, what impact does it leave with you; does it leave you feeling sad, happy or inspired? Sometimes after going through a picture, I find myself taking note because I have just learnt something new that I can’t wait to implement. So if your followers don’t inspire you or add value to your life or make you happy, it will do you more good to unfollow them. Trust me I have done it before (I still do)
My last point which I believe is the most important (it doesn’t mean scrap the other 3 though😁, they are equally important). Is: everything is for show. No one can boldly say they have the perfect life however everyone claims so on Instagram or on social media. Remember the perfect picture had to undergo ‘surgery’ using different apps so don’t worry much if your pictures are not up to standard just work on your operating skills and like magic you will be there :). Mind you some of the people who claim to be the happiest on Instagram or any other social platform also have moments of sadness but hardly do you ever see anyone post their sad lives. Haven’t you heard of those who post up the nicest pictures and take their lives the next minute? My point is, we all struggle so don’t let anyone’s Instagram curated life make you feel like a failure or that you’ve got nothing to offer because you do.
If nothing sticks out to you, remember what you see on the gram is not often a true reflection of the person’s reality. (remember the surgery I mentioned earlier?) As I sometimes say, it’s all packaging.
I hope you leave here feeling positive and see Instagram in a different light.