My Love Hate Relationship With Instagram

OK, let me start off by saying that by far, my favorite social media platform is Instagram. Between viewing life’s moments in a series of images and the fun glimpses of life and interactions in stories, it can be a great way to share, bond, and find inspiration.

I love seeing my friends post about their babies’ milestones and their own milestones as well. Seeing all the back to school pictures, the new house pictures, the family get-togethers, and the new baby pictures all bring me such happiness and love.

Plus, I love sharing what’s going on in my life as well. I like to post about the products I love, the things I’m doing, and of course show off my kiddos. I mean come on, who doesn’t love showing off their adorable kiddos?!

Tips for making sure social media stays fun without causing anxiety or bad feelings.

On the other hand, Instagram can also lead to more negative feelings. We’ve all seen the pictures of a family in matching attire as they head to church on a random Sunday and wish you had your things together enough to do that with your family.

I mean, in my house making sure all 3 kids are neatly dressed in time to leave for church is an accomplishment without having to worry about matching and makeup.

We see these Pinterest worthy homes that are kept neat and pristine which makes us feel like failures when we look at the status of our own homes. We see families going on the outings we wish we had the time for. Or the money for.

Maybe everyone is going to Disney and you eel like the only one who hasn’t taken your kids there. We see mamas who have lost all of the baby weight in like 2 weeks and we still have it months (or years) later.

Believe it or not, some people actually pay for photo shoots just for the purpose of having a beautiful Instagram feed. They take a ton of staged photos to post for the next several months until their next photo shoot.

I don’t mean like the annual family or holiday photos, where they share some of those pics on the ‘gram. I mean photo shoots whose sole purpose is for sharing on social media. There are businesses that will sell you presets so you can edit your Instagram photos to have a consistent look to your feed.

While Instagram can be a great way to keep in touch and feel inspired, it can also lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, or feeling less than.

Seeing a perfectly curated feed can be inspiring or it can be depressing. For example, my sister in law is a photographer, so her feed is beautiful. You can check it out here.

But seeing that never makes me feel bad about my feed/photos or my life. I mean it’s her actual profession to take gorgeous photos, not mine.

On the other hand, I’ve seen other feeds that make me feel bad that I didn’t take tons of fully photos of me in full makeup whilst dressed to the nines and showing off my baby bump. While I know in my mind that those pictures may not have any reflection on the quality of that person’s life, they can still make us jealous.

So what’s a mama to do when you want to catch up with friends and the people that inspire you, but you don’t want to feel these negative emotions?

  1. Limit your time on social media - Set aside certain times of the day to go on the socials and catch up. Don’t just jump on the gram every time you have to wait 30 seconds. Use that time to talk with the kids, observe the world around you, have a coherent thought. We don’t have to constantly expose ourselves to social media all day, every day.

  2. Unfollow people - No matter how much you love and admire someone, if their feed constantly makes you feel less than, sad, or depressed, unfollow them. If it is a close friend that you feel comfortable talking to, just let them know that for your own mental health you need to unfollow. Odds are most people won’t even know that you unfollowed them. You can always search them out once in a while when you specifically want to see whats going on with that person without having to be exposed to their posts every time you peruse your feed.

  3. Support the Uncurated Feeds - I know that the curated feeds are beautiful with their perfectly lighted, perfectly dressed photos. They can even be inspiring. But just as inspiring are the real photos of people living real lives and talking about the real thoughts and feelings that they are having and that you might even relate to.

  4. Share Your Real Mom Life - Be the change you want to see in the world. Want to see more real posts? Want the cute moments with the kids even if the full laundry basket is in the background? Share them. Use the hashtag #realmomlife and lets support the moms who are sharing about their real lives.

Do you have a love hate relationship with Instagram? Let me know in the comments.

Cheers,

Emily