The Insta-Ick Factor
I’ve been feeling a bit icky lately. I’ve just returned from a wonderful week in Mexico and apart from my icky stomach hangover, I’m also suffering from an icky Instagram hangover as well.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know all about my Mexico trip, because I posted about it daily; the cocktails I drank, the animals I saw, the pool I swam in. I even, for the first time ever, posted a photo of myself wearing a bikini.
At the time it felt great. I’ve been working really hard at the gym this year and I bought myself a new bikini to celebrate. The holiday was also one of the best weeks of my life! I actually won the trip at a reward conference I qualified for. I was able to bring my partner and pay him back for all of the airmiles he’s spent on me. The weather was fantastic. We did an activity where we got to wear those air helmets and walk with fish along the bottom of the ocean. Plus, I saw a woman accidentally walk into a shallow pond and laughed so much that I cried tears into my martini.
But now, back in the grey light of London, I’m feeling icky about my Instagrams. Maybe even a little bit embarrassed.
My job is to document things. A lot of my trips, even when they are personal holidays, turn into editorials for work. I also have social media written a lot on my resume and since I’m prettying MIA on Facebook and Twitter, I do make a conscious effort to Instagram. And on some trips it is actually part of my job to Instagram. That’s what I tell myself anyway…
But deep down I also enjoy Instagram. I like looking back through my feed to see all of the amazing moments I’ve had. I like seeing photos of friends in Australia, and who is creeping on my Instagram stories.
There’s also a lot that I dislike on Instagram and try to avoid posting myself. Like smug couple photos or stupid inspiration quotes. Or even worse, when people have hashtags for themselves! One time I also saw an acquaintance post a photo of her sleeping and looking like a complete goddess and it totally creeped me out. Was she pretending to sleep so beautifully? Or was her photographer/boyfriend a total creep? Both were equally unsettling and I unfollowed immediately.
What I’m trying to say is, I try my best not to look like a wanker on Instagram but recently I’ve been wondering, in my icky Instagram state, if I’m failing miserably. I’m now even more paranoid after reading this amazing piece When You Love Your Friend But Hate Her Social-Media Presence on The Cut.
Like some reverse Catfish, the article discusses how people are increasingly turned off by their real-life friends social media alter-ego.
“Just like the hapless marks on Catfish get duped into romantic relationships with impostors, many of us can’t help drawing conclusions about those we know in real life based on their online presence.”
None of my friends are really into Instagram (or social media in general). I have one friend that has never even posted before, and the rest post only occasionally. My crew have never been the taking pictures kind, and we usually only make the effort when it’s a special occasion.
But I don’t just post photos with friends at special occasions. I’ve become swept up in the weird, ego-fueled Instagram world. So sometimes I post photos of turtles or of myself holding some flowers, or of myself in the mirror when I’m drunk. And, on my recent trip, lying on a floating lido wearing a bikini. And I’ve started to feel icky about it.
And I know, it’s really not that important. I don’t really care what Instagram thinks of me. Dance like no one’s watching right? But ultimately, people are watching. People who know me and they might be feeling the same feels for me that I have for people that hashtag their names. Or like how Elaine feels when the guy she’s dating listens to Desperado.
So while I take an Insta-detox, you should read about that time I went to visit the most amazing cenote (word for mermaid heaven) in Mexico: Digging Deep at Ik Kil Cenote.