Instagram has long been viewed as a bit of a troublesome social platform. It’s generally pretty good at making us all feel a bit inadequate, a bit uglier than everyone else and like the world is having a lot more fun right now than you are. But is Instagram ruining friendships?
It’s worth pointing out ahead of what is quite a negative post that obviously there are good things about Instagram. We can share our lives with those not immediately close to us and see anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. But Instagram comes with a whole host of issues which make it hard for me personally to enjoy it as a platform and makes me really feel the negative effects of social media.
Second Guessing Your Friendship
Ever heard of the expression TMI? That’s what you get when you spend too much quality time on social media. You begin to analyse every photo and story that your friends put up, wondering why you weren’t invited and generally getting a bit weird about the current state of your friendship.
Perhaps your best friend didn’t like your recent photo, or didn’t comment and support you? All of a sudden you feel a resentment for your friends that comes out of nowhere. A resentment that wouldn’t have been felt without the presence of Instagram. Perhaps they were working late or the pesky Insta algorithm didn’t show your post but immediately you think worst case scenario; they hate me.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to share your lives with your friends. But there is such thing as a balance and sharing for the right reasons. We shouldn’t feel the need to find an identity in relation to others, or create a perception of ourselves based on the who likes which selfie. Rather than sitting back and voyeuristically spying on other women and our friends, we should be forming real connections and relationships. Instagram makes it very easy to become passive, detached from reality and unsatisfied.
It’s hard to admit but it’s super common and I think we all need to talk about it more. Instagram makes you envious of everyone and everything. All of a sudden, you’re seeing things on social media that are making you extra jealous toward a person you usually have no issues with.
Life is not a competition, but social media can make us forget that at times. Seeing someone’s new car or even seeing a friend going for drinks without you can create some jealous feelings, even to the detriment of the friendship. It’s easy to feel forgotten or jealous of what other’s are doing, but when we’re envious of our friends, it creates an unhealthy imbalance and lots of tension. Is it really worth it? If there’s an issue, then speak to your friends, but don’t let the ‘gram get you down.
And let’s be honest, we are never going to achieve the exact same success we see on Instagram. Everyone’s measure of success is different. It might have taken someone all of their emotional strength to get out of bed in the morning, yet they can sit and scroll through Instagram and feel shitty that everyone has done so much more. We need to celebrate our little wins more and be happy in what we are achieving for ourselves, not constantly measuring against other’s successes. We need to work more to bring each other up. not tear each other down.
The Ultimate Brunch Date
When it comes to making plans with your friends, you might start to feel like you’re only doing things to get that perfect Instagram and not because you actually want to spend quality time with your bestie. Perhaps you only go to a certain cafe but it looks good on the ‘gram, rather than actually loving the food there. Or maybe you suggest meeting up with a friend because you’ve seen online that everybody else is out at an event. You might not actually want to go, but it’s Instagrammable AF, right? The pressure to live a certain life and act a certain way on Instagram is so dangerous and makes us susceptible to becoming a sheep and following the crown. Don’t live your life for Instagram, live it for you!
Do you feel like Instagram affects your friendship, or do you love it? Let me know below!