Instagram boredom/addiction is a real thing, and can we try and save it?
Lately, I have been equating Instagram to boredom.
It's what I do when I want I want to numb my brain, for example when I watch back-to-back episodes on netflix. My eyes just glaze over; I am half there and half somewhere else, nothing seems exciting any more. I remember when I first got on Instagram, posting photos of my holidays with a valencia filter was such a thrill. But lately, it’s not quite the same for me.
Don't get me wrong, there is so much good that has come out it over the years. I, for one, have benefitted a lot from this social media platform. I have been able to 1. create content I love and 2. connect with like-minded people. It has been a wonderful way for people to connect and collaborate together. It also allows you to keep on top of things, socially and politically.
“But at the same time, let’s face it — social media is made for companies to profit enormously. At the end of the day, we are all buying into a narrative that is designed to be addictive. While it’s a huge source of inspiration for me, at the same time, it’s not all benevolent.”
Knowing all of the above, I am still addicted! Sometimes I just need that Instagram fix, even if it's boring and mind-numbing. I feel restless until I've got a hit of a few scrolls.
Recently, I came across an insightful article shared by Diet Prada, quoting Dubai-based influencer Zahra Lyla:
“With the rise of social media, I feel like content posted online no longer has substance. I browse through Instagram rolling my eyes instead of being inspired. It’s either an image of a half-naked girl (to each their own) or someone twirling around and captioning it ‘mood.’ How is that doing anything for anyone? Yes, it’s cute the first time around but when it is being shoved in my face over and over again, it just makes me resent being in this industry.”
I do relate to this and IMO it's all starting to feel a bit same. Also, Miroslava Duma (former super influencer and founder of Buro 24/7) posted this a while ago:
“Social media that was initially designed to provide infinite opportunities for people to connect, learn, build and grow, is now leaving most of us feeling more isolated than ever before. The ugly truth is that it is destroying core foundations of how societies work, interact and function. Never before has the level of depression, anxiety and suicide amongst teens been so high. Anything from Fear of Missing Out to feelings of loneliness, jealousy and inadequacy, to the spread of fake news and cyberbullying are pushing young kids to the darkest and scariest of places. We are dealing with a highly addicted generation, a real time bomb ticking. For the sake of our sanity, and for the future of our children, we must do something about this.”
(This post has since been deleted from her account)
But what do you think of this statement by Miroslava? Could this be true? Is Instagram making us more anxious?
Another thing that is leading to Instagram boredom is probably the social media platform’s AI recommendations. I remember the joy of discovering a new brand or account after endless scrolling. Unfortunately, Instagram's AI (that seems to know us better than we know ourselves) is constantly filling our feeds with tweaked and perfected versions of one, things we have already seen, and two, someone blessed with great bone structure and hair (that is doing it better). AI is failing us and it's time to take control of things before we completely give up on the ol gram!
Despite all of Instagram's flaws, I am all for saving it. Like how can we dodge the system? So how do we make it fun again?
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS :
IT MIGHT BE TIME TO PULL OFF THAT BANDAID AND DELETE INSTAGRAM
Ok, you knew this was coming!
My job involves 90% use of social media and being in front of my phone/computer, so unplugging might not be an easy option for me. But I recently deleted Instagram while I was overseas (relax!! only for a few days) and yes I think it actually breaks the cycle for a wee while and you can come back to it feeling less jaded by it.
Dr Catherine Price’s How To Break Up With Your Phone is currently on my reading list. Maybe it’s time to give it a read.
GET IN CONTROL OF YOUR NARRATIVE (OR ATLEAST THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO FOLLOW)
Most social media platforms can be a very dangerous vehicles for comparison, not solidarity. So it’s important to choose your own narrative, and the right people to follow. I recently muted/unfollowed a few bloggers and instead started following writers such as @emmagannonuk and @oteghauwagba but I am a huge fan of Jada’s page on Instagram for her prodigious talks and @tasteofstreep for pure entertainment value. Anyone else I should be following? Pls reply in the comments section. I’d love to know.
“Most social media platforms can be a easily turn into a very dangerous vehicles for comparison and not solidarity.”
PRINT MAGAZINES ARE NOT DEAD
I think I constantly need visual situation to fill in this void. I might need to go back to print magazines for a while so I can move away from my phone. But “commercial” print magazines seem to give me a bit of a headache (the layouts are an eye sore at times!) but the ones I love—The Gentlewoman, Unconditional and Bof are all keepers. And yes, they are a bit pricy in New Zealand. But a good fashion book and great reading material is still a justifiable purchase. Also, it looks great on your coffee table.
I THINK TUMBLR MIGHT BE THE ANSWER
It might be time to revisit the ol’ Tumblr and Pinterest accounts. Can you guys share your favourite Tumblr accounts pls?
APPS THAT KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SCREEN TIME
In the past, I have used an app called ‘In moment’ that helps limit your access to social apps, but that didn’t work for me.
If there is anything else you do that might help break out of this boredom/addiction spell, please share in the comments section. I’d love to know!
Zeenat Wilkinson is the Founder and Editorial Director of Sauce.
Her work as a fashion producer, writer, and freelance stylist can be seen in the likes of Vogue, Grazia, Nylon and Black Magazine. 100% dog person.