Instagram is getting more and more bad press for how bad it can make us feel through photoshopped images and seemingly perfect lives.
We all love to complain about how social media makes us feel yet will still scroll through the feed endlessly, or maybe delete the app for a week before getting it back (been there and done that).
I completely understand that social media can be toxic, but the truth is social media is exactly what we can make it. If you choose to follow models with 3M followers or influencers who photoshop their bodies, then that’s what you will see. If you choose to follow these people who show off a lavish lifestyle knowing that it will affect your own happiness, it almost seems silly to complain about it.
Here’s what I did, to stop me from scrolling through Instagram every morning to leave me feeling deflated. I now feel empowered and inspired, and you can use social media for this too – it’s not all doom and gloom!
Time For a Clear Out
The first step in the process is to open up the list of accounts you follow, have a scroll.
It may take some time, but ask yourself why you follow that person. If you notice any influencers standing out that you know makes you feel inferior, then unfollow it. If an account strikes you as toxic and brings you no inspiration, you know what to do.
Some accounts may be obviously toxic, but I understand some accounts may be tricky if they are friends or those close to you. You may worry that others will take it personally if you unfollow them, but if their posts constantly anger you or you find yourself comparing yourself to them in an unhealthy way, unfollow. I promise your well-being is more important than their follower count deducting by 1.
Follow Positivity Hashtags
You may notice that you can follow certain hashtags on Instagram, which will bring random images and accounts into your feed which has used the chosen hashtag.
Follow hashtags such as #positivequotes or #positivity or anything else you want to be inspired by. These will surprise you mid-scroll with an uplifting image or quote, which has given me a little boost now and then when I need it. These random images would be positive messages that you would have never seen before, until you followed the hashtag.
Even adding a little sprinkle of positivity to your feed can make all the difference, even if every other image is a positive message, you’ll soon find yourself more inspired than surrounded by toxic posts.
The Right Accounts
If you’re unsure where to start, here’s some of my favourite accounts which I tend to type into the search bar for an uplifting scroll:
This account causes slight controversy because it, in a way, exposes influencers and models for their photoshop. I personally think it is doing something amazing, exposing the image of one girl for the well-being of millions of others is more of a positive thing to me.
I actually scroll through this when I’m feeling like I’m not good enough after Instagram had convinced me I’m ugly in comparison to all of the perfect images I’ve seen. This account reminds me of the truth behind the images and just how false Instagram really is. It offers a little reminder that nobody is perfect and our flaws are completely normal, it has helped millions of girls on Instagram and I couldn’t thank it enough for how it has helped me.
The author of Reasons to Stay Alive publishes lots of inspiring content on his Instagram, and is very active on a daily basis. His words filling my timeline gives me a lesson to learn every time I scroll, and many times I find myself clicking onto his handle to scroll his feed to be inspired even more.
His writing is more for mental health and well-being, and is a great uplift when you’re feeling down. Filling your Instagram feed with authors like Matt Haig will provide you with a positive message every time you scroll, which can make all the difference.
The Good Quote
There’s a reason why thegoodquote has 17.4M followers, because their content is good and the lessons they teach are priceless – all for free!
Specialising in well-being and self care, this account constantly posts life lessons and uplifting, motivational quotes. They also include lesson videos which are very uplifting and will honestly leave you feeling motivated and ready to jump up and change something about your life, for that little kick up the bum we all need sometimes.
Assess Your Own Social Media Habits
Have you ever wondered what kind of vibe your Instagram account gives off? Sometimes one of the most toxic parts about social media is how we use it. People can get so sucked into the idea of a grammable life that they will become too invested in their feed – I’ve been guilty of this before.
The correct way to use Instagram is to document real, happy moments in your life to share with family and friends. Post authentic parts of your life which you can look back on and reminisce on a positive time, boy polished images which look good but remind you of nothing.
You have to make sure your real life is in order before presenting a pretty image on instagram, read my How I Hid Depression With Instagram post to read my past experience of this, the inspiration behind this blog post on how I’ve managed to use social media for the better.
I hope you’ve taken away something from this post, or even managed to unfollow one toxic Instagram account. Remember that deleting social media for a week or so won’t really help the underlying issue, just allow you to escape it for a while – unless you completely delete it alltogether to never return, which I understand is difficult.
Social media can be good, let’s use it for what t was made for.