Not a knock against them – I use it, and use it regularly, but anyone who claims Instagram is the worst form of social media, mental health-wise probably doesn’t use its sister company, Facebook enough. Or maybe I just have weird friends. In the past year or so, I have had to unfollow a bunch of people AND unlike a few pages/leave groups because their posts were…let’s just say, a little too annoying for my tastes. It was fairly slow at first, but as the US election campaign drew closer, things just got worse. Facebook these days is just filled with anger. If I want this kind of squabbling, I could turn on CNN.
One might think Twitter would be worse, but it’s more difficult to follow a conversation on that platform than on Facebook – though people are just as angry, if not more. Instagram, at least, can be a happy place, filled with food, fashion and all round fun. As someone who DOES post outfit pics (usually under the hashtag #isupportcanadianfashion), I *KNOW* fashion posts are fairly fake, because, well, I usually take 15-20 shots of any given look (in various poses), and pick the best one to post. However, I don’t use filters nor do I follow too many influencers/celebrities. Instead, I follow friends, restaurants and brands. And I probably post more than I like.
Instagram is kind of like a fashion magazine. Like these magazines, one should be following knowing that images are likely “fixed” in some way – whether it be multiple takes or filters/Photoshop. Because Facebook is more “real” (often because it is someone’s opinion or it comes from a REAL source like, say, The New York Times or the Globe and Mail) and because everyone just seems to be angrier, it’s much worse, stress-wise. Especially because many people are SO OPINIONATED. And these days, being “civilized” isn’t an option at times. Especially if your views skew on the opposite side of the person you are debating with. People get SO ANGRY when they defend their views that there is NO WAY you can get them to see YOUR PERSPECTIVE (especially on topics like cultural appropriation. I’m getting a little tired of them – especially when it’s about food. Or even music). Basically, I see Instagram as a form of escape. And that’s what it should be.
I don’t hate Facebook, nor am I leaving – I just want to be able to talk about things in a civilized manner, like an adult. And it seems people can’t be (all that) civilized anymore. It’s kind of sad.
Facebook and Instagram icons via shutterstock.com/fyv6561