There are so many ways to broadcast oneself on the internet now and Instagram adds a whole new element as it is the first social media platform to be based on pictures #Vanity. I am addicted to Instagram. I am addicted to sharing photos of my life in order to show people that I have one. The sad part is that Instagram and I have a one-sided love affair because Instagram makes me hate myself.
When I post a picture on Instagram, I constantly refresh the page so that I can see if more people have liked my picture. If I don’t get enough likes within a few days, I will delete my picture because I feel like it is not good enough; that is, like I am not good enough. I compare myself to others constantly. I will always look at other’s pictures and like them, but I do not really even pay attention to the picture: I only pay attention to the number of likes that people get. Hanna Krasnova from Humboldt University Berlin says, “A photo can very powerfully provoke immediate social comparison, and that can trigger feelings of inferiority” (slate.com). I am constantly making sure I have more likes than other people and questioning how I can get more likes, or asking myself “how can I be more like them?” This ends in me feeling sad and scrolling through someone else’s page for hours until I figure out how I can do better.
It is unfortunate that I constantly compare myself because I have over 600 followers but I don’t get 1/6 of the likes. If makes me question how other people with fewer followers feel, and if they compare themselves as well. Maybe I’m just crazy? I know I’m crazy for keeping my Instagram despite my frustrations but I can’t stop. Constantly posting and comparing is the Instagram cycle that I can’t seem to escape from. Maybe it’s because I spent years trying to get a following and I can’t throw that away, or maybe it’s because I’m experiencing some serious FOMO (fear of missing out). Either way, I am unhappy but can’t stop. I suppose I just love the competition.