Social media logins are at an all-time high. We post everything from our children's first steps to the sandwich we had for lunch. It also consumes our lives and gives us unnecessary anxiety. Are all the drawbacks worth it, or should you just wash your hands of the whole thing? When you add it all up, there are many reasons to just walk away.
1. It Makes Time Go by (Too Quickly)
When you are an Instagrammer, time slips away quickly. It's easy to get sucked into other people's profiles (and receive way too much information about their lives--let's be real). One profile leads to another…and another…and five more soon after. The more you check your profile, the more likely you are to get lost in this photographic world.
"Nancy ate a sandwich for lunch!" or "Lauren's kid is playing with a stuffed animal--should I post my kid playing with a stuffed panda too?" are statements that send you down, down, down that rabbit hole. To top it off, who uses the first shot they take (no one)? And who doesn't edit that coveted shot (no filter…come on)? One photo can take 15 minutes! Not worth it!
2. You Experience Life…Behind a Screen
Sunsets are beautiful, first steps are triumphant, and weddings are emotional. It's not the same experience when you see them from your iPhone rather than the real deal. You might as well watch it like you recap Sex and the City. Honestly. Okay, you got the perfect shot, but did you actually pay attention to this memory you can add to your favorite mental files?
What about the person next to you? Are you really spending time with them if you're both glued to your screen? "Remember that time we visited Bobby Flay's restaurant?" "Yeah, I got the best shot of my Ancho Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon!" (cringe). Don't be that person.
3. Privacy Is Non-Existent
Like a Ouija board, Instagram opens a portal into your home, and only saying "goodbye" can close this invisible doorway. The difference is you aren't letting one entity in your house; you're inviting millions in to watch your every move. Whoa boy.
You also feel the need to keep these entities fed by providing them with more information, more photos, and more likes (AHHHHHH!). It's never enough, and its icy grip never lets you go. Many believe a Ouija board shouldn't be tampered with--but is Instagram any better?
4. Your Life Centers Around Approval
It's like high school on steroids. You have to be a master at the newest filters, and you have to be the popular kid. The more likes and followers you have, the more likely you are to sit at the cool kid's table. You know which table I'm talking about--the one upper's peer pressure one.
You spend your life constantly seeking validation from them because it makes you feel more confident and loved. But is it real acceptance--do you even know these people in real life? Okay, Britney Spears reposted your photo, but you aren't in her BFF circle. There's much less pressure (and more to talk about) at the artists' and intellectual kids' tables.
5. Data Goes Down the Drain
We all know that no Wi-Fi equals dollar signs. When you're posting and editing photos, it sucks your data away more powerfully than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Mid-month, you're dealing with an additional $10 per GB (!) depending on your carrier.
In all reality, at least 75 percent of your photos are taken in a no Wi-Fi zone, and you are editing those babies when you take them. That's so much wasted data! Unless you have an unlimited data plan (painful bills), this is digging into your hard-earned cash if you go over your data allowance. Or, you're limited to Insta-ing from the safety of your home, Starbucks, or your gal pal's place where you have the Wi-Fi codes. No bueno.
Insta Shut Down
At the end of the day, is the value you receive from Instagram really paying off? If the extra data dollars, the endless journey for approval, and missing out on life's most precious moments don't bother you, then have at it. Just know that there's a big, exciting world out there beyond your Instagram account, and the delete button is always an option.