Instagram Isn't Working Anymore
"I am this close to deleting my account."
“I am this close,” said my friend bringing his thumb and index finger as close as he could without touching, “to deleting my account.”
“So am I,” I replied.
This was his reaction to my saying that I am fed up with Instagram.
All this began during the Covid Lockdown of 2020.
Since we all were restricted to our houses, many turned to social media as a form of entertainment and connection. It was fun and games until it became too much, at least for me.
Being overloaded with information and bombarded with unending reels, I became overwhelmed. That is one side of the coin.
The second side is that social media has become THE place to be. This, I think, has made social media companies change their strategies to make the most of the time.
This, now in 2022, has led to both social media and me becoming confused about what to do with each other.
Instagram Identity Crisis
You must have heard that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. The exact reason why Instagram was loved doesn’t exist anymore. Instagram is now becoming TikTok.
Instead of staying true to its identity and improving it, Instagram is trying to cash in on TikTok’s success.
But what of the people who are not into making 15–60 second videos? What if people don’t want to dance to silly songs just because that’s the trend — a trend that doesn’t even last a day? What about people who want to share pictures of genuine interests?
Instagram is acting like that kid jealous of TikTok, everyone’s favourite at school. And in trying to behave like TikTok, Instagram is making a fool of itself in front of the class.
Instagram doesn’t know what to do with itself. And neither I know what to do with it.
Social Media Is Not Social Anymore. Instead, It’s A…
When social media came into being, it was about being social. Staying connected to friends and making new friends was its motto.
Now, social media is all about ads. It’s all about selling something.
When I scroll through Insta Stories, at least 5 irrelevant ads will pop up before I can see the stories of the people I follow.
The same goes when scrolling down the feed. 4 out of 5 posts will be ads. What Instagram doesn’t realise is that it damages the fun of scrolling and checking out posts from the people I want to see a post from.
I miss when we used to exchange thoughts and messages of mutual interest. Now, all that Instagram wants me to do is invest in mutual funds.
How Is Your Consuming Affecting Your Creating?
This question is for creative people.
How is your consumption of social media affecting your creation of art?
I don’t need to count social media’s psychological and physiological effects on our diminishing quality of art and life. That’s a topic for another day.
But two important elements in our lives are being stolen by social media.
Time and Attention.
The time spent on social media can be used to work on ourselves and our art.
The attention spent on social media can be dedicated to bettering ourselves and our art.
When these two are spent on social media, not only do we rob ourselves of giving our art our all, but it also robs us of our lives.
So What To Do Now?
Frankly speaking, I don’t know.
I want to use social media because it can help me reach readers for my work. But at the same time, I don’t want to use social media because it feels like a waste of time, energy and sanity.
Until I find a social media manager (who, more than me, is genuinely excited to work in and around social media and knows what works) to dump all my social media worries on, I’ll have to find a way to keep things balanced and functioning.
The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking.
― Cal Newport