“Would you still be you without your accounts?” she asked with a Martha Stewart’s finality.
“Of course I would,if only likes were money” I replied with raised eyebrows and nose even higher.
But the more I thought about her question on my way home, I began to understand what she implored. If Instagram got shut down this very moment, how would you view life? Or yourself?
I wanted to delete all my social media accounts. Primarily because it was a challenge but the real reason? It was monotonous.
We have become so acclimatized to getting validation and more so sense of belonging online. We barely live life without the Instagram tab on our minds. Do you define your social media or does social media define you? Is your confidence dependent on the number of likes?and who liked?
I happened to meet a very Instagram famous lass over the weekend. I didn’t know she was famous until a waiter called her by her Instagram name. Let’s call her 254_sweetgirlpretty.You could tell she was from the upper echelon by her poise and her head tilt whenever one of her friends took their phone out.
She walked in a parade whenever she went to the ladies and didn’t forge a smile unless a lense was directed at her. (insert do you see anything to smile about Morgan heritage, I miss reggae).
She was a complete snob to some of the members of her gang I guessed it was because of their dress code (I overheard when they started fighting) to be continued….
Every time you take a picture, you alter your pose, make sure the lighting is correct and you know those snapchat filters are life. You barely go on vacation alone, before you eat food, when you are shopping or in the hotel bathroom. It’s a jungle of filters, cute captions and expensive things and everybody is trying to be Lion King. The sad bit is there has to be underdogs even on Instagram.
Your main camera is probably 8MP and front 5MP and you can’t download snap chat because you don’t have a memory card. Every time you download an app you have to sacrifice another. You are beautiful, on the average, you are more beautiful than the people you follow. But simply because your camera is a little shaky than the next, you slowly start lowering your self-worth. You start thinking you are Fiona- Shrek’s wife.
The point of Instagram was sharing beautiful pictures but now because your pictures are not up to standard to what is considered Instagram epic. Read make up filled, perky lips, big butt, bright smile, full eyebrows, matte lips, decent wig and a car if sponsored. You start feeling like you are less than in terms of physical appearance, personal development and even willpower. People are out here living like the millennial Mary and Joseph making you feel like Judas and Abednego.
You wake up every day and the first thing you do is check for messages, mostly Safaricom and Nairobi Women’s Hospital top the charts. You turn on your data before drawing the curtains and let the Whatsapp messages flow in as you check Instagram.
Who liked your picture, who commented, who has viewed your stories and who is the new lad or lass trying to be part of the surveillance team. Big shout out to my people who always checked my stories but hardly liked my pictures. You are the real NIS.
After checking all your prospects, you start going through your feed. People don’t know how powerful the mind is. Everything you see, hear and feel is recorded- you probably think you can’t remember but it manifests everyday in the small things.Your mind is so detailed that it picks up the color, the material, the shape, the design, the thigh slit, the makeup plus the car a particular instagram model is leaning on.
Once you are done with Instagram, you move on to facebook. As you check the likes and the messages, a pop up notification from your Whatsapp appears. It’s Chris from the club asking if you have seen his follower request. You ignore because you dont remember who Chris is and you already have 200 requests. Bigwig. Cough.
By the time you are through an hour has already elapsed keeping in mind, you slept at 1am scrolling. You have not checked LinkedIn, Medium and Whatsapp yet but you’ll check once you have showered.
You sit up on your bed and withdraw from your beddings almost dropping your phone. Then you try to disconnect from the charger and an Instagram notification pops up. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried checking my email but ended up on somebody else’s feed.
Hearing my friend’s voice in my head over and over again, daunting me. But the question of would I still be me goes unanswered. The problem is what do I do at 2am when I can’t sleep? Oron the long road to CBD?
It’s been almost a month now (two weeks) and I thought deleting my Instagram account would make my life unbearable. But to be honest, my day is simply normal- social media ascribes very little value. I spend more time on YouTube checking on vines and podcasts.
Everything I do now is between me and God. My 2k plus followers have no part in my glory, failure or monotone. I feel no pressure of having a great page because my advisor told me it’s important to let people know who is behind Truth and Smoke.
Living without an Instagram account is almost like living in the 90s. Life is more real on this side of the spectrum. I don’t have to see the perfect beach bodies, no more posh cars belonging to 19 year olds, no more over achieved age mates and LESS surveillance. I have to say I’m living my best life this 2019.(chuckles)
The main take away of this post is; if something is no longer making you happy, money or giving you peace. Please by all means cut it off. I’m just glad my bundles don’t deplete as fast and I spend much more time meditating.
However I do miss my make up tutorials, all the images I saved, that fine guy in my DM (chuckles), I’m slightly empty without certain personalities such as Fashionable step mum- a boss, a little bit of Jai Nice and a whole lot of meme accounts that kept me smiling on my way to town.
Living without Instagram isn’t for everyone, especially if you have FOMO. Though if you are the type who enjoys a little more tranquil environment and low-key lifestyle, this life is for you. There is nothing wrong with being an old soul- a vacation without a public announcement; the best shoes and clothes limited to your wardrobe and those who actually make eye contact.
In the real world, there are no beauty standards (arimis work), no fashion trends (style is everything) and vacation is literally vacation (no pursed lips, flat bellies and great bikinis). I would delete my Facebook account but it pays my bills, chuckles.
So who would I be without my Instagram account? I am still the same beautiful, intelligent, confident and overly ambitious woman with more bundles and vine time. Minus a track record and a surveillance team on my back. I challenge you to log off just for one day and log in to the real world.