One of the more important lessons that I learned recently is that Instagram has chained me to different identities that didn’t belong to me.
I don’t go on Instagram as much as I used to. However, when I do, I find myself restless in who I am and what I wanted to pursue. I wanted to be everything and nothing these influencers were at the same time.
After starting my shop, I went through a roller coaster of emotions that helped me understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. When I sat myself down and considered the life I wanted….I knew it was neither a 9-5 job or a restless entrepreneurial spirit or some influencer online.
I wanted balance.
What balance meant to me has changed over the years especially when I’m at an age (19) where I’m constantly growing. Not too long ago, I went through a tremendous amount of stress where I found my chest hurting over long periods of time. I felt unhealthy and I felt myself having a complete disregard over my mental and physical health.
I know I love animals, plants, and nature. And I felt soothed and grounded by it. After I grew my avocado plant, I realized…why couldn’t this be my life? So I decided that I wanted to be a plant mom and urban farmer in conjunction with my shop! I know it’s kind of cheesy but it turned on ALL the lightbulbs in my head. An epiphany struck me.
My first question was…“What the hell am I doing on Instagram?”
Why am I following fashion influencers when I haven’t bought new clothes since the beginning of this year? What am I trying to achieve by being inspired by them or following them? How does that conflict with my pursuit of a sustainable lifestyle? Are they who they say they are?
Am I who I say I am?
So after that little train of thought, I’ve come to realize that Instagram has been quite powerful on people’s unconscious and subconscious. It’s no doubt the reason we all feel a certain way towards the platform whether we know it or not.
However, I really believe Instagram can be a place of greatness if you follow the right people you identify with. Stop following the trends or who your friends are following. Unfollow people you don’t particularly like or have bad news coverage on.
Treat Instagram like your circle of friends. You wouldn’t want to be around a group of people you don’t even associate yourself with. Unfollow.
I know it’s scary to do that when followers and likes creep the corners of your mind. But trust me, it’s worth doing.