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CCL Diaries – 8 – What a week off Instagram has taught me …

‘You can either fall victim to the things you feel, or you can educate yourself on them’

What I learnt from distancing myself from Instagram for a week…

‘It’s just an app, don’t get so worked up by it’ – try telling that to any content creator. It is definitely a hard world for someone that doesn’t have that link with social media to understand. It’s something my friends say to me all the time, and whilst I know their comments are harmless, and somewhat true, there’s always that part of me that thinks BUT you just don’t understand….

I am a social media addict, there is no denying that, but also, I kind of have to be. My whole blogging lifestyle revolves around documenting/sharing/creating on these pages. I somewhat fell into content creation and blogging, it wasn’t that I set up a page with the intent of this, but for the last 2 years nearly all of my ‘free’ time has been dedicated to social media and the internet. Creating content, researching, planning, learning- it’s become an inherent part of who I am and what I love, and most of that revolves around an online presence.

I’m the same as anyone else, don’t get me wrong. The apps update, the algorithm changes, the engagement pods and follow loops, the likes, the comments, the trolls – I’ve called my friends to moan about every problem that you could think of. Despite all of that, I think I can honestly say over the past 2 years I had never really questioned the undeniable passion and love I had for content creation itself.

Until now

To be honest – I am highly sensitive, I know that. A slight knock, a nasty comment, whatever it is, I can let it bother me for ages. But this time was actually different. The last couple of months really hit me like a ton of bricks. I am not good with toxic environments, and this time it felt different.

I live my life worrying if my actions will upset someone else, if they will impact or bother someone, so I try to live in as much of an empathetic and considerate way as possible. Therefore, I struggle to understand how some others can be so blasé about their own actions, and the effects they may have.

Having had my Instagram page for years and years, it adapted over time as my I developed a love for content creating and blogging, all of which was totally organic. It was such a natural escalation of my page, and now having been blogging for 2 years, it feels like it’s just a bit of a given that my page is there. I have shared my own ideas and plans with creatives, which have then gone on to be used by themselves. I’ve faced issue after issue, comment after comment, just trying to do what I love. Whilst my page feels like that helpful step up to others, whoever that may be, I seem to come off worst in most of the situations.

I’ve spoken about this before, but in particular I feel like Instagram can breed quite toxic, unhealthy, cliques and situations. I think this bred toxicity over on that specific app is what caused the need for distancing there in particular.

One thing I have particularly noticed in my time away is how I feel about the work and effort I put into the app. I’ve realised how often I am embarrassed to admit how hard I work at this. I guess because in a split second someone has used the idea I shared with them, or copied something I have created or written, or used my page solely as a ladder for their own advantages, without any consideration for the work behind it. I guess it does feel embarrassing when you pour your heart and soul into hours of creation, planning, brainstorming, researching, communicating. It can be soul destroying to do all of this, and feel like you’re being faced with a battlefield every day.

‘You can either fall victim to the things you feel, or you can educate yourself on them’

There is absolutely no shame in ‘feeling your feels’. What bothers you is none of anyone else’s business. It doesn’t matter if it ‘wouldn’t bother someone else’ or ‘isn’t that important’. It’s something I have to remind myself all the time. I hear myself do this all the time when I’m saying something to friends that I think is silly, or they may not understand or they may be bored of listening to, I always cut it off and make an excuse that ‘it’s just silly’ or ‘it doesn’t matter anyway’, even though it does!

What’s that saying – it’s not that ships sink because of the water around them, but because of the water that gets inside them’.

Over the past week I’ve tried to more deeply understand where my frustrations lie with this app, and the cliques and trolling within it. I’ve indulged in podcasts, I’ve read things, I’ve tried to gain an understanding of where I’m at, what I’m thinking, and the perspective of the things I’m feeling. It’s fine to feel it all, but for me, it’s the education of it all that helps me process what’s going on.

I’ve spent time absorbing wisdom from highly successful individuals, all who have experienced all kinds of frustrations, not only in their working and personal worlds, but also in their online presence. Knowing that highly successful business owners, CEO’s and entrepreneurs all encounter frustrations, negativity and toxicity, and the way they choose to deal and respond to it, has been a mind-blowing revelation to my own journey.

What I have learnt from an Instagram break:

  • Toxic is toxic – it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If it bothers you, it matters.
  • No one actually cares if you take time off or take a break. You see so many people apologising for not posting. Whilst I understand the idea of it – people are just getting on with their own lives. They may enjoy your posts, but it’s not vital to their day.
  • Instagram is not reflective of life, worth, success, whatever it is, it’s not a measure of anything. Someone can have 500 followers which they influence hugely, someone can have 20K and whilst everyone comments flame emojis, there is zero influence. STOP allowing numbers to dictate feelings. Businesses could learn from this too. I’ve posted blog links before on Facebook, the comment has had zero likes, and yet that specific link alone has sent a ton of visitors to that blog post. NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING.
  • If it’s not fun any more, take time to remember when and what made it fun. It’s ok for feelings to change, that’s how we adapt and grow.
  • Other people are living their own narrative of a situation. Let them be. People can be rude, selfish, hurtful, people will tear others down to lift themselves up. They have their reasons for doing so.
  • It’s ok to feel let down, disappointed, used, copied, but don’t unpack and live there.
  • People will always have an option about you, it doesn’t matter. Let them. You establish your own opinion about all the people you encounter too, and potentially that isn’t accurate either. Approach with kindness, remember it doesn’t define you.
  • You will always be the villain to someone.
  • The same bull**** will still be there on your return, and you will fall right back into the same trap if your perspective hasn’t changed. It may take longer than the break itself to feel healed, be kind to yourself, but recognise the triggers.

This blog isn’t, and was never, about likes and comments on Instagram. This was more about the toxicity bred in a ‘picture perfect’ app. The feelings associated with that, and the danger surrounding it. Whilst the numbers frustrate me, I am at peace with knowing they don’t equate to the truth. What I am not at peace with is the environment that surrounds the numbers, and the feelings and frustrations associated with this.

Honestly, this blog was for me more than anyone else. I have been so bothered recently, I just wanted to air it out. If everyone who visits my blog clicked on this and thought ‘what a load of rubbish’- I’d be okay with that. I’ve learnt a lot this week about myself and the digital world around me. And I needed that. And I needed to share it in my space.

Wow if you have made it this far, and if anything above resonated with you, I hope you’re ok! I know how it feels to feel like your weight of the world is someone else’s grain of sand. It doesn’t matter. Your feels are your feels, and if it matter to you, it matters.

I am glad I am back to posting – I do miss the creativity behind it. I am trying to be kind to myself as I know it isn’t going to be easy at the start again!

I’m sending you love always darlings 💕

Lots of Love, Lucinda xo

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

― Winston S. Churchill

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