Why I left Instagram

...and some of my persepctive and experience from the online self-development world

It feels edgy to say this but I felt some anxiety when I started to seriously consider deleting my Instagram account ­čść
The main reasons for that were a sense of FOMO and a concern that some people wouldn’t see my content anymore for which I care because I like to share my thoughts and insights.

However, I decided that YouTube, my podcast “Seelenwege” and this blog as well as my first book, which is increasingly approaching publication (it is in German) are much preferred media of mine to share, as they are also the media that I personally enjoy consuming the most from other humans.

I am aware that some poeple like Instagram and use it beneficially. Apparently some of us can use it for their benefit and enjoy using it. I don’t see the world as either or. However, I felt like doing something a bit radical with my relationship to Instagram so this article is rather highlighting the shadow aspects of the platform ­čśë­čśő

So here I am, sharing with you some of the main reasons why I left Instagram and what my thoughts are on this wild world there.

1. Self-glorification

I have done this – sharing things that just felt self-glorifying and frankly came from a place of wanting to be seen, acknowledged and witnessed by others.
The further I have come in my own healing and integration journey, the more I came to realize what I had been doing there.
Feeling a sense of belonging, feeling acknoweldged for who we are as our authentic self, feeling seen – these are some very basic human needs and Instagram is giving us a greatly distorted opportunity to satisfy those needs (just not very deeply…)
This is also how I perceive a lot of other people’s social media expressions nowadays. Of course, one can argue that I am projecting and my experience is subjective, yep.
But I am very sick of seeing staged pictures that are happening in the name of so called “self-empowerment”, “sel-realization” or for “inspiration”.

Those “inspiring” pictures and posts can distract us greatly from our own wishes, dreams and inner voices whilst showing us an image which we then believe to be wanting for ourselves. I spoke about this a few months ago in a German video (English will come) here.

2. Authenticity on Instagram feels outdated

I once heard this from someone: “When you start living authentically, your authenticity is going to be messy at first”. I like this perspective because I think when we start being honest about how we feel, for many of us, there will be a showing of all the feelings that we have suppressed and on the surface they are often sadness, anger, rage, etc. But our authenticity is also our shine. Our curiosity, our childlike playful side as well as our creative and beautiful one. I realised for example that I have an authentic self that does not feel excited about showing myself off in the loud Instagram-world ­čśů

┬áI am sure there are very genuine souls on Instagram. In the end, one cannot really know until one meets person-to-person. And even then…we humans are complex creatures so there are always more sides to discover ­čĄô

I have also recorded a podcast episode on authenticity a while ago. It is in english and you may listen to it here or search for it on major Podcast platforms: “Seelenwege – Is your Authenticity Up to Date?”.

3. Little inspiration

There was a time when I found Instagram inspiring. For example: it has helped me to see other people share vulnerably about their mental health issues because it made me feel less alone in a darker time of my life. There is one other main inspiration and good thing I took away from Instagram: Dance and an online school for dance.
The rest of my approximately 8 years on there was a lot of scrolling and feeling semi-good because it looked like other people’s lives were just much more exciting…

Where Yoga has once maybe been an inspiration, it increasingly also feels more like a body- and self-glorifying thing to pose and shoot a picture. If I look back I can also say that following yoga profiles did not help me with my body-image issues at the time ­čśŁ

On the other hand I felt increasingly uninspired to share content because I had the suspicion that people are hardly taking it in consciously, slowly, pleasurable. How could I expect others to do so while I was not doing it myself ­čśő

4. Noisy & Distracting

In the self-development world we can find profound and impactful posts on almost every page.
The thing is: If we follow even 10 such profiles and read them in one go, I don’t think that we can actually take in the profundity of what is being shared because we read and scroll on, we read and scroll on and at the 3rd or 4th post we may not even read the whole thing anymore. So what is the point?
I find that social media and even What’s App, when it has several messages, can be a huge concentration and focus killer for me.
David Strayer says in his Ted-Talk that they found, after running tests with thousands of people around the world, that only about 2% of us humans are wired for multi-tasking. The rest of us are simply not.
But jumping from one message to the next and one app to the other is pretty much that: It is as if we’re at a party and quickly chatting with different people without taking much time to digest what we just learned, heard or saw.
Considering that anything that enters our body, be that mentally or physically, shapes us in some way, I am having the sense that it makes sense to slow down our rate of intake and let that which we consume sink in, see how it in-forms and shapes us.

Furthermore, Instagram was basically always just distracting me from being present with myself, my life and my surroundings. I mean, when do most of us go on there? I used it when I felt bored, was waiting for someone or something or to simply kill time ­čśî.
Some people even use this platform while in a social setting – instead of enduring possible awkward silence or following conversation.
Who goes on Instagram, sitting down deliberatly and says: “Now I will enjoy this part of my human experience ­čĄę”
I actually have practiced this and have spoken to a person or two who shared that she also uses it like this. But how quickly does this spiral into comparison-anxiety and rather heavy feelings…?

I wish for us humans that we experience a deeper sense of love and light within and around us – instead of edited photos and filter-covered stories…

Thank you if you read all the way to here and listened to my Instagram-rant ­čśü
I hope, it has also moved you in some good way ÔÖí