The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
Instagram became a part of my life in middle school and continued to grow in importance throughout high school, following me into college. I spent years of my life thinking, “That would be a good IG picture” or “Well, if I went to (insert event, vacation, or social activity here), it would be a good picture.”
Finally, I’d had enough. Why did I put so much self-worth into how many likes a picture got? Why did I spend time editing a photo in Lightroom to make sure it was as aesthetic as possible? Why was I spending hours scrolling and looking at photos of people with “perfect” lives? Why did I care? I deleted my Instagram account at the end of June and haven’t regretted it for one second.
Since I deleted it, a weight has been lifted. I have gone camping, kayaking, and rock climbing. I’ve been to brunch and Taco Tuesdays and spent time with friends. I’ve taken my dog to the park and visited my sister. I’ve taken pictures because they’re memories and moments I want to look back on. But not once have I done something or taken a photo because I needed to prove to the world that I’m having fun.
The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect and appear perfect on social media created an unreasonable and completely pointless amount of anxiety in my life. It stopped being a fun way to share my life and my experiences and became another pressure, another standard I had to live up to. The anxiety it caused wasn’t worth the end result of the validation of likes on a perfectly curated, and totally artificial, photo. If you’ve been thinking about taking a break from Instagram to focus on living in reality, consider this your sign. It’s worth it.
Has your child ever been upset with a specific social media account? Have they ever deleted an account? How would you talk to your child about the pressures about social media?