Instagram first started in 2010.
That is nine years ago. Nine years of the app becoming an integral and vital part of our lives. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many times I click Instagram each day, it is pretty disgusting but an addiction I feed. And in recent times, Instagram has shifted, it is no longer "random pictures" or rare moments we capture, instead, it is full of perfectly tuned and posed images featuring dreamy locations and product placement. Yep, 2019 in a nutshell.
Although all of this is well and good to a certain extent, I realised over the weekend that after nine years on Instagram, I have gathered SO many of these "perfect" accounts full of strangers I don't know that can pose well yet provide no benefit to my life whatsoever. So much so, I searched for some of my friends whose actual pictures I missed because I was following 2,000 accounts yet actually knowing probably a solid 400.
Therefore, I decided to go on an Instagram clear out at the weekend, slowly but surely I have began un-adding accounts that either make me feel like shit because I am not travelling the world with a perfect tan or make me feel inadequate or boring.
Phillippa Diedrichs, Associate Professor at the Centre for Appearance Research in the UK specialises in the effects of social media on body image, and one of her biggest tips to shaking feelings of self-doubt was to "clean up" your social media feed. Basically, any accounts that make you feel like shit or make you think "ugh why am I not a size six", simply unfollow.
It doesn't have to be anything drastic and you don't need to spend five hours tonight purging your account of 600 people, but simply when you are flicking through your stories or mindlessly scrolling as you do, anything that makes you second guess yourself or feel inferior, remove. It is so simple but it does make such a difference.
Since I started my Instagram clear up, it is starting to make me feel more aspirational and less envious. Full of brands I adore, people I have keen interest in, fashion I want and friends I love. The way it should be.