With the exception of this blog, I’m generally not much into social media. I’ve had Facebook and Twitter accounts in the past, but I deleted them years ago. Honestly, I can’t say I miss them. On the contrary, every time a family member tells me about some drama unfolding on Facebook, I’m genuinely happy to be ignorant of it. For its part, Twitter has been a cesspool of anger for most of the past decade.
Even though I’d otherwise nearly eliminated my social media footprint, I’d hung on to my Instagram account a lot longer. Living up to its reputation as “Twitter for illiterates,” Instagram is so unashamedly superficial it was hard to find any fault with it. People post photos. You either like them or follow them or you keep looking. No drama.
Instagram posed a different problem, at least for me. After a while, the likes and follows become drugs. Once I’d had the taste of a disproportionate number of strangers “liking” my latest photo, I wanted more. I found myself spending ever-increasing amounts of time creating new combinations of hashtags to get the greatest number of likes for a post. I obsessed over which accounts had followed and then unfollowed me and started developing systems to counterstrike with unfollows of my own.
When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. I had become Gollum in search of the Precious. It was time to pull the plug. That was about a year ago.
(Based on my observations of other Instagram users — men and women alike — the next step in the quest for a greater Instagram high is to post selfies in various states of undress. In light of this, I think we can all be grateful I didn’t hit rock bottom.)
However, after deleting my Instagram account, I found myself missing the posts of my immediate family. My wife in particular, who posts amazing photos from time to time, and my parents too. So, after careful consideration, I created a new Instagram account two weeks ago. Since no one had snatched my account name, I was even able to reuse it.
This time, I’ll try to enjoy Instagram responsibly. If you have an Instagram account, I invite you to follow me.