Instagram Is Ruining Your Life

Instagram Is Ruining Your Life


If you were an alien, looking at the Instagram newsfeed, you would have to conclude that most humans spend their lives in leisure traveling and smiling all day long. You assume that there were far more honeymoons and fights — far more moments of laughing so hard that you cry than an actual crying and far more successes than failures but none of that is true. Our lives are not represented by the photos that we share. We are pretending and it comes at a dire cost. There’s been a lot said about the dangers of consuming social media. After all, the sites are designed to be more addictive than crack. The articles do little more than waste your time and the misrepresentation of how people live can lead to depression with the state of your own life but those are the easy criticisms. The real danger of Instagram and other social media sites is not in what we consume but in what we create. Think of it this way — every time you post a photo you are contributing to the creation of a persona. Kind of like in a videogame — you post a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower and your sophistication stat goes up, you delete a photo where you look bad and your beauty stat goes up, or you share a funny meme and your humor step goes up. You’d choose these photos specifically because you want those stats to go up — you want that persona to be seen in a certain way. Everything that you leave out is also on purpose whether it’s because it’s embarrassing, boring, or not who you want that persona to be and all this is fine. Nothing is wrong with creating a persona — the problem arises when you get attached to that persona. When you look at your Instagram photos or your Facebook profile and you say, “That is me.” At that point, the persona, the mask that you have decided to show people becomes your identity — you protect it. Every selfie needs to be pretty enough and every caption needs to be funny enough. With every single post you are saying, “This is who I am. Judge me,” and that is when you doom yourself because that constructed identity isn’t who you are. Sure, you’re in that photo but that’s not how you look all the time and sure, you did write that caption but you’re probably not that clever all the time. Those moments are fragments of your life carefully selected to make you appear a certain way. They aren’t the whole you. And so even though you crave the validation from the likes and the comments, they don’t really make you happy. In fact, the more that you care about those likes, the more that I can guarantee you will be unhappy. Why? Well first off it takes a lot of energy to create and manage an identity. Think of all the photos that you ever taken and deleted — the time you spend filtering, editing, plus the work you put into getting dressed up knowing that you’ll be seen later on Instagram. Think of the time spent crafting witty tweets and captions. You are trying to control how strangers perceive your reality when you do this and it is incredibly taxing. Second, you sacrifice your own experience to promote your identity. Last year, a girl I knew backpacked to Asia and after the first week, she was homesick and physically sick. She felt lonely and hated it but she continued for weeks more because she was afraid of what people would think if she left. She was afraid that they would think she was a failure. The whole time she posted smiling pictures on pristine beaches while people commented how lucky she was which only made her feel more stuck. We don’t do the things we want to do because we care more about what other people think of us than what we think of ourselves. Third, you outsource your happiness to the masses. Have you ever been bummed that you didn’t get enough likes on a photo? If so, you are literally outsourcing your happiness to a mob. That kind of dependence on the reactions of others, especially strangers, is a classic road to misery. You can spend your whole life trying to please a group of people that you barely even know. Fourth, curating an identity stops you from investing in you. Getting physically fit takes months of hard work and discipline. Choosing a flattering angle, adding a filter, and taking a photo in the gym takes about thirty seconds so it’s no wonder that many people choose to work more on their persona than on themselves. It’s always easier to change the persona. But when you focus on that, you don’t get the benefit of actually being fit or of actually being happy. Your persona levels up while you stagnate. Fifth and lastly, curating an identity limits you. You’ve probably learned that you need to be a certain way on social media. For most people, that’s smiley and happy — for others, that’s whiny and outraged. Either way, you lock yourself into a fixed identity that dictates not only what you share but how you act. You forget that you always have a choice on how you want to behave. Now, let me make this clear — this isn’t just limited to Instagram. This happens on Facebook, on Snapchat, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, and, yes, for those of us posting videos, it’s the same on Youtube. It happens offline as well in the way that we tell stories to build ourselves up — in the clothes and the cars we buy to brand ourselves. We create a persona and then sacrifice our lives in order to promote it. So, yes, I mean it when I say that Instagram might be ruining your life. The effort that you put into appearing a certain way wastes your time, influences your behavior, and makes you unhappy. And given the way the technology is going, there’s nothing you can do about it. The end. Just kidding. But I have plenty of things that you can do to break this cycle and while quitting social media is an obvious and effective answer, it just doesn’t solve the whole problem. We still have to break free of the desire to be seen and judged in a certain light. We need to learn to let our actions speak for themselves. Plus, Instagram and social media isn’t all bad. More than once, I’ve met someone briefly who I eventually became very close with because of social media. I wouldn’t want to give up those connections so how can you remove all that bad that we talked about while still retaining the good? First, start by limiting your consumption and the easiest way that you can do that is to avoid the feed. Whether we’re talking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat — the feed is almost always designed for mindless consumption and I can, yes, include Youtube and Reddit in that list as well which are my sins. The homepage is just more trouble than it’s worth and I tell you this at my own expense since the YouTube homepage is where I get most of my news from. So, here are some things that have worked for me. For Instagram and other apps where you follow people, follow high-volume posters that you don’t care about. It just nukes your feed and trains you not to spend time there. For Facebook, the Facebook newsfeed Eradicator is the easiest and best fix which I will link to in the description. You can also delete these apps on your phone except that you’re only going to log in from the computer which is oftentimes far more cumbersome and therefore you will do it less often. Then, bookmark specific subreddits, Youtube channel, Pinterest boards, whatever — to avoid entering those sites through the homepage and, very importantly — because I still cheat all of this — get Stayfocused or some similar app to block certain sites or at least limit your time. Second, coming back to the identity portion, for one month, stop posting. Stop telling stories that bolster your persona. No more recounting the supercool party that you went to or how you volunteered or how hard CrossFit was. Instead, pay attention to what you enjoy doing when you have no reason for doing it other than for the experience itself. Do you still enjoy the club when you don’t get a geotag photo? Do you still go to CrossFit when no one immediately knows you went? This exercise actually showed me that I like vacations far less than I thought. So I stopped taking them and I felt happier plus I saved a bunch of money. Third, go do something really cool like skydiving or surfing or maybe something that you should do like volunteering or donating blood — something that reflects really well on you — and don’t take a picture, don’t post a status, don’t even tell anyone. This is great practice in caring more about your experience and doing the right thing rather than the social validation that comes from it. Now, some of you might be in a position where you have non-identity boosting reasons to be involved with social media and I count myself in that group. I believe that these videos have a positive impact on others and I know that they have a positive impact on my finances. So if you’ve got reasons to be posting other than identity creation, how can you participate in the healthiest way? First off, don’t lie to yourself. I know a lot of starting entrepreneurs who think that Facebook and Instagram are important to their business yet their customers come from other channels or business people who think that they should have a social presence yet do nothing to monetize it. If that’s the case, those likes are not driving your business — they are driving your ego. So save yourself — get out now. The dopamine withdrawal will be hard but it’s the only way to save your real life. And if you legitimately are a professional creator, you need to separate the audience reaction from your identity. Do you see this number? That’s how many subscribers we have today on Youtube. And I thought that when this number was 100,000, I would be over the moon. Part of me thought that if we could just hit 100,000 subscribers, I would be emotionally set for life. We hit it, we got our Silver Play Button, and I swear my next thought was, “Man, when we get a million subscribers, that’ll really make me happy.” I hope you get the point that that number in your head that when you get it it’ll be enough — that number will never make you happy. Whether that number is likes, subscribers, or even dollars, it is just an indicator of how many people have clicked a button. And, yes, it can be connected to income and, yes, it is connected to the amount of lives that you’re impacting but that number is just a business metric — it’s not a measure of your worth. Similarly, the comments aren’t about you. They are sometimes about the work you’ve done and oftentimes about the person commenting so take them for feedback and then go back to creating things that move people without wondering what it says about you. I hope that this video helps you break the cycle of identity creation and preservation. Live your life first. Do the things that you want to do first. And if you want to take pictures of those things, go ahead. Just remember, your character emerges from what you do not from what you broadcast. If you like this video, click on the button on the screen to subscribe. If you do, you’re going to get the best tips that we have for being your most charismatic and confidence self in the moments that count the most and this video is a bit of a departure but still focuses on a big scene that we cover which is self-esteem and how to build it in the right way. So if you want more every single week, click that button now. If you are regular subscriber, please let me know what you think of this style of content in the comments, not that it would be all the time, but I like these topics with a kind of philosophical bend and if you do too, there will be more coming. If not, well, we’ll go back to what you guys like. Anyways, I hope that you have enjoyed this and I look forward to seeing you in the next video.

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100 thoughts on “Instagram Is Ruining Your Life”

  • Football Always / كورة دائمًا says:

    Social Media and Pornography were made by people who again alot and don't want us to be productive and make something new

  • Step 1: Throw all your electronics in the ocean (except a rotary phone)
    Step 2: Cancel your bank account
    Step 3: Grow your own food
    Step 4: Build a boat (for overseas travel)
    Congratulations! You're finally free.

  • People tend to keep and use this kind of apps just to make them feel they exist and the don’t vanish into normality and simple life

  • You made a video about a thing I constantly try to represent, convince, show to the people surrounding me. Whatever I might call it, they don't give a slight sign of understanding the importance of being a little bit more pragmatic and at first dream a little and do more, not dream more, do a little!

  • I post one pic a year. It’s a crazy selfie of me in a natural setting saying here’s my annual post! Still alive and I put the year under it.

  • This is so true believe me, it consumes your soul! I suffer with mental health anyway and this is like crack! My addictive side of that illness craves the happiness to snap me out of the darkness! I've been addicted to everything and now a recovering addict swapping addictions and this was my last one! The final nail in the coffin now I live a much less stressed life!

  • I don’t plan on deleting Instagram but I’m unfollowing all of the toxic people and narcissists who post every moment of their lives it’s incredibly toxic.

  • scarletshield009 says:

    I never joined Instagram to create an identity or to give another perception of me. Instagram are just full of pictures pictures pictures and videos. It's just a resource for art and good photos. I like pictures and keeping up to date with friends, to me all this attachment and I obsession with social media is silly.

  • You can still use it and be happy as long as you keep an open mind of loving what you do and post meaningful things about yourself and share it without being afaid to show it. Don’t use social media as a mask to hind your true self instead follow your own ways and find the things you truthly love and Appreciate.

  • Lawzeruz Matthias says:

    I use to have an art account with about 7000 followers. I loved it but after a long time I realized, it wasn’t letting me improve. The pressure of uploading art that was appealing to people stumped my art and wouldn’t let me experiment because of the fear of drawing something ugly. So I ditched it. And i am SO happy to say my character designs, my anatomy, my ideas have improved in such a short amount of time.

  • HAHAHAHA!

    It's ruining you if you're UGLY, aka you are not getting constant positive reinforcement like hunks do.

    If you're ugly, stay off Tinder, Instagram… And also bars and clubs irl. Simple as that. Women are already way more shallow than men, and it gets worse by the day.

  • Megan Matthews says:

    Almost 3 months off Facebook and I am so much happier (I get this is about Instagram but they're basically the same thing)

  • Gabriel Concha says:

    Everyone who hates social media is a looser that isn’t getting enough likes. Believe me, if you were popular, you would love it.

  • Juug The Finesser says:

    Become a ghost on social media u ain’t missing out on nothing bud yo real true life experiences as a human live in the moment don’t go Live in the moment & post pics along wit videos bud if u wanna do wha errbody doin in the social media world thts u 🤷🏽‍♂️‼️💯

  • As artist we are exceptions —we value our feed for artistic expression not feed a fake persona. —this is another case of uninteresting person trying to discourage personal expression by simply dismissing it as persona-building. You are not interesting to begin with but that doesn’t mean everyone have to be uninteresting like you

  • cascabel lindísimo says:

    instagram and social media in general saved a lot of life's they engaged and share their feelings with people and made truly friends that were literally unable to connect with common everyday life that surrended them.
    don't judge a study just by one side, there's also people that does not care about everyones life's and just try to focus on sharing their thoughts or connecting with people they would have never been able to in outside life.

  • Instagram/the net is just a photo gallery, you know like the ones we use to buy before the internet, now we just have it online. :p all these other mumbo jumbo theories are just stories you create in your head, you choose to believe them if you want.

  • I can honestly say I've not been on Facebook, Insta, snapchat, whatsapp for the last year. I only use a basic button phone, and email. AND guess what? I am happy, I am not worried about what other people are doing, have been very productive, more sociable and overall I've been living life fine without any of them. I've even gone on more dates since giving it all up!

  • Great video! I'm 18 and I've never had an instagram account. Because of that some may think that I don't "have a life" which is totally not true. So the fact that someone doesn't use social media nowadays can also affect on how other people view them as a person. Pretty messed up.

  • Just a few thoughts

    I remember watching this video about a year ago, thinking to myself that I’m not like this and I’m not that self obsessed

    It wasn’t until 6 months ago when my photography instagram got hacked. 6 months ago, this destroyed me internally. And I thought I had lost a piece of myself. These photos were my only way to prove to my high school friends I was ‘the real deal’ and ‘going places’.

    But when it got hacked, nobody cared but me. This was a shock to me, because my ego thought that my instagram profile was me. I thought that this is who I am, a photo guy.

    Now, my photos actually were not that bad. But this opened my eyes and I realised that they weren’t good enough.

    I gave up posting. Still browsed, but didn’t post. I am now silently working on my photography and creating things I actually want to create, and currently trying to figure out a way to monetise this.

    About a month ago, it hit me that my insta being hacked was literally the best thing that could have happened to me creatively and socially. It made me realise that great work comes from internal motivation, not social motivation. And that I was so consumed with my self image that I lost sight of why I even started in the first place.

    No, social media is not the devil. But it can consume ones life without even one realising it.

    I candidly ask you to question how you use social media. Why do you post pictures? How does it help you? Who are you curating for?

    If any of these answers is for other people, I ask you to take a step back and analyse your life. Not in a cynical way, in a candid, honest way.

    That’s it:)

  • There are privacy concerns as well. Even in those extensions. And I personally will still use the YouTube homepage since that's how I find these amazing videos.

  • ProTip:

    Just delete all social media minus Whatsapp. Full stop.

    Easy. You'll miss some viral trends and memes, but those are the only real consequences. There's really nothing to it… Just delete everything. The only reason why I suggest not deleting Whatsapp is because it's cheaper than SMSs. Even then, though, you can do without it.

    It's not rocket science. We fared extremely well without social media for more than half of our lives.

  • Everything on Instagram is so fake I hate it, it's like people's best moments and everything is so edited. And everyone comments something really fake on popular people.

  • You see what i did there says:

    Basically if you are more than average, then instagram might be for you. If you are not, forget about it. You will compare honda to ferrari every single day you flick through those photos… depression might be an understatement

  • ShadowHunter Moon says:

    Anyone out there, literally anyone- what can I say to someone asking me why I’ll never download Instagram? How can I resume in a sentence this whole video so as to not look like an antisocial person ?

  • I am so happy that i watched your video on this!!!! I feel EXACTLY the way you have warned! This video is going to help me be more positive and reflect on my self worth. THANK YOU!!

  • I have deleted both my facebook and my instagram account a couple of months ago, and I defenitely haven’t regretted it. All the capriousity of women and the usual boasting of men is now gone from my life, and now I actually know who cares about me.
    I have a lot of free time, without constantly scrolling, I have more time to read or study.
    I hope I convinced you! 🙂

  • Social media really ruins your lifes….it lowers the self esteem…i was the victim….now i am free from fb,instagram nd all……just use youtube to learn new things

  • Ezequiel Renovato says:

    "Look at me, my life is amazing, I'm unique, and people think I'm weird because I don't have any social media. The most sad, terrible, and judgemental people I know do have social media".

  • I agree basically and I am not that active on social media (posting) for some of those reasons but arent we doing that happiness thing in real life too? If someone asks you how to feel, it seems rather natural that you wont want to force your problems onto others

  • Attack of the Chimps says:

    I feel like an alien. I have social media, but rarely post anything, only look at the top of my feed, and just look at notifications and messages. I cannot relate to creating some persona, or doing things just to take pictures. Am I alone on this?

  • Based & Redpilled says:

    Good thing I don't use Instagram, the bad side of it is that im never getting laid because I dont meet a lot of new people.

    (I have a home gym and work at an IT firm with mostly guys)

  • I mainly use instagram to get inspiration for travel. If I see a picture of a place that I like, I save it as a star on google maps and then I have a list of places I want to visit one day. I love nature photos, and while I'm guilty of uploading them myself, I don't think it's inherently bad to share them, as they are pleasing to see. It's the attitude behind it that determines whether or not it's detrimental to your happiness. I can't deny that the likes make me feel good, but they should never be the point.

  • Saw comments for joker ads. Low key cringed and wanted to kill my self. "Incel" I don't support toxic masculinity but incel the word incel hurts my soul. It's like your even more of insult to life when you start calling others incels. So I uninstalled insta. I can't with sheep.

  • Got rid of facebook 6-7 years ago and got rid of twitter 3 months ago and now I deleted my instagram. I feel good. I hope I never download it again.

  • Anthony Sayegh says:

    Ever since I got Instagram I been obsessed with my friends having more followers and likes than me even tho they’re new and now I hate it I constantly look how many likes I have and followers and compare my status to others I want to delete but then everyone at my school will think I’m lambert and I don’t want that but if I delete I feel like could be free to enjoy what I love without comparing myself to others I don’t know what to do

  • Actually let me just say that Instagram made my life complete. I met the woman I love on Instagram so I can't say it ruined my life. It made it so much better it did the opposite of what you claim it is doing.

  • Alexander Jäger says:

    I thought about using instagram to share pictures of my watches with other enthusiats. I never used any social media ever so im not quite sure XD

  • Logging into the sites from computer is cumbersome? I find using the cellphone with them more cumbersome because the computer tools are always more extensive and detailed.
    However Instagram is tailored for a cellphone and you cannot post there from a computer unless you have a user agent switcher. I know this because I never post to Instagram from cellphone, and quite rarely.

  • hskapñfa huidlui says:

    Amen, i started to transform into an influencer in the nightlife of my city and it was the most unhappy and stressfull time in my life, i didnt enjoy clubbing anymore and all my relationships became superficial and i dtarted to live for others opinion instead of my own joy, since i gave up un that i live better and enjoy more, stop posting and start living

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