As funny as twitter was in the absence of Instagram, the shut down that happened on the 13th March really put some things into perspective for me. I’ve never been one of those people who has heavily relied on their phone, I could leave it at home, leave it on a train or misplace it between the pillow covers and it would never really bother me – clearly since then, things have changed.
To be honest after instagram restored whatever Britney meltdown it was having, I was actually a little embarrassed/disappointed as to how much of an effect it had on me.
That day I went to Stanstead airport for an event bright and early, first we nearly missed the train, then all the trains were then cancelled going back to London on our way back meaning we had to get a train to Cambridge to then come back down to Kings Cross. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then ran to get the London train in Cambridge thinking it was the fast train when really it had what felt like a million stops decreasing the speed of life as I knew it. A result of this was that we were then over an hour late for our restaurant visit at Dayrooms in Nottinghill (still cute though) before eventually arriving back home at around 7pm, being reunited with my phone which had died somehow from doing nothing all day (sometimes I feel like me and my phone share the same personality), recharged it and ready to engage on my post…but, no.
That day in general, was a bad day. There might as well have been a cloud of rain over my head and everyone around me because we all seemed to be bathing in the same pot of pain. It started when I had posted an AD for a campaign I was working on, 8am on a Wednesday morning, ready to engage for the 50 minute commute I was about to endure but no, stupid me left in a rush and realised I left my phone on my bedroom draws. WHY I asked myself, just WHY. The whole commute had me feeling anxious, irritated and to be honest a little bit sick. Every 10 minutes or so I had to remind myself that “it’s just instagram, you’re being ridiculous” because I knew this was the truth but I couldn’t help it, I was honestly stressed out, in between those 10 minutes I was
calling muttering to myself every synonym for the word “idiot” for leaving my phone at home on such a crucial day. I managed to connect on to any wifi possible and reply to some comments on my iPad but to be honest the inconvenience of not having 4G in the palm of my hand was real.
This anxiety was more so because it was a paid campaign and I was stressed out that if the post didn’t do well that I wouldn’t get picked for a future campaign and with instagram not even posting or loading some profiles and the algorithm being a bitch in the best of times, I was sure it would’ve shown the post to -2 people (obviously an exaggeration, maybe like 200 people but its not much better). The worst part was that I kept picking up my phone in the evening forgetting that it was on lockdown and rerode that rollercoaster of irritation on a loop until bed. It was at this point I turned to my boyfriend and said:
“This is it. This is what we all feared and talked about. Instagram has shut down without warning and it’s gone forever.”
My boyfriend basically told me to shut up with no words but via facial expressions and reassured me this wasn’t the case but I had to just sit and think, what if Instagram really was gone? I mean I of course have this blog, a twitter account which I started 3 days ago (and had a total of like 6 followers) and up until tonight was basically just used to retweet funny #instagramlockdown2019 posts and a Pinterest which I hadn’t really figured out yet. But at least I had this and also my restaurant for income. I know a lot of instagrammers which much more influence than me who rely solely on Instagram and I could only imagine how stressed they would’ve been if I was this stressed about mine. That itself has really kicked my butt into gear to find some more work that could exist outside of social media to help me financially which I felt just as passionately about. The plan is still a work in action but I can’t recommend enough that everyone has a back up and isn’t just left with nothing should the unthinkable happen.
Like a Kardashian I also say “I have anxiety” probably more than I actually have anxiety because to be honest until I was on that train and the reality of leaving my phone at home kicked in after posting, I know I haven’t felt anxious like that ever. I feel like the essence of why we start instagram is getting lost and in my YouTube interview with Clare from @thelittlelondonvegan she stresses that when instagram stops becoming fun, it’s time to take a break. It’s crazy how one little app can control so much of our emotions and in the same way that we always preach that we shouldn’t let people dictate how we feel, we certainly shouldn’t let an app. I am definitely guilty of stressing everyday about the likes, and whens best to post a photo when really, I should just be enjoying what I do. Instagram should not be causing anxiety and its sad to see that this is the reality for a lot of people. It’s time to sit down and really think about whats the healthiest way to move forward because you never actually know if one day it could all disappear and our happiness and self worth shouldn’t go with it.
Basically in a nutshell, it’s time too look at our life outside of instagram and how we can derive happiness and a living from channels external to the app because you never know when it could be gone.
I know I have some thinking to do, what about you?