How many times have you heard or said that Instagram is toxic and full of meaningless content? In fact, it kinda is, but is it the only kind of content you’ll find there? Today I want to talk to you briefly about your Instagram feed and whether it’s food or poison for your mind. Because it depends only on you what it will be.
“Social media is toxic.”
As I mentioned, it is, up to a point. There sure are tons of people who use social media for bullying, promoting unhealthy habits, thoughts, and behaviors; shameless self-promotion, spamming, and so on. I’ve often heard people saying they hate scrolling through Instagram and Facebook (yet, they don’t stop doing it).
My brother calls Instagram something like “a polygon for displaying complexes,” and there’s no doubt that this really is the case to some extent. He often says that it’s made to make you feel bad, and I can’t deny it.
However, it’s up to you if you’ll let it do it.
The choice is yours
Many folks are complaining about Instagram content, but I keep wondering – who’s forcing them to follow stuff that makes them feel sad, insecure, or just annoyed? When it comes to Facebook, you can’t really filter out what you want to see because when your friends comment on public posts you don’t care about – you’ll see them on your Timeline. But it’s different with Instagram. I would have some bad things to say about this social network for sure. Still, not everything about it is bad as long as you follow accounts that you really care about.
If you feel obliged to follow back your and your partner’s family or some friends who post crap, you can always mute them. This way, you won’t see their cringe-worthy photos, yet you’ll be their follower, and everyone’s happy.
If someone creates great posts but smothers you with a gazillion stories a day, you can choose to mute only their stories. The same goes the other way around.
If you’re following someone who posts content irrelevant to you or that makes you feel bad – no one is stopping you from unfollowing them.
The only things you can’t really control are ads (and there are so many!) and suggested content. However, I find ads easier to ignore as time goes by. The algorithm also gets better with time, so now it’s suggesting to me stuff I actually like. Therefore, even the lack of control in these aspects isn’t the end of the world.
What my Instagram feed looks like?
I realized that I have a great deal of control over my Instagram feed, so I curated the content I follow. I unfollowed anyone that made me feel bad in any way. I muted Stories from folks who post dozens of them a day. I also muted everything from people who share a gazillion baby photos or selfies that all look the same. I’m really not into photos like that, so instead of calling out people who post them, I can choose not to follow them. Remember, you can only control your own actions and your own life. It goes for both real-life and Instagram life.
When scrolling through both my feed and recommendations, I get to see a bunch of inspiring stories on topics I care about; healthy recipes; stunning photos of space, animals, street, and landscapes; humorous content; physical activities; tons of creative projects like embroidery, pottery, drawing, illustrations, painting… I love how I tailored my Feed. It doesn’t contain plastic people in their plastic lives; there are no Photoshopped men and women, no toxic positivity. If I’m going to spend time on Instagram, I want to make it pleasant.
A few recommendations
Naturally, I follow many people whose posts are in Serbian since that’s my first language. But I also follow folks who post in English, so here are a couple of recommendations to make your Instagram Feed prettier, more useful, funnier, and more positive. Some of them post captions in Serbian, but you can look at the pretty pictures. :)
- Astronomy Picture Of The Day
- Andrew McCarthy (Cosmic Background)
- Elke Vogelsang (the funniest, cutest dog photos)
- Bojana Miljković (amazing photos and illustrations)
- Vladimir Rys (the best Formula 1 photos ever)
- Katarina Lalić (here too)
- Nina Knežević
Mental and physical health:
My cousin Lena often says, “If you give someone a fork, they can use it to feed themselves; or they could poke their eye out.” In this case, Instagram is that fork in your hands. So, don’t poke your own eyes out with it! Instead, tailor the content you follow so that it feeds your eyes, mind, and soul.