Don’t worry, I’m not drunk-blogging this one although it was a nice buzz of confidence to deactivate my Instagram, which I started in 2010 (yep, right when it launched). I do feel a little guilty for just up and leaving so many amazing parent-friends I have come to know and laugh
at with without as much a goodbye photo. Ironically, if you remember, my last photo was a very, very rare photo of the kids’ faces that I captioned “For old times sake.” By the sheer nature of that photo alone, I really had no idea that in less than a day after, I would delete the entire account. Yet I got up, logged into my Instagram.com on my laptop, deactivated 1000+ posts and said goodbye without saying “goodbye” to the specially chosen few on my feed view. I left the Instagram attachment parenting community because of Instagram parenting.
I would read things like, “Oh, I found you through the #cosleeping hash tag!” or “I saw your gymnurstics pic on FB!” The most common was “I found you through [insert Instagram mommy]!” As a mom, Instagram was great for a quick peek into others but you can move on with your day (or the rest of your Instagram feed). With a great and interesting community, I still managed to hate it. I quit Instagram for a clusterfuck of reasons but the main reasons were a little more deep than me not ever being selfie-ready:
Addictive It is truly addicting and the only way for me to kick that disgusting habit was to delete and be done with it.
Obligation It was nice to know people liked my pictures, humor and all that but I felt I always had to entertainment the masses. Once people see one meme, makes sense to make more, right? I’ve got issues.
Vain Instagram parents everywhere post about what they’re doing so you know they’re doing it. As mundane as it was, I felt I was cornered into this tiny corner of niches and I couldn’t break out of it. It was mommy-everything or nothing at all.
Playa-Haters I managed to piss off a few other Instagram mommies and I laughed and laughed because they weren’t that cool anyways. You don’t have to like me but you hating on me won’t make you less uncool.
“Frenemies” So, when I pissed those IG mamas off, our mutual followers seemed to not want to tell me about it and that hurt me. A couple of legit friends came through to let me know Offended Mom thinks I’m speshul enough to get my own screenshots. Like I said, “Not. Cool.”
Perverts Instagram role-play is just a horrible and wrong thing. I know how it was too easy to slap a photo up on Instagram so I had to shut down any and all excessive mentions of the kids’ physical identities. IG needs a mass-delete option though, pho real.
Babies I think I was just kind of over babies. Babies all over my damn feed. All the time. There were just so many back-to-back photos of your kid’s foraged lunch that I could stomach so I’m just over it.
My babies Oh, my poor neglected babies. How fucked up is it that I’m “spending” more time with other people’s babies than my own real-life ones? I’d be thwarting baby limbs just to find the perfect filter and caption. This was my wake-up moment and it’s not my proudest.
I’m here to change all that because I now have a new daily feed– real-life parenting! I’m vowing to be more present with my family, especially the kids. Here are some suggestions to kick the Instagram Mom habit:
1) Leave the phone in another room
2) Designate non-family time only for Instagram
3) Log out/in each time so it’s not so easy to open the app
4) Carve out an entire day without Instagram once a week
5) Ask, “Do I need to share this right at this moment?”
I was buried in this existential world and false lenses with strangers scattered across the planet while my kids saw my face buried in my phone screen. To be honest, I am already back on Instagram but have not found a healthy balance to dive into it quite yet. Also this account will not be any ol’ mommy account. Trust. Instead of showcasing my “parenting” through glossy film and filters, I will make sure I’m actually parenting .
What’s your social media usage rule?