I love social media, don’t get me wrong.
I see it’s place in society and think that the technology that has developed to allow people from all of the globe to connect with each other is mega-cool.
Talking about Instagram specifically, I can see the value in it for tons of reasons. It helps people, millennials especially, stay connected with each other, it helps the spreading of powerful ideas and I believe that it helps spark creativity amongst users when they get to see what other people are creating in their own lives. However, it can be destructive if not used properly.
I followed so many awesome people on Instagram before I deleted it. I followed top fitness experts, my favorite healthy models, vegan inspo pages (I am trying to go vegan) and sports players. It was great, I loved seeing these people and I used them as motivation for my own working out and eating healthy.
But slowly, without me even realizing it, it turned into an obsession.
I would check my Instagram in the morning when I woke up, when I went to the bathroom, between class, during class (what a great way to waste thousands of dollars, amiright?) and right before I went to bed at night. I was checking it all the time.
I started to notice a guilt complex creep up into my mind as well. What went from me looking at all these cool people’s Instagram accounts turned into me feeling like I was being lazy for not exercising every day like them.
I would see pictures of the girls holding fresh juices and showing their toned tummies and wonder to myself why I didn’t look like that. I didn’t have perfectly-sculpted legs and enough money to spend on juices every day. I felt like I was failing if I didn’t work out every day and say no to every bite of pizza that came my way.
So, like I said, I deleted the app.
I freed myself from the pressure of being perfect like these people online. I still love Instagram and plan to upload it to my phone again one day, but for now, I need a break. I need to remember that I workout for myself and for my own happiness.
I do not work out to look like the girls online, to justify eating a donut or to look better than anybody else. I work out because I love my body, no matter what my weight is, and because I want to be the happiest and healthiest version of me.
Collegian Blogger Katy Mueller can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @katymueller13.