Your Instagram account starts doing well, the numbers are going up daily and you're on fire with interacting with everyone and finding new content plus your motivation is not slowing down anytime soon; so what could go wrong?
When you are in the Instagram bubble you view the grid through rose-tinted glasses, you will not hear a bad word said about Instagram and if they simply don’t understand the blood, sweat and tears that is poured into producing a top-notch (filtered to an inch of its life) photo then you are not friends anymore – you haven’t got time for that negativity as your far too #blessed and #gifted, so move on.
Then you need to step it up a level as people are on fire online and this is a dog eat dog world out there, you need to win the #ads, you need sponsorship, you need the staple #mummyblogger uniform and you search the whole town for a bird-shit free wall you can pose against.
Your phone is constantly in your hand so you don’t miss a trick, you are ready to capture any golden memory of your child not to keep for yourself but to share with the nation because we all really want to see mini Susan feeding a duck…honestly. You don’t see the world in the present moment but you view it all through your phone camera because updating your stories is a priority over spending time with the family. Instead of enjoying a sunny day at the park, you are getting pissed off that Instagram cant find your location or hashtag in stories and you will snap at anyone that tells you to put your phone down as it isn’t an option.
You haven’t got time to put your phone down when you have stories to constantly update, planning today's post (because you MUST post daily), comments to reply too because you need to beat that algorithm somehow, people to follow and unfollow and always toying with the idea that buying fake followers may give you some breathing space but as you constantly check all your competitors stats you don’t know if it’s a risk too far.
Your comparing levels are at a whole new high because you know for yourself a photo can lie but you can't help yourself and you find yourself falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole with a one-way ticket not knowing how it got to this.
In other words, you are one click away from setting up a fake profile on a horrendous website and abusing your own mates, and even partner, just for a shit reason because you have lost all sense of reality or concept.
Its time to unplug and look up from your phone.
I know this because I have done most of it myself, except buying the followers, follow/unfollow or the last trolling part because I have some bloody morals, no matter how desperate I got!
Look I still love Instagram, but what I am pointing out is how it is turning pretty normal folks into plugged-in-grid-obsessed-raving-mad people and it is really worrying not just for you but for your children also.
When I go to the zoo for example and I see mainly women walking behind their kids, following them around with a camera phone trying to catch every moment to share on the grid and asking them to pose here, there and sodding everywhere (attractions are even placing flowery walls around now for you and your KIDS to pose and share with the grid) then, get the arse ache with them when they won't smile for the millionth time, it is getting beyond a joke. I want to walk up these people, pull the Instagram plug, tell them to just take ONE photo for memory and then put the phone the fuck down.
Be present, at the moment for your children, partner, family and mainly for you. Social media isn’t going anywhere at all and you don’t have to do it all right away, it can wait.
Trust me when I say that if you don't post for a day or two no one would notice or care, the world wouldn't stop turning and once you stop looking down so much to see what is happening in the real world you will slowly step out of the bubble to see how you were completely brainwashed.
Once you are out it is really scary to think back to how obsessed you really were and you can spot Instagram robots a mile off, once you’ve seen the light you will just want to run around unplugging people so they too can see it with you.
It is just finding the balance which can be really tricky but the squares should never dominate your world and mind, and do we really want our kids to grow up with a phone stuck in their faces thinking its completely normal?
Nah, not really.
Written by Sophie Farrow (Founder of Bad Mum)