Anyone who’s followed Sporty over Forty for a while will know that there’s a lot about Instagram that makes me feel uncomfortable. The corrosively dangerous thinspo. The fake, filtered fitspo (body tyranny by a different name). The look-at-my-fabulous-life posturing. The humble-bragging. The obsession with food. The endless selfies (*shudder*). The faintly desperate #catsofinstagram-style hashtagging.
Of course there are great, inspiring accounts out there – quirky people posting interesting pictures that don’t involve avocado, quinoa, smoothies or abs. But in the fitness world, for the most part, it encapsulates all the worst elements of social media. Essentially it’s a superficial, narcissistic, self-absorbed, vacuous popularity contest. Phew, I hadn’t realised how much I hated it until I wrote that.
So why did I even bother to try to hang out with the cool kids in the first place? Wasn’t I old enough to know better? Well, I guess I thought that as a fitness blogger I needed a presence there. And I guess I was kidding myself about (a) my photography skills (distinctly average) and my age (definitely over the insta-hill – 90% of Instagram users are under 35). I was also hoping – in vain, as it turned out – that there was a place on Instagram for the keeping-it-real variety of photo. There wasn’t.
The truth is that Sporty over Forty just wasn’t right for Instagram, and Instagram wasn’t right for me. So I’ve bowed out. You’ll still find me on Twitter and Facebook – I’m certainly not turning my back on social media, much of which I love.
My Instagram account, though, has vanished into the ether, and along with it the pressure to create picture-perfect representations of a life that is very far from picture-perfect. And I can happily report that life post-Instagram is bloody brilliant. I get to eat every meal while it’s still hot, without rearranging my kitchen to get a shot that doesn’t reveal the mess in the background. I never need to wonder whether Juno or Reyes makes my face look better. And I no longer get that playground angst about why nobody liked my actually-jolly-nice picture.
Admittedly, there are one or two (perfectly lovely) people that I will probably lose touch with now that I’m in the insta-wilderness, but any friendship that is based on liking each other’s pictures probably wasn’t much of a friendship in the first place. It’s a small price to pay for the liberation that has come with not being on there.
But enough about me. What about you? Have you abandoned any form of social media? Did you miss it when it was gone or feel relieved that it wasn’t in your life any more? Let me know – but just not on Instagram.