Here’s the post-Instagram-stress-post for you: You find a picture that looks cute, cool, artsy…whatever you want it to be, and you edit it and you tag people, and caption it, and then you hit that button. The blue bar loads, and there it is.
You’ve sent a picture of yourself out into the world, you’ve just opened yourself up to judgement, or to comparison as you await other people to tap their screens and give your picture some love. And you refresh the screen. Again. And again.
And again. And then thirty minutes later, boom. Refresh.
Who’s liked it? Who hasn’t liked it? Who’s on Instagram right now, and still not liking it? Wait, does that mean they purposely scrolled through their feed past your picture? Wait, the person I tagged in the photo didn’t like it yet? Where are the comments? How many likes is it going to get? What if it doesn’t reach the right amount of likes before an hour passes? What if everyone is secretly laughing at me? What if the picture is really horrible and only I’m blind to that?
If you have these thoughts whirling through your head, then you’ve got Post-Instagram-Post Stress (PIPS). Don’t worry, it’s as common as the cold. Seriously.
I think we all have a lot of stress when it comes to social media. I think it’s easy to pretend like it doesn’t get to us, like we aren’t even the least bit nervous when we press post. But in a world that’s viewable to everyone around us, it’s easy to be so afraid of being negatively judged that we become the ones with the negative judgment. I know because it happens to me all the time. I get nervous about what I’ve posted, and I begin to judge myself way more than anyone else ever does. It’s one picture, and I have to remind myself that half of the time, nobody even really looks close at the picture: they’re just tap-happy and scrolling through their feed with little intention. Likes don’t mean friendship. Likes don’t mean anyone likes you personally. No likes doesn’t mean anyone dislikes you either. It’s all a little mind game we play, and I want to give some tips on how to get out of that mind game.
Your Instagram Posts Won’t Matter in 10 Years or More
Honestly, I’d expect none of us to remember the amount of likes we got or the date we posted a particular picture, or if we thought we looked good, bad, or ugly in the post. In ten years, your Instagram feed isn’t going to matter in the sense that it may not exist in that amount of time, or it’s going to be completely different. Sure, some of the pictures will matter to you, but nobody else will probably remember anything about them. Why stress about it now, if it’s not really going to matter later? Keep the pictures around, but not the stress.
Nobody Is Judging You More Than You
I can guarantee that nobody sits around and stares at my pictures all day, constantly judging me or the filter or the people in the picture or where it was taken….that’s borderline stalking, and just really creepy. I’m sure the same thing goes for your feed. Yet, it’s really easy to over-analyze a picture and all of its details and become nervous about this or that. In reality, the truth is that everybody else is too worried about their own posts to care about judging yours for more than a millisecond.
Try to Enjoy the People/Places In Your Posts More
Another tip of mine is to enjoy the people or experiences or places found in the photo. Instead of worrying about what we post, we should enjoy the amazing objects of the post-the smiling faces of the friends or family that can be found, or the gorgeous scenery around us. The key thing to do is to enjoy the beauty in the picture more than the posting the picture itself.
And if all else fails….
Put the phone away.