How Instagram likes make you forget what you really like

Why do I feel like shit now that I’m leading the perfect Instagram life?!

Ever since we started our travel adventure I realize more and more that I’m too Instagram-focused. I’m so focused on taking the perfect picture, I’m not truly experiencing what’s happening around me. A cute coffee place is not a place to enjoy a cup of coffee anymore, it’s a potential Instagram picture. A white-sand-and-blue-sea beach is not a place to relax anymore, it’s a potential Instagram picture. I see the world through my iPhone and/or Nikon camera, and therefor I don’t see the world as it is anymore. So two weeks ago I decided to take a blog/vlog/instagram break.

Quiting blogging & instagramming cold-turkey

Not being able to enjoy my life, even when being on a beautiful island with the love of my life, makes me feel ungrateful, spoiled, stupid and very sad. I’m leading the perfect Instagram life, what the F is wrong with me?! After another morning of crying I was so done with the inability to enjoy myself because I’m too busy on capturing my new Insta-hit, I stopped Instagramming, blogging and vlogging cold-turkey. I didn’t even leave you guys a little note. Sorry for that.

I can’t blame my sadness completely on the Instagram-pressure. It’s been a rough year with a lot of changes, including my father passing away. I just made a new start, which is awesome, yet this travel adventure is also scary and takes quite some getting used-to. All things that made life a bit harder. Never the less I do feel that the Instagram-pressure is what’s causing my inability to enjoy my life. Which became even clearer when I stopped Instagramming, blogging and vlogging.

The first few days I still had a lot of ‘This would be a cool Instagram shot!’ thoughts, yet it felt so nice to not grab my iPhone and spend 10 minutes taking pictures. It felt so nice to just spread my colourful Balinese sarong I just bought for a few Rupiah on one of the crappy, yet comfy beach-beds. It felt so nice to just look at the sea over my un-manicured toes. If I was still in my Instagram-mode I would have bought a trendy black and white sarong, I would have sat in an uncomfortable but stylish chair and I would have painted my nails, so they’d be picture-perfect. Instead I was just laying in the sun, watching children play, listening to the sound of the waves and finally feeling a bit of enjoyment inside of me. Apparently this is what I truly like.

Painful confessions

I had another moment of truth when we went to Potato Head Beach Club. A trendy beach club my inner-Instagrammer would love, yet the Lian I am at the moment didn’t actually like it that much. Yes, the place looked amazing and was so trendy that every picture I would take would be a hit on Instagram, but something felt off. The prices were too high, the people were too ‘look at me’, the vibe just wasn’t right. I realized I’d rather have a cheap Bintang beer with Rick at one of the crappy, but cute places at the beach. Apparently that’s what I truly like.

I remember when Rick moved in with me, I had a hard time replacing my minimalistic black chairs for his comfortable pink and purple chairs. There goes my Instagram-perfect black and white home… Now, after a few weeks in colorful Bali, I want my future home to look warm and cosy, with lots of wooden elements and turquoise as the main colour. Apparently that’s what I truly like.

And to add another painful confession to the story (one I couldn’t even confess to myself before): I buy clothes based on their Instagram potential. Of course I don’t buy everything that’s trendy. Those Gucci fur loafers? Yuk! No even if you gave them to me. But I painfully admit that next to the question ‘Will I be able to match this with other items I own?’, the question ‘Is this item Instagram-worthy?’ plays a big part in my to-buy-or-not-to-buy decision making.

How to keep your true self and your inner-instagrammer apart?

So apparently I go to places and buy things that have Instagram potential. I think in Instagram-likes in stead of doing and sharing what I really like. That’s not good, not good at all.

Now I realize that Instagram is part of my job and with every job come things you don’t always like. But since my Instagram (and my blog & vlog) is about my life, it should be filled with things I like. It’s going to be quite a challenge to separate the things my inner-Instagrammer likes with the things Lian likes, as the two are so entangled with each other after all these years. But I’m gonna try. Meaning my Instagram and blog won’t be as stylish as they look now. Or as I’m trying to make them look now 😉 I don’t want to share a great picture, I want to share a great moment.

Are you a blogger/instagrammer as well and do you recognize yourself in this story? Or do you know how to keep your true self and your inner-instagrammer apart? If so, please let me know how, as I find it very hard to do! Looking forward to reading your opinion about this all, even if you’re not a blogger/instagrammer!

1 Comment

  1. Aria Machinski August 26, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    This is so relatable it hurts, especially as a blogger just starting out. Everything I do, from the moment I wake up – what I’m going to do that day, what will I wear to make that an Insta-grammable moment? It’s sad! I’m working hard on myself to try and balance it without becoming a crazy person. You should definitely see Ingrid Goes West, it’s suuuuuuper relatable in the same ways!


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