mental health

Life's a game and so is your Instagram.


Some people may know this and others may not but I am getting my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and I’m set to graduate in September. I am currently writing my dissertation and I can almost see the finish line. I am writing my dissertation on social media and the impact it has on women’s self-esteem, body image, and overall mental health because when I started his dissertation project in January 2017 my experience with Instagram wasn’t a positive one. Flash forward to a year later I have a completely different perspective of Instagram and it’s capabilities.

One of the biggest differences is that I stopped taking it so seriously. I do still struggle on my personal Instagram and I am fully aware of that but while on Pax’s I feel that I’m in this super happy, super safe, and ultra positive environment. I’ve had my moments of self-doubt of course and comparison and frustration comes with that as well- but I’m able to get over it within minutes and turn it around. I find myself judging my own artistic vision less and enjoying the process so much more.

But why? Because I’m not taking it so seriously anymore. It’s fun and light. I’m competitive which keeps me going but I’m playing Instagram like a game. I shut it off when I want to and I play super hard when I’m feeling the vibe. I’m able to leave it at the door and put down the phone.

And you know what? Just like Instagram life is a game and you have to engage in it in order for it grow. Through my research of understanding how accounts grow I’ve learned that Instagram has manual just like any video game.  It has rules, secret codes, other players, and even rewards! The algorithm is such that the more active you are (commenting on photos, liking pictures, posting stories etc…) the higher percentage other people will start to follow you and see you “trending”. The whole thing is a game. So why are we taking it SO seriously!? Why do we compare to other people’s accounts? Is it because we are competitive and we are trying to do a modern age keeping up with Jones’s? Is it because when we get likes or comments we automatically feel liked and and accepted? I encourage you to try looking at your Instagram like a game this week- engage when you want to, don’t judge yourself when you’re “slacking”, catch up when you’re ready. Allow yourself to follow the ebb and flow of life and you’ll have so much more fun playing the game.