The anxiety of curating an instagram


I’ve fell down the rabbit hole. I got carried off into wonderland and I didn’t resurface until I realised I’d burnt out in every sense.

I was really deep into this fitness haze. I had a gym in my building, I lived in an edgy city (Glasgow) and I had a fridge full of colourful fruit and veg.

I was going to the gym everyday for an hour at least, plus walking for two hours through the city and cooking for myself every night. Photo ops galore!

It started innocently enough, I just wanted to motivate myself. I think Instagram still is a good tool for this, if you use it right. I followed a bunch of fitness accounts for ideas of what to eat and what to do in the gym, also just to eye ball some impressive lady bods.

I started uploading gym pics, food pics and motivational stuff to my feed to the point that it became a full blown fitness account. People in the online fitness community were following me and gym wear companies were approaching me to represent their brand.

This felt very odd to me as the kid at school who refused to run across the sports hall.

Knowing I was being watched brought this added pressure, more than I intended. I liked posting originally because it really was fun. I liked being part of something and adding my own ‘dialogue’. Kinda like what I’m doing now! It started to seep through the screen into my real life though and vice versa. I was a living breathing, Insta gym bunny.

I’d get smoothies, just to take pictures of it. I’d use certain gym equipment because it made for better photographs and I’d cook photogenic meals for myself. I’d prepare the plate in a certain way, balancing it precariously on my fingertips just to get good lighting. I was worried to miss the gym in case people thought I’d given up. Sad I know?

The actual photos themselves took numerous attempts, longer time editing and had so much thought go into them. If my last post was a food pic, of course my new post couldn’t be the same thing! Was I going to have any good photo opportunities tomorrow? If not, I need to save one I took today so I don’t have a post-free day – God forbid!

It’s exhausting not being able to just take a plain ass photo and just post it. No thrills.

Hashtagging, location tagging, optimisation, following, unfollowing, liking, blah, blah, blah. It was all so elongated.

I’m not anti Instagram, I just fell out of love with the lifestyle and I had no intention of making it my career.

I really do enjoy keeping fit, going to the gym and eating well. I still cook photo worth food, I still run, I still look pretty cute in my gym gear but you just don’t see it anymore.

I’ve recently developed a new relationship with social media. It’s too long felt like an extension of myself that’s required upkeep and attention. I’ve slowly been taking a step back and focusing on real things. I’ve actually enjoyed the privacy.

I don’t need everyone to see I’m having a good time, I don’t need a hashtag to know I’m in a nice place or have a bunch of people like a picture of me to know I look good today.

That’s stuff I can do all by myself – thanks.

2 thoughts on “The anxiety of curating an instagram

  1. I feel the same Beth! But at the same time, for me Instagram is the perfect tool to spread the word about my fashion blog hahaha. But at the same time, I am glad you managed to take a step back! IT’s so refreshing, isn’t it?

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