Why I quit Instagram
A Christian teen shares how she fell into the "Instagram trap" ... and got back out again.
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Welcome to the world of Instagram.
The other day I was asked for my Instagram handle, to which I replied “I don’t have Instagram.” The response was one of pure horror.
“How can you live without it? How do you know what's going on? How do you communicate with your friends?”
It was this conservation that led me to question why Instagram is taking over our teen lives.
The Instagram trap
The point of Instagram is to scroll through thousands of photos, know what your friends are up to and stay connected, right? However, in our world as we scroll through our feeds we are unconsciously judging not only others but ourselves, becoming obsessed with the idea of being perfect online.
Earlier this year I gave into the pressure of getting Instagram. It was there that I fell into a trap of constantly comparing myself and my life to everyone else’s. It was not long before I realised the only thing that this did was take me further away from Christ. I was no longing striving to live a life that honoured God, but a life that conformed to what the world wanted me to be like.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it states; “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Instagram did not empower me to live for Christ and it definitely did not encourage or build up others.
The so-called ‘fitspiration’ movement told me how to get the perfect beach body, and said (without the use of words), that my life wasn't good enough. It was unhelpful content like this, and the message that I could never be satisfied with my current life, that led me to cut Instagram out of my life.
Cutting out Instagram
There were definitely some positives that came along with using Instagram, but the downside wasn't worth it. Being a Christian teenager is already hard enough. Having Instagram, in my eyes, was something that added an extra unnecessary stumbling block. In Matthew 5:29 we read;
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
Instagram was causing me to stumble, so I made the decision to remove it. As much as we as teenagers hate to admit it, we are vulnerable and easily affected by those around us. Having Instagram shaped who I was becoming as a person and not in a way that helped me to live for Jesus.
I found that I told myself I wanted Instagram so that I could stay connected with my friends ... but the underlying reason was to fit in.
I'm interested to know your thoughts as a Christian teen ... have have chosen to use Instagram? If so, why? How do you use it? I am not trying to guilt you, I just want to make sure we're encouraging each other and building each other up no matter what we're doing.