Instagram makes me feel bad about myself

Mariam Sobh Hijab Fashion and Hijab Style Blog

I love the online world. And I’m all about embracing new forms of technology.

But, there is one platform that I just can’t seem to get comfortable with, and that’s the Instagram app.

If you don’t use it or haven’t really understood what the rage has been the last few years… well it’s a photo sharing app you use on your smart phone. All you can do is post pictures or a short 15 second video. There is no content whatsoever. People LOVE to use it for selfies, and posting pictures they can put special effects on.

You can follow people, and they can follow you.

When I first used it under my own name, there weren’t many people on there and I’d occasionally post pictures of food or places I went. Then I decided to create a Hijabtrendz account, and I wasn’t very good at updating it.

instagram

The icon that represents Instagran

I thought last year that I would really put some time in and use it as a way to get people engaged who may not know about the actual Hijabtrendz website.

The thing with instant updates on any social media app, is that you have to keep at it, or you risk losing your audience. And with the fleeting attention span we have these days, it’s hard to keep people engaged.

I stooped to the level of selfies y’all.

While I don’t mind doing them occasionally, it became quite apparent that all my pictures were becoming more and more about me. It was easier than trying to get a unique image… in a time crunch? Snap a photo of myself smiling in the car, or in the gym or at a restaurant lol.

It’s quite embarrassing when I look at them.. I cringe inside!

But, that’s not the worst part. What made me feel really bad about myself, was when I’d scroll through pictures and see hijabis decked out from head to toe, for a simple “errand”. I get that a lot of these are staged and it takes hours to look like that, but it also made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.

I started to hate having my picture taken. My husband can attest to this. I never think I look good enough to post anything lol.

And that’s when I had a little reality check with myself.

I thought back to how I felt BEFORE Instagram. I was happy and blissfully unaware of that hyper competitive world of imagery. AFTER I was so consumed with my looks and whether I looked fat on camera.

Things I never would have imagined I’d get sucked into! (I’ve written plenty of posts and published articles on the whole idea that hijab fashion can often create the very same mainstream fashion body image issues we claim hijab can help combat).

So what did I do? I deleted the app. And I felt relief. I don’t feel the urge to look at my phone when I’m bored and scroll through endless photos of perfection. I also did the same with FB, although I still log in from time to time. But there is just so much negativity and the constant link sharing… it’s overwhelming at times!

Of course moderation is key. And perhaps after I’ve taken a break, I can reassess how I want to use these social media options and not let them use me.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Mariam Sobh

    @Umm Layla I think sometimes it’s sad to see how frivolous people are becoming. Maybe society has always been like this, but now it’s on a larger scale where we can push it out there without thinking twice. Everyone seems to want to be a pseudo celebrity known for their looks and outfits rather than their talent or what they’re about. I dunno it’s a strange world… and I too worry about my kids. Thank you for commenting and enjoying the site 🙂 It’s good to know people read it hehe.

  2. Umm Layla

    You hit the nail on the head!! I never felt bad about myself…..until I saw all the perfectly thin, hijabis…..posting what new crazy expensive designer bag or shoes they just purchased or pictures of their last vacation to Paris. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money, you should be able to enjoy it.
    I don’t like saying it but sure I felt a tad jealous. My life was now boring in my eyes. Alhamdillah, that feeling went away once I limited my time on instagram and tried spending more of my time looking into how I can make myself a better muslim. I just worry about the next generation…my daughter is 12 and who knows how bad this is going to be….may Allah protect us all. On a side note, I love the blog and just keep doing what feels right to you 🙂

  3. Jodi

    I agree with you fully Mariam! I like the electronic age, but not everything about social sites. I don’t even have a smartphone. I look at photo’s on Instagram through my pc, the same for Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. I enjoy looking at images, but I don’t like the negativity or endless streams of perfection! Who lives like that? I often wonder if the images are real myself! No one is perfect and what lies (no pun intended) behind the camera is often nothing that we’d assume or even believe at times. I too have taken breaks from looking at a lot of sites, including Facebook because I find that I don’t get anything more productive done if I do, or there are things I don’t want to really think about! It also makes me see things and desire things that I probably would not even consider if I just passed them by on my own in the store. I still enjoy looking at photo’s, but I don’t judge or compare myself to any of it. If I am going to change anything about myself because of an image I see, then I need to take a longer look at myself inside and my own family and surroundings, and what makes me happy only compared to Allah, nothing else matters really.

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