Instagram – A Fickle Mistress

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I bet my headline caught your eye if you’re an Instagram junkie like me. Who am I kidding? It’s 2021 and everyone’s an Instagram junkie. Well, with the exception of my husband. He’s one of those rare contented souls who doesn’t need validation from strangers ogling his meals, commiserating his toothaches, applauding his outfits and indulging his loo breaks on the ‘gram. Sooo, though I’m blessed with a wonderful and supportive partner IRL, Instagram is an omnipresent third wheel in our life, or rather, a truly fickle mistress that loves to have her way.

Before you call me out for being sexist, let me explain why I’ve chosen to address Instagram in the feminine. Not because women are the original sinners, but because they are the original cause for temptation. Even if you don’t appreciate my biblical references, I’m sure you’ll agree with me on one point – Instagram is definitely sexy! Hence, she is well-described as a mistress, an especially fickle one. Even if you hate her lack of attention, despise her sudden temperamental algorithmic changes, and detest her fake sense of community; you secretly love her engaging manner, can’t live without her charming appreciation of your work, and the constant challenge she offers to your creativity.

Now that we’ve established Instagram as a fickle and tiresome yet utterly desirable lover, you may be wondering how she fits in to the staid and serious topic of ‘Mental Health Talks’ championed by Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter? In my view, the answer is obvious! Instagram* is responsible for a large percentage of mental health problems, behaving much like a pampered mistress that would go to any length to keep her lover on his toes.

If you aren’t quite convinced, let’s compare notes, shall we?

  • Instagram is the queen of sudden mood swings and changes algorithms faster than most people change clothes
  • She unfairly showers more attention on folks that are rich… in followers 
  • She gives undue importance to how presentable a person or grid looks on the outside, without appreciating the unique creativity of the person or content inside
  • She is jealous of her younger competitors and loves to copy them outright. Her IGTV was a not-quite-subtle rip-off of YouTube and Insta Reels was a quick and easy replacement for TikTok
  • She is suspicious of your intentions at all times, and loves to ignore or shadow ban you at the slightest odd behavior
  • She is adept at attacking your vulnerabilities, or more specifically, allowing other people to attack your vulnerabilities with negative and rude comments

Need I say more?

I’m sure none of this is new to you but will you ever truly give up on her? It might require another monumental government ban for that to happen! Having established that our lovely playmate is royally screwing our mental health, it becomes imperative to keep our sanity while maintaining this passionate love affair.

Here are a few pointers that will help:

  • Let Instagram be the queen of your heart but not your brain. You should know better than to take her too seriously!
  • Allot strict timings for your visits to her and don’t stick around longer than you need to
  • Learn to ignore her erratic behaviour and keep doing what you do best – fuelling her with consistently great content
  • Don’t make her your first priority. She should always be the back-up option, no matter what your intention or career path
  • Speak up! Don’t keep your frustrations bottled up. Reach out to others and complain, you’ll be surprised at how many kindred spirits you’ll find!
  • Develop a thick skin to the negative comments she so easily directs your way. Remember the age-old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.”

Dear reader, ultimately the power to tame this fickle mistress, otherwise known as Instagram, is completely in your hands. Every time you feel frustrated, anxious or angry, just remember why you sought her company in the first place. It may have been to display your creativity to the world, a way for your business or network to grow, or simply a means to enter a new world and meet like-minded people. Whatever the noble intentions may have been in the beginning, they’ll put things in the correct perspective for you – that you are the one calling the shots here.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy Ann D’Silva and me, and sponsored by RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter

*https://time.com/4793331/instagram-social-media-mental-health/#:~:text=While%20the%20photo%2Dbased%20platform,%E2%80%9Cfear%20of%20missing%20out.%E2%80%9D

**This post is not sponsored. Opinions are entirely the author’s own.

***Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.

60 comments

  1. Quite an interesting post Noor. What surprises me is that while social media is the reason for several mental health issues, it’s the place where mental health is discussed the most. It’s quite a paradox. I’m not a lot into social media, but this post of yours actually caught my eye.

  2. Loved your contemplation about Instagram. This is what irony of life is….you know something is affecting you still you cannot ignore it. Got to know so much about Instagram through your post.Thanks for sharing.

  3. I loved your title. Instagram is a fickle mistress! It just messes with my mind on trying to understand Instagram. Social media is an evil and a blessing both how we take it, is how it effects our mental health. Lovely post Noor. Always love the way you write.

  4. First of all, kudos to you for picking this title. Its so very apt for Instagram. I am also among those who do not want to share my personal space on Instagram or on any social media. I use it purely to talk about my blog and podcasts. But as you said, thats how I chose to have my terms with Instagram. So, Instagram do not irritate me. And I do not feel overwhelmed with it seeing other’s definition with her. 🙂

      1. I won’t believe me I have three accounts on instagram. I really like this platform though I am not posting regularly. I am a big fan of your Instagram posts. Makeup, reviews everything you just rock.

  5. Wow loved the post Noor and it is really impressive that you had covered various important aspect of Instagram from how it affects our life to how to use it wisely. I am glad that you had also cover the mental health aspect. personally, despite being blogger, I do not like to spend much time on social media and try to maintain a healthy balance by using it only for limited time. but I have to say that you are amazing with your insta content and I love to watch your videos’ whenever i visit Insta.

  6. First congratulations to your husband for not being on Instagram or at least not being addicted to it. I thought I was the only odd man out in this 1 billion plus strong populaion who is not on instagram. Second, instragram is neither fickle nor sexy. I think users are fickle that they get swayed by trends in instagram. Why should anyone care, how Deepika Padukone looks in her airport attire? But instagrammers are crazy. With two growing daughters, I am an witness to the fad. I guess all the trick that can be employed to keep valid to keep a teenage boy / man away from video game, applies to keep a girl of all age away from instagram.

  7. I really loved your title for this post Noor. Yes, Insta is just like that. I share only blog details and not much about me or my family on SM. I feel at peace with this arrangement. But, I saw so many people who share all the nitty gritties of their life and feel depressed, if they dont get many likes or comments. So that’s why the title of your post is very apt.

  8. I donot share my space with instagram. I use it for business only. We post personnal things on it and then we complain about our personal things being stolen and privancy.

  9. Very well written article raising such relevant points. I strongly urge my friends to make instagram a part of your life but not your whole life!

  10. Wonderful post. Whether Instagram or any social media it’s going to affect not only your mental health but productivity. One needs to be mindful while using. I have learnt it lately but now I am at peace. However can’t ignore the charm too.

  11. You post was such a fun read, Noor. The title is apt. Love it or hate it, Instagram is Instagram and a “diva” among social media channels. I have seen it grow from naught and now seeing the decline. But I doubt people are going to give up on it anytime soon.

  12. Ha ha ha. Loved your analogy. I too get frustrated with all the constant changes. That is the reason why Iam not active on Insta. However, since work depends on it i have now created a separate handle for professional use which is open to public. Prefer to keep my personal one open to only known friends and family.

  13. A truly fickle mistress indeed! Instagram is like that shaadi ka ladoo..jo khaye woh pachtaaye jo nakaye woh bhi pachtaaye! And yes, Instagram can be the cause of lots of stress.I try to be as aloof as i can after posting my content. I wish i could be more active but I am too slow on Insta. I prefer Twitter any day.

  14. I won’t believe me I have three accounts on instagram. I really like this platform though I am not posting regularly. I am a big fan of your Instagram posts. Makeup, reviews everything you just rock.

  15. Can’t agree more on this Noor. These days Instagram is something you can love it, you can hate it but you can’t ignore it. I put myself in filtered category, I love to share selective things on SMs. And about features of insta I won’t lie I am falling in love of story and reels. Must say another Brilliant take on Insta and it’s connection with Mental health.

  16. Fickle mistress, mental health and Instagram. You had me just there. All Cliched topics with one arrow – your powerful writing. I read you almost every week and the conviction you bring with each article is amazing. I am so happy to read these simple things that we forget when using Instagram and allow it to affect us.

  17. Personification at its best, and that too as a queen and a mistress. Reading your post is always very interesting, different perspective, simple language, clear an to the point. I definitely agree that Instagram plays a large role in our lives and the validation seems like the ultimate goal.

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! I still struggle to understand the algorithms but yes I enjoy using Instagram. I agree that we should not let it control our minds and worry about the constant changes it brings to us.

  19. What an interesting post Noor! And what an unique way of depicting Instagram as the fickle mistress. It’s 100% true. As a blogger who needs to promote and blog through Instagram, I completely know and feel the frustration that one undergoes because of the algorithms, competition and more importantly the follow-unfollow cycle that happens.
    As few of us focus on content and grow gradually, the fake followers buy-out, reach and engagement buy-out, etc. causes a lot of frustrations and unnecessary competition. Also, with brands reaching out to every blogger on barter or low pay, it has become too much of a hassle now. Indeed, Instagram has become a high maintenance mistress too!

  20. I totally felt the title so came to read.. hahahaha… so aptly compared to a mistress! Those algorithms are mind f******* sometimes! I wasn’t sure why the reach was not matching the number of followers until i understood how they push people to BOOST their posts!!!! It’s crazy seriously!

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