Why I hate consumerism and Instagram

At times I hate who I have become. I find myself constantly scrolling through Instagram, wishing I had the material possessions that others do because for whatever reason, somewhere deep down I believe it will make me happier.

I stare at photos of the beautiful scenery that people are lucky enough to see, and often don’t make enough of an effort to go out and see the beauty in and around Calgary. Photos of fitness gurus make question my constant burrito intake and wish I were more motivated to workout when life gets busy. After all, it is a good stress relief and I know that, but when I see these photos I get sad and tend to put myself down because I am not as fit or motivated as them. There are outfit of the day posts that in total cost over $300 but I still wish I owned because somehow none of my clothes make me look good enough. In reality, if I got those clothes, I wouldn’t feel any different.

The funny thing is, when I am not scrolling through photos of material possessions, delicious looking food, or home decor that would kill to have, I don’t feel the same way. I’ve noticed my greed and consumerist tendencies are linked to my social media intake, and my self worth is always higher when I try to stay away.

What’s even worse is that scrolling through Instagram has become so much of a habit that I do it even when I am around people instead of giving them my full attention. Granted, I don’t consciously go out of my way to do this, but it happens and can leave the people around me feeling like they aren’t worthy of my full attention.

However, I am a person who accepts change (as scary as it may be) with open arms. I plan to make a promise to myself to have social media free times during my days for hours at a time. When I catch myself on Instagram, watching as item after item that I didn’t know I wanted passes by, I will close the application and put my phone down. As weird as it may be for me to not constantly be on social media, I think it is an important step that I need to make in order to better myself.

If you are the same way, I urge you to step back and ask yourself how Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are benefiting your life. Perhaps you brand yourself on your sites to look good to employers because it can be crucial for your job. If so, post professionally, but don’t obsess. Take time away and try to enjoy the world and it’s nature, people, and food, for yourself.

Try to look at the world differently. Will buying the shoes that you have seen everyone wearing really make you happy, or will it just contribute to an image or the person you want to be? Consider the implications of consumerism. Oftentimes it is terrible for the environment and your bank account. Remind yourself what your values are and what you would like to place more importance on. It is easy to get lost in a world of fashion trends and ideal lifestyles, but neither of those things lead to true happiness.

Keep in mind you are not always the person you make yourself out to be on Instagram. While it is fun to be able to control what others see of your life, it can end up making you feel terrible when you realize that it isn’t the real you.

You are not worth the values of your possessions or the number of likes on your photos. I hope you remember that and take something away from reading this because self love and appreciation can make a person substantially happier. As hard as it may be to love yourself, you deserve it.