The Truth Behind Instagram Anxiety

Esha Kode

28 February 2021

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For many, clicking that blue “Share” button on Instagram causes an increased heart rate, sweaty underarms, toxic thoughts, and a sore thumb from hovering over the button for too long. Putting this into writing sounds utterly stupid, but in the moment, posting on Instagram is a terrifying experience.

Being a bit vulnerable, I want to share why I get Instagram anxiety because I know that many others feel the same way, so hopefully this will help you in some way or another. 

My biggest reason behind my Instagram anxiety is the fear of judgement. In fact, I judge myself thinking that others will judge me when I post a picture that I initially really like. In reality, every post will get judged by people- whether positively, or more often than not, negatively. I’ve gone as far as to hide certain people from viewing my stories in fear that they will be my biggest critiques. Though I know that it is inevitable to please everyone, I still judge my pictures thinking that about what others will think. In some cases, even after having a picture and a caption, I just delete it all because I spend too much time nitpicking the flaws. 

Over the years, I have gotten far better with my Instagram anxiety. However, it’s still something that most of us deal with regularly. Some actions and even precautions that have helped me are listed below:

TURN OFF ALL NOTIFICATIONS! When I had my notifications on for Instagram, I used to open the app nearly every 30 minutes to check what others are doing, saying, commenting about me or even each other. It was toxic. After all, did I really care what Kylie Jenner was doing with her life while I was in Computers class? No. I did not, but the notifications compelled me to find out. Turn off all notifications, so that only you can decide when you want to log on to the app.

DRAG ALL SOCIAL MEDIA APPS TO THE LAST PAGE OF YOUR HOME SCREEN. Instagram and Snapchat are on my very last page of my homescreen. Now, every time I open my phone, I do not unconsciously open those 2 apps. Instead, I have time to decide if I want to open them and then I can swipe twice through my home screen to get to the last page to open the apps. Though this seems simple, it is very beneficial. 

POST AND EXIT. As soon as I post on Instagram, I close the app and lock my phone. Then, I often go downstairs to leave my phone next to the fridge. I don’t bother opening Instagram again throughout the day to monitor all the likes and comments (or even lackthereof) because that is the most stressful and toxic part of Instagram. Who cares if that random dude likes my post or not or if that lowkey famous blogger commented or not? It doesn’t matter because life isn’t a compilation of Instagram likes and comments. 

These are my top 3 hacks to easing my Instagram anxiety and my method to Instagram detoxification. Social media is a beautiful tool only if we don’t let the opinions of others devalue us. For those with Instagram anxiety, remember this the next time you post: you are your biggest critique and your biggest cheerleader, so cheer for yourself when you want to share something on your social media page and don’t let what others think of it define how you feel about yourself. 

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